How does a crop that goes from seed to harvest in only ten days sound?
It’s microgreens. I first discovered them in the seed rack at the garden center and was smitten by the gorgeous colors and textures of the photo on the packet. But what was it exactly? Plant in trays and harvest in a week and a half? Wait a minute. Is it mesclun? Mixed lettuce?
Not exactly. Microgreens are the seeds of vegetable and herb plants grown just to the stage of their first few baby leaves. Super-high in nutrients, they’re harvested by snipping the stems just above the soil and enjoyed fresh in a variety of dishes.
If you’ve ever encountered microgreens, chances are it was in an upscale restaurant. Chefs appreciate microgreens for their beauty, their variety, and the intense flavor punch they deliver.
Seldom available in supermarkets, and at eye-popping prices when they are, growing your own is definitely the way to go. Fortunately, it’s criminally easy to do.
What you need:
Purchase a packet of a microgreens blend or select individual packets and blend your own or sow separate containers of each seed. Good choices include lettuce, arugula, broccoli, celery, radish, beet, chard, herbs, and asian greens.
A soiless mix without fertilizer makes a good planting medium. Moisten the medium in a separate container, blending well to allow the water to absorb fully.
Clear-lidded plastic “clamshell” containers saved from take-out make excellent mini-greenhouses. Poke a couple of ventilation holes in the top. Fill it about 1 inch deep with the moist planting medium. Use a fork to smooth the surface evenly. I love this part. I feel like a tiny farmer.
Place in a sunny window and wait.
As soon as the next day you may begin to see some activity.
You can pop open the top or remove the plastic wrap as the plants become established.
Mist with water as the soil begins to feel dry.
When the plants have a few leaves, take your scissors and harvest the tiny bounty. Rinse gently and store as you would lettuce in a crisper.