This year we will be growing our Micro Greens in a different manner. Rather than cutting the greens and packaging them, we are going to grow them directly in the package that they are sold in. This will make them less delicate and give you a bit more time to use them. Since the roots will still be attached, they will not wilt down as quickly. In addition to that, you will be able to choose how you will harvest them- cut them for fancy greens or pull them out as a more traditional "sprout". Micro Greens sit somewhere between sprouts and baby vegetables. Sprouts are generally germinated in a dark environment and eaten right away. Baby vegetables on the other hand, might have a production time of 30 plus days. Micro Greens germinate and then are grown on for between 7 and 14 days- in the Sun and fresh air. This allows for a more healthful product and perhaps as important, a stronger, fuller flavor.
We have invested in a huge selection of seed; each week as I plant I often randomly select species to add to the mix. Some weeks you might find a division between spicy and mild, other weeks, a mixture of both- just depends on my mood and the flavor of the finished product! People often are asking me "What is in this mix?" I can usually remember the main varieties- Arugula, Clover, Mizuna, Radish and so on...it is all the odd-ball, fun things that I draw a blank on when pressed to answer! Listed below, just to give you an idea what might be lurking in that delicious mixture of green stuff, are all the species that I choose from each week. Broccoli Clover Flax Quinoa Sunflower Chia (Yes, Chia...as in Cha-cha-cha CHIA!) Mizuna Baby Leaf Mizuna Amaranth Red Garnet Arugula Pak Choi White Steam Pak Choi Evergreen Bunching Onion Kintsai Celery Garland Chrysantumum Cress Mibuna Mustard Purple Wave Mustard Spicy Brown Mustard Japanese Parsley Hong-Vit Radish Purple Radish All-Purple Radish Swiss Chard Fantasia Swiss Chard Magenta China Rose Radish Wrinkled Cress Flowering Raab Purple Vienna Kohlrabi
There are actually quite a few more varieties but these are in formula mixes that are redundant to what I have typed above. Also, within the species of Mizuna I might have 3 or 4 varieties so, needless to say, it can be quite a mix. It is not terribly difficult for me to grow a specific species for you if you let me know in advance. Some things are hard to do very much of- Celery being one of them, due to the lengthy germination times. Since I like to shut the whole system down for sterilization every 15 days or so, these varieties can present problems for me. I will let you know if there is an issue with any particular request.
One last thing- am I "Organic" with my Micro Green system? Absolutely NOT. Here is why. In order to be "Organic" one would have to use manure based fertilizers or dead fish in solution. Uhm...no. I don't know about you but I do not relish the idea of a big ol' bite of Coliform Bacteria in my Micro Greens. I use a synthetic commercial liquid fertilizer at 1/2 strength. At the most basic level, this is a form of salt. This is only done for a few days during the growing period (about day 3-7). At that point, the whole system is flushed with clear water. The nice thing about Micro Greens is that due to the short production time, there are no issues with pest and other things associated with growing any crop.
Since this system is hydroponic, there isn't, of course, any soil involved. Traditional Micro Green production uses soil. This is messy and you run into the problem of soil contamination. Again, I am not crazy about particles of "stuff" in my greens. This is why I decided to go with a hydroponic system. The "soil" in the system is actually burlap! It provides an anchor for the young seedling and is relatively clean. Try some of these unique flavors in your salads, soups...as a garnish- use your imagination!