Q: What are Microgreens?
A: By definition microgreens are any plant grown to about two weeks into the plant's lifecycle. Think of it as a stage in every plant’s life seed>sprout>microgreen>baby green>full grown. The reason we have dedicated ourselves to these little guys and the education of them is because they are 4 to 40x more nutrient dense then their full size counterparts.
Q: Are these “microgreens” just another name for sprouts?
A: Not technically. In scientific terms they are different stages of a plants life. In taste sensory terms there are more variety of plants that can be eaten as a microgreen. The flavors are more potent (if you don’t believe us try onion or mustard microgreens). Unlike sprouts, microgreens are exposed to light providing the added benefits of chlorophyll.
Q: Are microgreens easier to grow than sprouts?
A: We think so. Microgreens are grown without the hassles of rinsing multiple times a day. With microgreens, the worries regarding bacteria are put to ease.
Q: Ok, I want to grow microgreens! Which kit is right for me?
A: It’s really a matter of preference. For someone new to growing the micros, our starter grow kit will be easier to use than most other kits - since it works more like a soil. The hydro pads in other kits require a good amount of attention, since they dry out easier, where the organic coir wafers will be more forgiving. The coir also seeds easier and the yields are generally better. The coir is also sustainable and compostable, so no waste product like the hydro pads; all of the above is why we switched to using the coir commercially for our farm. It's entirely a matter of preference though, and some people prefer the pads because they don't want a soil like product in their house. Also most all micros grow well in the coir, but not everything grows as happy on the hydro pads.
Q: I want a grow kit but I live out of the country. Do you ship outside of the U.S.
A: Not at this time. Per our research into this option each country has different laws regarding seeds and agriculture. We love that the movement is a worldwide interest! We are happy to answer any questions.
Q: I have my microgreen grow kit. Can I grow a tasty salad and mix the seeds?
A: No. Plants grow at different rates, some fast, some slow. They don’t like to be grown together because they crave different things at different times. I.E. more light, more water, etc. That said, once you have a few successful crops under your farming belt, consult your growth rate chart (comes with kit on your inventory sheet) for plants that grow at similar rates. Choose your favorites and grow your healthy mix successfully.
Q: Oh no my farm has mold? What is that white fuzzy stuff attached to every plant at the root? Should I throw it out and start over?
A: STOP. Step away from the trash can. Don't panic if you see this in your farm, it is NOT mold. They are called root radicles (the fuzz) and are actually the root hairs of a healthy, highly developing root system. Seeing this kind of fuzz is a very good thing as the plants are spanning out to uptake nutrients and water. A healthy root system has millions of tiny root hairs.
Q: When is the best time to expose my microgreens to light?
A: Typically 3-4 days into your grow cycle. Because everyone has a different grow environment, a great barometer of when to expose your microgreens to light are the height and germination of your plants. You’re looking for your plants to be around 1 inch tall and have even germination (all seeds sprouted) throughout your entire tray. It is not the end of the world if you expose them to light a little late. The plants may be “stringy and unruly” in appearance, but they’ll still have the same flavor and nutrition density.
Q: I want to eat them ASAP how long do I have to wait?
A: 7-12 days from seed to harvest is the most typical grow time. You'll have the most nutrient dense food on your table and ready to eat in less that two weeks!
Q: Can I put them outside?
A: No, resist the urge. Micros are best grown indoors. The outside environment can be too harsh for them, and this way you don’t have to worry about temperature or pests. Being able to be grown indoors and year round is one of the major benefits of growing microgreens!
Q: Why are my microgreens are unruly and “stringy”?
A: First, don’t worry, your micros are still tasty and healthy. Next, it can only be a couple of simple things. Most times the lid (tray humidity dome cover) is left on for a little too long; the micros just need to be around an inch tall or so and if they are allowed to get taller while covered they can get “stringy”. It could also be low light once exposed, because they are reaching for the light causing them to be taller. Looks wont effect taste or nutrients.
Q: My micros look ready to eat, how do I harvest them?
A: Just give them a haircut! Household scissors do the trick. Cut them about ¾ the way down their stems and EAT!
Q: Can I reuse the soil after harvesting?
A: Yes and no. We don’t recommend reusing the soil for another microgreen crop, since un-germinated seeds will germinate eventually and we don’t want to invite a mold or fungus. However, the remaining soil and roots make for an amazing compost. This can be used for personal gardens or in pots by itself as the un-germinated seeds will grow into full size plants. This compost is like farming gold, if you don’t find a use for it your local school gardens or community farms will.
Q: I love these and I want to do this for a living! Can you help?
A: We do offer paid consulting services for commercial growing, as we believe every community should have an opportunity to benefit from these tasty and healthy greens. Contact us via email for additional information and help grow the new age farming movement.
Q: Can I visit your farm?
A: We believe in transparency of how and where your food is grown. That is why we’ve started our growing class series, where we open our farm to you to come learn how to grow and see the farm. Otherwise we are not open to the public on a day to day basis, because we have found we cannot give you the attention you deserve while we are in a full farming mode. We are so very happy you are interested so check out our class series, otherwise we will see you at the farmers markets.
Q: I am a chef, where can I get fresh local microgreens?