It’s the dead of winter and I can’t stand not growing something that’s edible. Since this winter has us in a holding pattern (building a house, staying in a temporary shelter, waiting on placement of utilities before I can plan gardens) I’m a little limited in my abilities to develop food producing infrastructure.
Amazon had these trays for around $16 each and while you could probably make them from stuff you already had around, I decided just to get two of them for the sake of ease.
For the best results, use sprouting or microgreen specific seeds. This could be mung bean, alfalfa, clover, peas or similar types of seeds. I used a mix of the above. Some of the seeds are rather small so I spread them out on a window screen on top of the slotted tray. After soaking for a day, I rinsed them, spread them out and placed them on my hydroponic shelf. All they need is a daily spray of water. Monitor for any mold. They don’t even need much sunlight until the last day or so (at around 3 inches height) to green them up. Keep them somewhere where you’ll remember to check on them daily.
Microgreens work best if you grow them in succession, starting new seeds every two to three days. For what they cost at the grocery store, you’ll be making your money back in no time. Just trim them off with scissors, compost anything leftover, rinse the tray and start new seeds.
For your seed supply, www.trueleafmarket.com is a good option. The more you can find at bulk prices, the better your savings will be.
The growing trays are actually fairly sturdy. The lid even stood up to a 9 lb cat sitting on it. I expect them to be durable for several years. A three tray system would keep 2 to 4 adults in good supply under most circumstances. Add an extra if your cat is going to knock the lid off and eat from it as well.
For use, I add the greens to salads of course, but I like them as a topping on sandwiches, eggs and soups as well. Don’t cut them until you’re ready to use them as they will wilt quickly.
Growing microgreens is one method of keeping the winter blues away and it’s worth adding to your arsenal of home-based resilience. I know of several people who have scaled up their microgreen operation into a decent income-bringing side hustle. The gateway to entry is low and you can always start by offering them to friends and neighbors then reaching out to restaurants.
It’s also an avenue for folks new to growing where you can observe the germination process clearly and it gives you a jump on how to start seeds for full grown plants.
I’m adding it into our plan for easy calories and simple nutrition, especially during the colder months when we tend to eat fewer greens.
As always, the crew here at Strong Roots Resources is going to stay hard at work bringing you actionable and useful plans for increasing your home-based resilience. Contact us if we can help you in any way.
Have a blessed New Year.