Microgreens

In emergencies, microgreens are vital for nutrition. Popular types like beets, Swiss chard, and broccoli offer both flavor and health benefits. With over sixty varieties available, microgreens are packed with nutrients, containing up to 40% more phytochemicals than their mature counterparts.

These tiny greens are rich in fiber and vitamin K, which can help lower blood pressure and support heart health. Some, like broccoli sprouts, may even help fight cancer due to compounds like sulforaphane. Additionally, research shows that red cabbage microgreens can lower LDL cholesterol and promote gut health by acting as prebiotics.

Quick and easy to incorporate into salads, soups, or sandwiches, microgreens are a bounty of health-supporting components. Whether in an emergency or daily life, adding microgreens to your diet can boost your health and well-being.

Microgreens Without Soil

Know as growing hydroponically.

1. Choose Your Growing Medium:

  • Coconut Coir: Affordable and requires pre-soaking.
  • Clay Pebbles: Porous and reusable, provide excellent air circulation.
  • Hemp Growing Mats: Less messy but more expensive.
  • Vermiculite: Lightweight, sterile, and retains water well.

2. Gather Your Supplies:

  • Seeds: Look for untreated microgreen seeds.
  • Growing Trays: Choose hydroponic trays without drainage holes.
  • Growing Lights: LED grow lights or direct sunlight.
  • pH Testing Kits: Maintain water pH around 6.
  • Nutrients or Fertilizers: Specifically designed for hydroponic use.
  • Spray Bottle: Ensure it’s clean and free of chemicals.

3. Prepare Your Water:

  • Use distilled or rainwater if possible.
  • Test pH and adjust as needed.
  • Add nutrients to the water.

4. Fill the Trays:

  • Spread growing medium evenly in trays.
  • Plant seeds evenly across the medium.

5. Keep Them Moist:

  • Mist seeds with water to keep them moist.
  • Cover trays to maintain moisture or keep in a dark area.

6. Germinate the Seeds:

  • Keep trays warm (around 70°F) for 3-4 days.
  • Ensure airflow to prevent mold growth.
  • Continue misting every 12 hours.

7. Place Under Grow Lights:

  • After germination, move trays under grow lights.
  • Use the dry and soak method for watering.
  • Remove excess water after 10-20 minutes.

8. Wait and Harvest:

  • Microgreens will be ready in about two weeks.
  • Harvest when true leaves appear.
  • Use sharp scissors to cut stems.
  • Consume harvested microgreens the same day for maximum freshness and nutrition.

Protein Rich Microgreens

A concise guide to cultivating protein rich plants, suitable for both urban and rural settings, to ensure sustained nutrition in the face of potential disruptions.

At a Glance

  1. Beans: Legumes are renowned for their protein content and adaptability to diverse growing conditions. While beans are not as commonly grown as microgreens compared to other plants like kale or radishes, some bean varieties, such as mung beans and adzuki beans, are suitable for microgreen production.
  2. Broccoli: This cruciferous vegetable not only provides essential nutrients but also serves as a valuable protein source.
  3. Corn: A staple crop worldwide, corn offers both sustenance and protein, particularly when harvested at the right stage.
  4. Edamame (soy): Soybeans are a complete protein source and can be cultivated in various climates, making them a versatile addition to any survival garden.
  5. Kale: Known for its resilience and nutritional density, kale is an excellent choice for protein rich greens.
  6. Parsley: Often overlooked, parsley is not only a flavorful herb but also contains notable amounts of protein.
  7. Peas: Whether consumed fresh or dried, peas are a valuable protein source and can be easily grown in small spaces.
  8. Quinoa: Considered a superfood for its nutritional profile, quinoa is a complete protein source and thrives in diverse environments.
  9. Spinach: Rich in vitamins and minerals, spinach is also surprisingly high in protein, making it a valuable addition to any diet.
  10. Sunflower: Beyond its seeds’ nutritional value, sunflower foliage offers protein rich greens for consumption.

Cultivating these protein rich plants can be achieved in various settings, from urban balconies to rural homesteads. Container gardening allows for flexibility and space optimization, while traditional ground cultivation ensures optimal growth and yield for larger crops like corn and sunflower.

During colder months or in regions with limited sunlight, indoor cultivation becomes essential. Utilizing artificial lighting and proper temperature control can sustain plant growth year-round, ensuring a steady protein supply regardless of external conditions.

Additionally, incorporating sprouts and microgreens into your diet provides a quick and efficient means of boosting protein intake. Simple steps, such as rinsing and soaking seeds, facilitate sprout growth within days, while microgreens offer crunchy, nutrient-rich greens in a matter of weeks.

Growing & Harvesting Details

  1. Beans:
    • Height: Varies (1 to 10 feet)
    • Microgreen Harvest: Beans are not typically grown as microgreens.
    • Maturity: 50-70 days
    • Water Requirements: Regular watering is necessary for bean plants to thrive.
    • Light Needs: Beans require full sun for optimal growth.
  2. Broccoli:
    • Height: 18-30 inches
    • Microgreen Harvest: Microgreens can be harvested when they reach 1-2 inches in height, typically within 1-2 weeks after sowing.
    • Maturity: 60-100 days
    • Water Requirements: Consistent moisture is essential for broccoli’s growth as both microgreens and mature plants.
    • Light Needs: Full sun is preferred for broccoli, though it can tolerate partial shade.
  3. Corn:
    • Height: 6-10 feet
    • Microgreen Harvest: Corn is not typically grown as microgreens.
    • Maturity: 60-100 days
    • Water Requirements: Consistent moisture is crucial for corn’s growth.
    • Light Needs: Corn requires full sun for optimal growth.
  4. Edamame (Soy):
    • Height: Varies (2 to 5 feet)
    • Microgreen Harvest: Edamame is not typically grown as microgreens.
    • Maturity: 80-120 days
    • Water Requirements: Consistent moisture is crucial for soybean plants.
    • Light Needs: Full sun is necessary for soybean growth.
  5. Kale:
    • Height: 1 to 3 feet
    • Microgreen Harvest: Microgreens can be harvested when they reach 1-2 inches in height, typically within 1-2 weeks after sowing.
    • Maturity: 50-70 days
    • Water Requirements: Consistently moist soil is crucial for kale’s development, whether as microgreens or mature plants.
    • Light Needs: Kale prefers full sun but can tolerate partial shade.
  6. Parsley:
    • Height: 6-12 inches
    • Microgreen Harvest: Microgreens can be harvested when they reach 1-2 inches in height, typically within 2-3 weeks after sowing.
    • Maturity: 70-90 days
    • Water Requirements: Evenly moist soil is essential for parsley’s growth, whether as microgreens or mature plants.
    • Light Needs: Parsley can thrive in partial shade to full sun conditions.
  7. Peas:
    • Height: Varies (1 to 6 feet)
    • Microgreen Harvest: Microgreens can be harvested when they reach 2-3 inches in height, typically within 2-3 weeks after sowing.
    • Maturity: 60-90 days
    • Water Requirements: Peas require regular watering to support their growth, whether as microgreens or mature plants.
    • Light Needs: Full sun is necessary for optimal pea growth.
  8. Quinoa:
    • Height: 3-6 feet
    • Microgreen Harvest: Quinoa is not typically grown as microgreens.
    • Maturity: 90-120 days
    • Water Requirements: Moderate moisture levels are required for quinoa plants.
    • Light Needs: Quinoa requires full sun for optimal growth.
  9. Spinach:
    • Height: 6-12 inches
    • Microgreen Harvest: Microgreens can be harvested when they reach 1-2 inches in height, typically within 1-2 weeks after sowing. Maturity: 30-50 days
    • Water Requirements: Spinach prefers consistently moist soil to support its rapid growth as both microgreens and mature plants.
    • Light Needs: Full sun is preferred for spinach, but it can tolerate partial shade.
  10. Sunflower:
    • Height: Varies (2 to 12 feet)
    • Microgreen Harvest: Microgreens can be harvested when they reach 1-2 inches in height, typically within 1-2 weeks after sowing.
    • Maturity: 70-100 days
    • Water Requirements: Regular watering is necessary for sunflowers to thrive.
    • Light Needs: Sunflowers require full sun for optimal growth.