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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I'm interested in hearing how some folks are growing micro greens. Do they have to be grown in soil? I've heard some use a felted pad. Will wool felt work and how do you clean it to be reusable?

How much do you sprout to feed yourselves?
 

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I dunno if this is what you're talking about, but sprouts can be grown in just a mason jar with cheesecloth covering it. I tried doing this with broccoli sprouts recently, but they always smelled off to me, so I stopped. My mom did it with good luck with alfalfa spourts, though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Microgreens grow a little bigger than sprouts and you harvest at 1-2 inches. They are seedslike Arugala and stuff like that. They are supposed to be quite the "gourmet" item these days, but since I'm looking at going on a three year retreat in a few years, and I won't have lots of mindspace for gardening (and I live in Arizona where water will have to be harvested -no well where I'm going), I thought microgreens might be a good choice. I was going to sprout also, but these give you a more salad-y kind of food.

I have only seen them online (pictures) but I bought a couple of seed packs at the local nursery to try them out. I just wanted to know more about whether people grow them in soil or those mats I've seen.
 

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rabbithorns: I am in tucson too!

Where did you pick up Microgreen seeds? Are they just early harvested regular lettucey seeds? I love them, I eat them with chick pea salad on a toasted sprouted wheat bread!


H
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That's pretty much what they seem to be. The packages I got were regular seed packs (like any flower or veg) so they are not really cost effective but good for a trial I figure. I got mine at Mesquite Valley Growers on Speedway just east of Pantano. They are Botanical Interests brand. One says Micro Greens - spicy mix and the other is mild mix. $1.79 each. The package says 25 days and harvested when 1-2 inches.

They include: Beet Bulls Blood, Bok Choy, Kohlrabi, chard,mustards, radish, cress...

I looked up microgreens online and there's lots about making a business of it using large shallow planter trays, but you can also buy seeds. I'm hoping to start them next week.

Do you make your own sprouted wheat bread or are you buying it? I also want to try to sprout wheat, grind it and try essene bread solar dried.

Tucson: solar cooking - good! Oven in summer - bad!
 

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Could you grow them indoors? I'd assume you'd be able to keep the inside of your house more humid than outdoor Arizona. Like grow the micro greens in a tray and bring them into the bathroom with you for a shower and keep them near the kitchen sink otherwise.

I'd love to have a skylight in my bathroom. My great aunt does and she can grow all kinds of stuff in her bathroom with only a very minimal amount of watering because of the steam from her showers.
 

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I am sure I call what you micro greens mesclun. It's basically an instant salad. I grow it in soil in the garden anywhere I can fit it. Last year we grew some in the glass house over winter which was really good. I imagine you could grow it on a felted wool pad but I would prefer to grow it in decent soil so it is more nutritious. But then I guess you could liquid feed it with something when it was growing on the wool pad as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm assuming they can be grown indoors and most commercial ones are grown in flats in a greenhouse type of thing (as per the photos I've seen). I wish I could use the bathroom, but there's no window, and the light is hooked up to an exhaust fan which I can't seem to disconnect so all our moisture goes out the exhaust.

Luckily we use a swamp cooler so we get plenty of moisture in the home in summer. And the indoor temp is about 77. Very comfortable.
 

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Hi! I used to work for a specialty greens grower, and we grew, harvested and sold lots of micro greens for restaurants around town.

We bought all our seeds through Johnny's Seeds in Maine. They have a sprouting section, listing those that are good for microgreens and sprouting. We grew red chard, beets, arugula, radish, red mustard, sunflower, mizuna, tatsoi, maybe some others.

They're delicious, but I would say expensive to grow. We charged $10/lb wholesale. We would fill a flat about 2/3 with soil, make 4 rows, sprinkle seed, cover them, place them in the greenhouse, keep damp, water 1-2xs a day, depending on the time of year, and harvest them, cutting them when they were about 2 inches tall with scissors, rinse them. We'd sell a lot of mixed batches, kind of like a mesclen. We would throw the soil, roots and stems into the truck and dump them in the fields that we gardened. So, you use a lot of soil. I never used felt, but I guess you could. But you don't get the nutrition that the soil gives them. But I guess sprouts don't have that either.

Sunflower sprouts were my favorite. Delicious and sweet. I could eat them by the pound! If you check with Johnny's, ask for a commercial catalog. I'm looking in my home growers catalog right now and only see sprouts, not microgreen sprouts. It's the same seeds, just sold in 10lb packages, even 20lb for the sunflower.

If you grow them, see if you can sell some to the upscale restaurants in your area. They use them to garnish mostly. Mustards and radish have a strong flavor! A mix is very tasty. You could even mix your seed before you plant them. Most of them sprout at the same time, minus sunflower. Enjoy!

 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Awesome info and thanks! I'm not looking to go into business, but I need to start developing a lifestyle that is fairly self-sufficient. DH and I are planning to attend a three year retreat beginning in 2010 and we have one kid to cut loose first plus two more years of training after that. Then we want to be as "unbothered" as possible like have fewer fresh groceries delivered, etc. That's why I wondered about trying out microgreens. I need to slowly incorporate these things into life now to be prepared then. I think 10 lbs of seed would go a long way for someone only eating 1 1/2 small meals a day anyway.
 
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