Growing Microgreens in the Ability Garden
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As a Public Health student when it was time to find an internship, I jumped at the chance to work at The Ability Garden. Unbeknownst to me, to teach therapeutic horticulture and nature-based curriculums, I had to know a thing or two about gardening, not just admire the pretty flowers. While I exuded confidence, when it came down to teaching microgreens, I was lost. I have seen the small green things on top of salads and soups, but never truly inquired about them.
Microgreens are seeds that at a certain stage of development can be harvested, typically within two weeks of being planted. Microgreens can be grown from a wide variety of seeds, including arugula, broccoli, kale, radish, and sunflower. Each type of microgreen has a unique flavor profile and nutritional content, and did you know there are over 100 different types? They are packed with nutrients and flavor, making them an excellent addition to any dish. Microgreens are easy to grow, and they can be grown indoors or outdoors.
To grow microgreens, start by filling a tray or container with a good quality seed-starting mix. Sprinkle the seeds evenly over the soil and cover them with a thin layer of soil. Water the seeds gently, being careful not to disturb them. Place the tray in a warm, bright location, and keep the soil moist but not waterlogged, covering them with a plastic lid helps retain the moisture. Within a few days, the seeds will germinate, and within a week or two, you will have a tray full of fresh microgreens to pick off and eat! Harvest with sharp scissors, many microgreens are “cut and come again” so you can harvest multiple salad toppings over several weeks. For the most success read instructions on every packet as some require unique needs. Planting seeds and watching them grow is an ideal therapeutic gardening activity too. Not only can it create a sense of accomplishment and boost self-esteem, but it has been proven to reduce stress and improve mood.
My own experience with microgreens has been incredibly positive. I love the taste and the convenience of them. I was surprised at how easy they are to grow. I started with a sunflower radish mix and within 10 days, I had a steady supply of fresh greens. I now love experimenting with different combinations and recipes and feel confident sharing my knowledge. Overall, microgreens are a fantastic addition to any home garden, and I would highly recommend them to anyone looking for a quick and easy way to add some fresh, healthy greens to their diet.
Written by Gaines Carey, Ability Garden Public Health Intern