Growing Your Greens

Have you ever wanted to grow a garden, but don’t have the time or space? For a microgreen garden, all you need is a sunny window sill and your garden can be as small as you want it to be! Microgreens are tiny, edible greens grown from the seeds of vegetables and herbs like beets, radishes, broccoli, or kale. They are loaded with healthy antioxidants and vitamins and the nutrients vary based on which type you plant. The best part is it only takes 7-14 days from planting until you can eat them!

You may wonder how this is possible and what you can do with these little plants. They can be added to basically anything, swap them for lettuce in sandwiches or burgers, top off salads, or stir some into pasta dishes. They are more flavorful than their full grown versions so a little bit goes a long way. Just sprinkle a few into what you’re making and know that you grew part of your meal entirely by yourself!

Here’s how to start your microgreen garden:

Find a container. Your growing container can be whatever size you like, but a small container is recommended. Try finding something that you already have, like a plastic cup or an empty can.

Get your seeds. You can buy microgreen seed mixes, but sometimes they are hard to find so look for seeds of the individual plants (broccoli, kale, beet, or radish are popular).  Did you know you can use SNAP benefits to purchase seeds from stores that accept SNAP? It’s true!

Get a little bit of dirt to fill up your container. Leave a little bit of space at the top and save a small amount of dirt for later. Sprinkle the seeds on top of the dirt, don’t use the whole seed package just use about a spoonful, and add the remaining dirt on top. Save the leftover seeds by putting tape at the top of their packaging or storing them in a bag.

Water the seeds. Turn the sink on so a tiny stream of water is flowing and hold the container under the water, moving it around until all of the dirt is wet (but make sure you don’t soak the dirt the way through). Put in a lit area, like sunlight in a window or a room that always has the light on during the day, and wait for the plants to grow! You should start seeing tiny plants after about a week.

Harvest! When the plants are about 2 inches tall, about the size of your thumb, they are ready to be harvested! Use clean scissors to snip the plant stem near the dirt and collect the plants. Wash and eat! Store extras between damp paper towels and keep in an airtight container or plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Do it again! Once the greens are all harvested, you can stir the dirt with a fork and start another microgreens garden.

Written by Brandy Moser, Nutrition student at Boston University

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