Microgeens are the very young, newly sprouted stage of many common vegetables. Most micros are harvested at the cotyledon stage, before the first true leaves appear. Anything that grows can be a microgreen but some plants do better than others. At Uphill Farm we grow pea, radish, sunflower and a salad greens mix. Each has their own characteristics. We also are always experimenting with new plant varieties; beet, buckwheat, chard, and basil are greens that we grow in limited quantities.
Microgreens start with a dense seed planting in a standard 10×20 plant tray filled with a mix of natural peat, vermiculite, perlite with a touch of powdered limestone, about an ounce of seed per tray. They are kept in total darkness for a few days after germination, this makes them “stretch”, which is just the opposite of what we want to have happen when growing plants for transplant, we want transplants in the light as soon as they germinate. When the micros are removed from darkness, they are pale white, but green up in a matter of hours once exposed to light.
Once in the light, the plants are misted twice a day, and watered as needed. They get no fertilizer of any kind, since the seed holds all the food they need for this stage of their life. After 10-14 days from seeding, micros are ready to harvest.
Microgreens are very versatile in what you can do with them, they are way more than a garnish. They add a flavor all their own and are great on a salad, in a sandwich, on soup, or with fish or meat.
Microgreen Types at Uphill Farm
Pea shoots are great on their own as a mini-salad or as addition to whatever you can think of. Raw or very lightly braised they are a real treat with a mild flavor reminiscent of … well, peas.
Radish micros have a bit of a tangy taste, like a radish. They give an added flavor dimension to whatever you add them to.
We have two types of salad mix, a spicy one and a basic greens mix. We call these “salad mix” because it is the same mixes that we use for our summer greens mix. Each one is unique.