Winter Greens

February 22, 2015

The end of February and it's 40 below tonight, could the winter be any worse.  At least with the harsh winter in Canada it forces us to really appreciate and take full advantage of the season while its here, especially trying to extend the fall and spring seasons.  But if you dont have access to a greenhouse or cold storage, a really easy way to incorporate fresh greens into your diet is with micro greens and sprouts.  Inexpensive, easy to grow, and easy to find the seeds, it offers nutrient rich fodder for your salads, soups, bread and sandwiches.                       
The most popular and easiest microgreens to grow are probably sunflower and pea.  Large and juicy shoots from large seeds that can easily be found on a multitude of websites, seed catalogues, even bulk foods carry many seeds that are safe for sprouting and microgreens, though the germination may not be the greatest.

The way we grow ours is quite simple, and there i no need for any special equipment.  All you need..

Seeds
Bowl
Water
Potting soil
Tray (can be a cookie sheet or loaf pan.)

Start by soaking your seeds, put your seeds in the bowl or jar and cover with an inch of water.  Start small, after a few times you will discover how many dry seeds you need for your container. In our 21" x 11" trays it is about 1.5 to 2 cups of dry peas or sunflowers.
                                     
Let your seeds soak overnight. 

Fill your tray with an inch of moist soil with all the chunks broken up.  Even out the soil than sprinkle the soaked seeds over the entire tray.  Press the seeds into the soil than gently water the tray until the soil glistens, trying not to get any soil on top of the seeds.                        
                                                   
Now place a tray on top of your seeds so that it keeps the seeds in the soil and keeps out the light.  In a few days, depending on the temperature, take off the tray and put your seeds in a sunny place.  Once they have grown to 4" or in the case of the sunflowers, the shell has fallen off the cotyledons, cut and enjoy.  Try to harvest the sunflowers before the first true leaves form, they are fuzzy and not as pleasant to eat.

 

The peas will regrow after cutting, but won't be as tender.  But if you are just doing it for yourself, we have easily done 3 cutings of the same tray of peas.  It is very easy to do at home, and once cut they last very well in the fridge as well.

We enjoy the pea and sunflowers together, usually in salads and sandwiches.  Often I will plant a tray half anf half to have both when ever I please. 

 

 

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