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Old January 26, 2017   #61
Black Krim
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Jumping in....I have been planning for years to grow greens for home use. Still working out the kinks...

I tried eating pea leaves from the garden last summer as the year prior I had liked nibbling on the Dwarf Sugar Grey.....conclusion, any other pea leave was spat out, I couldnt swallow it. Only the DSG had a sweet delicious pea flavor. ( The other vines were rolled up into a bundle and feed to the sheep.

So will be interesting to see what varieties you are trialling and hear what your tastebuds liked!!

After several failures, I figured out that sprouts need MULTIPLE " washings" a day to sprout. I have mastered sprouting lentils. Why lentils??? Because they were in the pantry.

Using appropriate seed IMO is very important. Reading JSS seed for sprouting conveys information about testing the seed for hazardous mold etc that would not be a problem when planting BUT as a sprout, likely the makings of another Salem Witch trial.

Because of this I am leary to grow and store my own dried beans.

But as I can buy tested seed....Im all for sprouting. I especially like that the sprouts in soil are greener and likely more loaded with good stuff. ( Read long ago about one nutrient that is only in the young sprout that is valuable health wise--sorry details are long gone form memory.)

I started learning about sprouts etc from THE SPROUT LADY, a book wriitten long ago but very inspiring and led me to her other books.

Need to find those cafeteria trays.....they are stored somewhere .....just not sure where...
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Old January 26, 2017   #62
MuddyToes
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I'll space the next batch of peas more. Thanks!

I have French Mix from Sprout People and Broccoli Blend from High Mowing. I've never tried to get microgreens from these. Come to think of it, I think my peas came from SP as well. Previously, I just sprouted in a Mason jar. I wanted to try something a little more substantial with the peas though.
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Old January 26, 2017   #63
LDx4
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Originally Posted by MuddyToes View Post
Thanks, Lyn. I will try fussing over them less. How closely do you space the peas? Mine were single layer but touching.
I space the peas quite closely. After trying many amounts, I've settled on 14 oz of dry peas for a standard 1020 nursery tray, or 2.25 oz for a small round container that I use. They are touching and in fact, overlapping in some areas. I find that a full lush tray looks more attractive to buyers. But you can space more sparsely if you like for home use. I normally use Dwarf Grey Sugar Peas or Dun (field) peas. They taste the best to me and are usually the varieties sold as microgreen peas.

I sell the small round containers as "harvest your own" microgreens. The customer buys the entire tray (a throw-away take out container) and can watch the peas grow and then harvest them at home themselves. They are pretty popular. I have a couple of regular customers who buy multiple trays every week.
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Old January 26, 2017   #64
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Might be too dense a planting. Peas and beans can sometimes triple in size during germination.

Just remembered another interesting blend from the SproutPeople.
Oakley,

Let me know if you like the Nalo Mix. I grew it several years ago and it wasn't a big hit with my customers, so I stopped growing it. Here's one that's always popular: spicy oriental mustard, sango radish (red) and purple stem radish (green). It's spicy and looks pretty on the tray. On the right side you can see a new tray that I just started. I spread the seeds pretty densely.

Lyn

PS - sorry for the LARGE photos; don't know why they uploaded so big!
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Old January 26, 2017   #65
LDx4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Krim View Post
Jumping in....I have been planning for years to grow greens for home use. Still working out the kinks...

I tried eating pea leaves from the garden last summer as the year prior I had liked nibbling on the Dwarf Sugar Grey.....conclusion, any other pea leave was spat out, I couldnt swallow it. Only the DSG had a sweet delicious pea flavor. ( The other vines were rolled up into a bundle and feed to the sheep.

So will be interesting to see what varieties you are trialling and hear what your tastebuds liked!!

After several failures, I figured out that sprouts need MULTIPLE " washings" a day to sprout. I have mastered sprouting lentils. Why lentils??? Because they were in the pantry.

Using appropriate seed IMO is very important. Reading JSS seed for sprouting conveys information about testing the seed for hazardous mold etc that would not be a problem when planting BUT as a sprout, likely the makings of another Salem Witch trial.

Because of this I am leary to grow and store my own dried beans.

But as I can buy tested seed....Im all for sprouting. I especially like that the sprouts in soil are greener and likely more loaded with good stuff. ( Read long ago about one nutrient that is only in the young sprout that is valuable health wise--sorry details are long gone form memory.)

I started learning about sprouts etc from THE SPROUT LADY, a book wriitten long ago but very inspiring and led me to her other books.

Need to find those cafeteria trays.....they are stored somewhere .....just not sure where...
Due to the salmonella and e-coli outbreaks with sprouts in the 90s, it's almost impossible to find sprouts grown by a small producer. The gov't regulations are just too hard to implement unless you're a large company and can afford it.

Also, Drs are now telling pregnant women and those with compromised immune systems to stay away from sprouts grown in water. The bacteria danger is just too high. Microgreens are safer because you only eat the sprouted part. The seed and the root (where the bacteria can grow) stay in the soil.

I used to sprout in mason jars for my own use back in the 80s and never had a problem though.

Lyn
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Old January 26, 2017   #66
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Very pretty, Lyn. It's makin' me hungry :p

Last edited by MuddyToes; January 26, 2017 at 05:31 PM.
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Old January 26, 2017   #67
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This is a plant. Not a sprout like the 70's sprout in a wet jar. Don't confuse this with a sprout.
I grow salad. A plant. Much further along than a wet jar sprout.
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Old January 26, 2017   #68
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ldx4, is that spicy mix closer to sprouts than microgreens, but just in a tray instead of a jar?
I would guess, b/c your seed density in that pic is many times what I sow for what me and Oakley are calling microgreens. I grow to a true leaf that is more than showing, and somewhat expanded.
What I'm also trying to figure out is why my full grown tray's canopy looks as dense as yours but my seeding amount looks at least half.
I hope this is not coming across as condescending, just trying to figure out your method for comparison or maybe consider playing with rates.

Last edited by PureHarvest; January 26, 2017 at 07:47 PM.
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Old January 26, 2017   #69
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Hmmm. I am building a smallish cold frame to start/germinate some seeds. I should have some room to spare for micro greens, just as a trial. I prefer sweet and peppery tasting greens. What do you recommend ?
BTW my mustard and cilantro got toasted when temperatures dropped to 16F. They had survived many nights of down to 24F. That was in early January.
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Old January 26, 2017   #70
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PureHarvest, what you and Oakley are growing are technically called "baby greens." Microgreens are usually younger, 8-14 days old, and only the cotyledon stage of a plant. According to some research in the scientific journal world, when harvested at the cotyledon stage, the greens are more nutrient-dense and can have up to 40 times the nutritional value of the full grown plant. Once the plant starts producing true leaves, the nutritional value, while still excellent, is less dense because energy is going into the larger leaves.

That said, when growing for restaurants, they typically want "prettier" greens with true leaves. But they still will call them microgreens. Also, if you look at the microgreens pictures on the seed websites, they usually show the greens at the baby green stage because they look prettier and more distinctive.

I grow only to the true microgreen stage for a couple of reasons: my customers are mostly health-conscious and respond positively (i.e., they buy my product) when I tell them the health benefits of the cotyledon stage. Second, growing to the baby greens stage takes a little longer and since I am limited in my space since I grow indoors and only have two 10x12 rooms to use, I need to start a new planting cycle every Friday to be on schedule for my weekend markets. I just don't have the room to hold trays over for more than 12-14 days. Plus, depending on the variety, some do better if you add some fertilizer at about the 10 day mark. I don't want to start adding fertilizer because of cost and because I promote my greens as "organic soil + organic seeds + purified water - that's all" which is a good selling point for my customers.

Here's some definitions used in this industry:

Sprouts: grown in water; you eat the sprouted cotyledon, the seed casing and the root.
Microgreens: grown in soil or hydroponically on grow mats; you eat the sprouted cotyledon.
Baby greens: grown in soil or hydroponically; you eat the cotyledon and first true leaves.

Your tray canopy looks as dense as mine because it is as dense - you've got more leaves and they're bigger. If I were growing just for my own use, I would grow to the true leaf stage because they're prettier and less seed gets used up. If I ever get more space to grow, I will probably expand into baby greens also. But for now, I need to harvest them younger.

Sorry for the dissertation on microgreens! I've put a lot of research into this business and I'm pretty passionate about growing them (can you tell? ). I get instant gratification on a daily basis watching these trays sprout and grow.
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Old January 26, 2017   #71
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Originally Posted by Gardeneer View Post
Hmmm. I am building a smallish cold frame to start/germinate some seeds. I should have some room to spare for micro greens, just as a trial. I prefer sweet and peppery tasting greens. What do you recommend ?
BTW my mustard and cilantro got toasted when temperatures dropped to 16F. They had survived many nights of down to 24F. That was in early January.
Gardeneer,

For sweet greens try Dwarf Grey pea shoots. Taste just like sweet peas.
For peppery, try arugula, any of the mustards, radish or make a spicy mix with several kinds of mustard plus curly cress and arugula. Any of the cool season vegetables should produce well in your cold frame. As long as it doesn't get down to 16F again!!

Lyn
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Old January 27, 2017   #72
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Gardeneer,

For sweet greens try Dwarf Grey pea shoots. Taste just like sweet peas.
For peppery, try arugula, any of the mustards, radish or make a spicy mix with several kinds of mustard plus curly cress and arugula. Any of the cool season vegetables should produce well in your cold frame. As long as it doesn't get down to 16F again!!

Lyn
Thanks Lyn
Our climate is mild. Like right now the 15 days forecast calls for lows down to 29F. In the cold frame it should stay few degrees warmer.
I like Aurugula. It has a nice peppery taste.
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Old January 27, 2017   #73
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Thanks Lyn
Our climate is mild. Like right now the 15 days forecast calls for lows down to 29F. In the cold frame it should stay few degrees warmer.
I like Aurugula. It has a nice peppery taste.
Will they germinate in those low temps? Or will you start them indoors? Our climate is pretty similar, it seems. I love Arugula and Cress.

My cilantro is going strong in my raised bed. I just have a light row cover on it. I wish I liked cilantro more. I have it mixed in with cress. I've been thinking of tossing some Arugula seeds in there but I don't want to waste them if it's too cold.
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Old January 27, 2017   #74
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Am I the only one for whom arugula tastes & smells like skunk?
Nan
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Old January 27, 2017   #75
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Nan, it does, and, ahem, I like that...

LD, that was good info. Thank you so much. I'm looking for full nutrient value and will harvest a little earlier. I don't mind buying/using more seed if I can up my nutrition.
And you are right on fert. I added a little at day 10 or so because I could tell the color was waning on the coteyledons.
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