Sprouts and Microgreens

Sprouts are one of the easiest ways to get fresh, extremely nutritious veggies in our diets right now. You can
grow a whole crop in less than a week from start to finish, with nothing more than a jar and some cheesecloth. Well, you do need seeds of course! You can find them at online at Amazon or if you prefer to shop local – Grow Masters in Gurnee or other health food stores.

Alfalfa sprouts are probably the quickest and easiest as well as very prolific. Radish and mustard sprouts add more spice and flavor. Broccoli and kale are highly nutritious.

Start by soaking your chosen seeds a few hours or overnight. Drain them and put them in a container—it can be a sprouting tray or just a jar with cheesecloth rubber banded on top. Rinse and drain morning and evening and let them sit. They don’t need the sun. After four to seven days, you’ll have an abundant crop of sprouts ready to be rinsed (to remove seed hulls if you like) and enjoyed.

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Microgreens are even easier. Start with a fairly flat container such as the clear plastic containers that fresh fruits come in. (Think strawberries, blueberries, raspberries or blackberries and even better if it has a hinged lid). Fill the container with an inch of potting mix—a little less if the container is very shallow. Be sure the potting mix is moist. Place seeds on top of potting mix. Be generous and plant them thick. Add just enough potting mix to cover the seeds. Always place a tray beneath the container to catch water runoff. Place in a warm, sunny spot and wait for the seeds to sprout. Keep the potting mix moist but not saturated. When your microgreens have the second to third sets of leaves you can trim them for your salads. Use the whole stem and all the leaves on it. 

The brassicaceae family of seeds do very well for microgreens—broccoli, cabbage, kohlrabi, brussels sprouts, radishes—and any of the lettuces and greens (mustard, collards, turnip). Your microgreens will be ready to use in two to three weeks. You can plant these all through the winter too.