February 8, 2018 This week’s farm veggie recipe idea:
Pear, Kale & Your Winter Season Sunflower Microgreens or Sprouts
Included in box: sweet potatoes, kale, pears
- Sweet potato/ pumpkin (roasted)
- Pear (sliced and oven cooked)
- Sunflower sprouts (sprouts are grown without soil) or microgreens (microgreens are grown with soil)
Some people ask if you can grow them without soil which is sprouting vs. growing micro-greens with soil. I have done both and I much prefer sunflowers as micro-greens. I get many more greens and they last longer.
Grow healthy and yummy sprouts by starting with the best seeds and soil. Here are some tips to get you started:
No fancy equipment need for this high-brow salad trimming. I used a biodegradable plastic salad box (make sure it’s food safe by checking the plastic number here); it’s the perfect soil tray and greenhouse. You could also use a milk jug cut in half, a cake tray, chicken dome, or whatever you can imagine that would create a mini greenhouse. Of course, you can use a dome made specifically for growing microgreens, the benefit being that it fits a standard seedling tray and has vents to allow humidity to regulate.
Use organic black oil sunflower seeds specifically labeled for sprouting or grow your own! Many people want to use the ones that are packaged as birdseed and I strongly don’t recommend as they are not regulated for human consumption. I always buy my sprouting seeds from a trusted source that intends them for sprouting to ensure health safety. You certainly could use raw striped sunflower seeds sold as snack foods (as long as they aren’t roasted, salted, and still have shells). I’ve used them before and they work well. The black oil sunflower seeds taste a bit better, so if you like the striped ones, then venture out to try the others someday.
You don’t need much, but choose your soil wisely. I use a sterilized seedling mix because it’s light and clean. Why not just use garden soil?
- Issues: First, soil gnats! Ugh, those annoying little flies that you JUST CAN NOT CATCH NO MATTER HOW HARD YOU TRY should be enough of a reason, but there are more.
- Second, the microbes, bacteria, fungi and other goodies in garden soil may be gold for outdoor growing, but those little seeds have all they need to grow into a nice crunchy microgreen without any additional soil nutrition. Plus, some of what is in your soil may not play nice with your sprouts, growing mould and killing them before you get them on your salad.
- Third, you need soil that will stay moist but not soggy and seedling mix is made just for this….Read more…