|Beet and Kale Microgreens, Photo Borrowed from Johnny's Selected Seeds|
One of the things I've discovered during my declining health is what my diet is missing from salads. During the summer, I eat enough fresh vegetables (including tomatoes) that I don't notice any deficit, but it has become more apparent lately.
When I was first diagnosed with liver disease, they put me through 6 months of testing all parts of my body to determine if I was healthy enough for a liver transplant. During that time, they pulled all my teeth except 6 teeth in the lower front. Tooth decay had been a life-long problem for me despite throwing many thousands of dollars into my mouth for root canals, crowns and bridges and still losing the teeth.
Medicare will not pay for dentures and I haven't had an extra $5-6,000 sitting around to pay for them myself, but I get by except for the few things I cannot chew easily, notably a steak and most salad greens. I can manage romaine but not the baby greens I so love, and eating only romaine in salads gets old.
Micro greens turn out to be a great alternative that I can actually chew, and interestingly enough, they contain more nutrition than those same greens grown to full size! Over the course of this past summer I have been buying micro greens at the farmer's market but now they are closed for the winter so I ordered seeds and trays to grow my own, inside on a bookshelf under a windowsill.
To start off, I bought a quarter pound each of 2 mixes from Johnny's, one spicy (red and green mustards with various textures) and one a mild mix (Mizuna, Cabbage, Kale, and Kohlrabi). When I get the hang of growing them, I can buy the specific micro greens I prefer (and there are oodles of choices), but I thought this was a good way to start.
|After 4 Days|
My first try was to sow just a few rows of each in one tray just to see how they grow, although my ordered pack of trays was for 6 trays. I only have enough windowsill for 2 trays, leaving room enough for my cat to lounge in the sun's scant rays.
The first seeds (uncovered) sprouted in 4-5 days and the instructions said 10-15 days to maturity (cutting). I think the first sowing will barely make 1 salad with other additions, so I should get 2-3 servings per full tray and will do continuous sowing as I use them.
|After 6-7 Days|
I should be able to cut them in another week.
Update, Dec 23. My micro greens are languishing for lack of enough light on the window sills. They don't even have a true set of leaves yet and are very leggy. My after-Christmas chore will be to hang a grow light (a fluorescent light with one cool-white bulb and one warm-light bulb) over that windowsill before I sow another batch. I have the light fixture, just need bulbs but I'm NOT braving the last-minute Christmas shoppers for them.