The Great Indoors

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Micro greens

For those wanting to take their sprouting seeds one stage further, gourmet micro greens are the next step. Micro greens are, in essence, sprouting seeds left to grow on to reveal their first seedling leaves. Owing to their need for light they are grown in trays of compost or vermiculite, or trays lined with kitchen roll. Many of the seeds sold for sprouting can also be grown as gourmet greens, but to this exciting throng join the likes of radish, cabbage, mustard, rocket and that childhood favourite of cress.

Micro greens really are the last word in good eating. Relished by Michelin-starred chefs and honest gourmands alike, these tiny leaves pack a punch of flavour that belies their size. Never mind the usual bags of supermarket salads, gourmet greens are where it’s at! For the very best results simply sow seeds quite thickly into open trays or punnets filled with a 1cm-deep layer of vermiculite. Vermiculite is a sterile growing medium that will support the roots of your miniature veggies as they grow. While you can use compost, vermiculite is perhaps better as it won’t splash up and soil your greens as you water them.

Micro greens make the perfect windowsill crop

Keep your developing seedlings moist by misting the vermiculite daily using a spray bottle. Do not water them using a watering can or under the tap as you will only succeed in blasting out the vermiculite, complete with seeds! Maintain a warm environment and place your trays on a bright windowsill. Low light levels at this time of year might mean slower growth rates than in summer, but you can still expect to snip off your micro greens within just one to two weeks. Cut the stems as close to the growing medium as you can and give them a thorough rinse before eating to spray clear any traces of vermiculite or compost.

Both sprouting seeds and micro greens will naturally taste better if eaten immediately after harvesting and you’ll get more of their nutrients this way. However, if you need to keep them for another meal, they will happily remain fresh within a sealed bag or container kept within the fridge for a few days. Once you’ve given both methods a go you’ll see how easy it is to enjoy year-round sprouts and leaves – and that has to be a good thing!

The Great Indoors 1 2 3

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