7 Reasons to Grow Microgreens at Home

A DIY microgreen garden is easy to grow and provides a healthy harvest.

Aug 13, 2020

The best things come in small packages. If you are looking for bite-sized nutrition, microgreens are a great choice. A plant’s first few leaves offer a powerhouse of nutrition. Plus, microgreens are easy to grow at home and can be ready to eat in a few weeks.

Microgreens are baby plants that haven’t grown to maturity. Unlike sprouts, which are essentially germinated seeds grown in water, microgreens are the stem and first leaves of a plant and are grown in soil, according to The Better India.

What’s really exciting is that microgreens can also be grown from many different types of plants, according to Micro Gardener, such as salad greens, herbs, root vegetables and even edible flowers making them diverse, exciting, and extremely flavorful.

Incorporating microgreens into the modern diet is therefore an easy way to both nourish and detoxify our bodies without spending a fortune, or cooking up an intricate or time-consuming dish said The Better India. Furthermore, because they do not need to mature, require very few resources, and can grow easily indoors. 

Keep in mind that microgreens should always be eaten raw and grown organically. “Never cook your microgreens,” Swati Jain, founder of India-based startup The First Leaf told Better India. “They’re [microgreens] too delicate in nature, and the moment you expose them to heat, they start losing their vitality and nutrition.”

Microgreens are packed with nutrition
According to a study conducted by the University of Maryland, microgreens hold between four to 40 times the nutritional benefits of their matured counterparts. They contain vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, C, and K plus essential minerals.

On his website, Darin Olien writes that microgreens are filled with up to 100 times the number of enzymes found in the mature vegetable, aiding the digestive system in every bite.

By adding just a tiny amount to shakes, salads, sushi wraps, or dips, one can greatly increase their daily nutritional intake. Olien also explains that the high amounts of nutrients increase the alkalinity of your body and strengthens your system against  disease.

Microgreens need very little space
Growing microgreens is an easy way to increase local and urban agriculture since very little space is needed for plants to flourish according to the Micro Gardener. You can grow them in your kitchen, on a windowsill, or on a balcony in the summer.

Microgreens grow quickly 
Since microgreens grow very quickly – within one to three weeks – even if a batch isn’t very successful, very little time or resources were dedicated. This is a particularly great way for novice gardeners to begin exploring the world of gardening without the pressures typically associated with food production. 

Microgreens are inexpensive
Because microgreens don’t need a lot of soil, fertilizer, water, and other resources, these greens are very affordable to grow. While some starter packs are available for purchase, there are many DIY methods that use standard materials readily available at home. 

Microgreens can be grown year-round
Growing microgreens indoors means that regardless of the weather or season, one can grow a consistent supply year-round. All that is needed is a south-facing window or a grow-light so that the plants get some photosynthesis. It is also a fun family activity.

Microgreens are a sustainable food choice
Whereas other superfoods often travel across the world in plastic packaging to reach our tables, microgreens can be grown zero-waste, locally, and fertilizer-free  if you do not choose to grow your own  which significantly minimizes greenhouse gases associated with food production. 

Microgreens are a powerhouse of taste
You can grow such a variety of microgreens, and enjoy a different taste in each microgreen crunch. Basil, notes Andrew Neves of Microgreens World, has a lemony flavor, while beets are earthy tasting. Arugula, mustard, and radish microgreens are spicy. Kale microgreens are sweet, while sunflower microgreens are both sweet and nutty. Then there is mung bean, chia, buckwheat, cauliflower, and broccoli. The list goes on. Enjoy a nutritious, delicious taste test at home.

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HILLA BENZAKEN, CONTRIBUTOR
Hilla Benzaken is a dedicated optimist. Her happy place involves cooking, acting, gardening, and fighting for social justice. She writes about all things sustainability, innovation, and DIY.