Locally grown microgreens

Author: Loralie

What I Learned About the Farmer’s Market by Being a Vendor

What I Learned About the Farmer’s Market by Being a Vendor

This summer my husband and I started a new adventure by becoming a vendor at our local farmer’s market.  This is a very large, well attended market with space for 72 vendors.  Most Saturdays every space is filled with a few less vendors on Wednesdays.  I’ve […]

Greenhouse and Hog Farm Tour-Know Your Farmer Part 1

Greenhouse and Hog Farm Tour-Know Your Farmer Part 1

In the interest of connecting consumers with farmers the Farm Bureau hosts bloggers on a farm tour once or twice a year. At our first stop we toured a greenhouse and pig barn.  The greenhouse is a fairly new addition to the farm. One of […]

Microgreens: How to Use Them

Microgreens: How to Use Them

Microgreens have a higher nutrient density compared with mature greens.  To learn more about microgreens in general click here. That’s all well and good but how do you get all the green goodness into your diet?  Adding microgreens to your diet is less about recipes and more about ideas.  They can be added raw to:

  • salads
  • soups
  • sandwiches
  • stir-fries
  • smoothies
  • wraps
  • omelets
  • quiche
  • smoothies

They can be juiced for green juices, or used as an edible garnish.  You can use them alone as a salad or tossed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Here are a few ideas to help you get started:

turkey quesadia wih micro

Turkey Quesadilla with broccoli microgreens.

nappa cab with beet micro

Nappa Cabbage salad with beet microgreens, grilled chicken, mandarin oranges, and slivered almonds.

spinach salad w broc micro

Spinach salad with strawberries, sunflower seeds, grilled chicken and broccoli microgreens.

The possibilities are endless.  What do you like to add microgreens to?

Microgreens: How to Harvest and Wash

Microgreens: How to Harvest and Wash

If you are wondering what microgreens are you can get some general information in this post.  You have your micro greens that you’ve either grown or perhaps purchased.  I think the best way to purchase microgreens is as living plants.  As soon as you cut […]

New Genetic Engineering Tool Needs no USDA Approval

New Genetic Engineering Tool Needs no USDA Approval

There is a new genetic engineering technology called CRISPR that will create foods that do not need to be approved by the USDA.  Here is a sciency article about the technology.  The CRISPR technique deletes or edits gene sequences and since there is no foreign DNA introduced, the […]

Get to Know Micro-greens

Get to Know Micro-greens

microgreens

What are micro-greens?  You aren’t alone if you are asking that question.  Micro-greens are really small versions of plants you already know and love (well even if you don’t love some of their grown up counterparts, you may still love micros).  They are somewhere between a sprout and a “baby” green.

Micro greens are high in nutrient density.  Micro-greens can pack a lot of flavor in a small package.  They are versatile and can be added to lots of things.  They are beautiful!

red beet micros

They are quick and easy to grow if you want to grow your own.

Micro-greens are new (new enough that they aren’t in any local grocery stores), growing in popularity and some would call them a super food because they contain higher nutrient levels than their grown up counterparts.  There is a lot of misinformation and a bit of a grey area surrounding the topic of micro-greens and what to call them.  I’ve seen micro-greens also referred to as sprouts, shoots, and sprouted greens.  I’ve seen sprouts referred to as micro-greens or leafy sprouts.  Confusing, I know.

What ever you call them, I want you to know the difference between micro-greens and sprouts.  Micro-greens are not sprouts as I would define sprouts.  Sprouts are germinated seeds, usually grown without medium,  kept moist through the growing process.  Micro-greens differ from sprouts in a number of ways.  Micro-greens are grown in a medium (seed starting mix, soil, grow mat, etc). Micro-greens are usually grown a little longer than sprouts. Sprouts are usually not grown past the cotyledon (those first leaves that appear when a seed germinates) stage.  Micro-greens are often (but not always) grown to the first set of true leaves (the next set that follows the cotyledons).   Something grown even longer, I would call a shoot.

Pea shoots
Pea shoots

Unlike sprouts, the seed and root of micro-greens are not consumed.  Micro-greens are cut above the soil level to harvest and then washed or rinsed.

cutting micros

Some types of micro-greens may have a few seed hulls attached when ready to harvest.  Most of these will fall off during the rinsing.  With sprouts the entire product is kept constantly moist. With Micro-greens, the seeds are kept moist until they germinate and then only the medium is kept moist.

So now that you know what micro-greens are, you can watch for them to pop up in restaurants and farmers markets in your area.

Organic Food-Cheap, Just Ask!

Organic Food-Cheap, Just Ask!

I got 4 dozen of these extra large, organic, brown eggs for .25 a dozen this week!  One of our local grocery stores is very proactive about discounting eggs and dairy that are about to expire.  Expiration dates are really more like suggestions than hard and fast […]

DIY Step-Cheap

DIY Step-Cheap

We needed a step between the garage door and the patio so we repurposed some things we had on had to make step.  We used a scrap 2×4 to build a box, filled it with dirt, placed 3 stepping stones on top (they don’t show up very well […]

Grow a Little Fruit Tree- Book Review

Grow a Little Fruit Tree- Book Review

IMG_5417

I just finished reading Grow a Little Fruit Tree by Ann Ralph.  Around our home we have a pear tree, two apple trees, and a plum tree.  Last year I cut down the peach tree (the second one in that spot) that was probably 10 years old.  We’ve also lost an apple tree (or was it two) and an apricot tree. All total I think I’ve eaten 2 peaches and 2 to 3 pears from all the trees over the years.  The pear tree is a giant squirrel feeder, the peach tree got brown rot and the peaches were wormy, some tress were lost in storms,  the apple never produced fruit.  I clearly need help.

Because we are on a city lot, I’ve always tried to buy dwarf or semi-dwarf trees.  Most of them turned out to be full size as far as I am concerned.  Last year I tried to get rid of the brown rot by spraying with an organic spray without success.  It was a hassle to get out the ladder and awkward trying to place it on the uneven ground.  It was nearly impossible to get the top parts of the tress sprayed.

I’ve been faithfully pruning the apple tree that has not produced a single apple.  Last year I bought a second apple tree, thinking that the tree needed another apple tree for pollination.  They bloomed at completely different times.  The original apple did set fruit, but every apple fell off long before they were full size.

Along comes this book, Grow a Little Fruit Tree, and it is exactly what I needed!

Here are some of the things I learned:

  • Most of the current advice on fruit tress is based on large scale production, not geared toward the back yard grower.
  • Pruning is more important to the eventual size of the tree than the designation of dwarf or semi dwarf.  By using the pruning techniques in this book you can keep a tree small.
  • You can shape the direction of growth on a tree by pruning above a bud that is pointing in the direction you want the growth to go.  I didn’t know that!
  • Since most fruit trees are grafted, the type of root stock is important to the overall success of the tree.
  • It is better to get a bare root tree than a potted tree from the nursery.

This book includes a lot of information on pruning, selection, planting, watering, feeding and harvesting.  The most radical idea is the first pruning cut when you plant the new tree.  It’s a little late for that in my case but I still learned some things I can do to keep my existing trees from getting too large.

The advantages of a small tree are numerous.  You can take better care of a tree if you can actually reach the branches and fruit.  You can plant more trees because you are keeping them small.  If you have more trees you can have a bigger variety of fruit.  You can have a manageable harvest with a smaller tree (not a problem for me in the past).

apple tree prune

It’s pruning time here so I’ve taken the advice in this book and my loppers and pruned my remaining fruit trees.  I cut the central leader out of both the plum and the newest apple.  I think it was harder on me than on the trees.  I plan to also prune in June as the author recommends to control the vigorous growth that results from the winter pruning. I’ll do the best I can on the pear.  The worst thing that can happen is that I deprive the squirrels of their feast.

 

Bird Song and Battles Round Two-What Would You Do?

Bird Song and Battles Round Two-What Would You Do?

A bird is building a nest in my green house.  Here we go again! Last Spring I battled a moma robin building a nest on my back porch light.  If my shades are up, I can see through one of the house windows into my 4 […]