It’s that time of year again, where I find that store bought greens are so un-appetizing, yet I am craving more raw, fresh green food. Being so anxious to start growing some of my own food, I decided to begin indoors.
Below I will show the process of growing buckwheat lettuce indoors, but the same steps would pertain to any microgreens you might choose to grow. The best choices for this type of quick, small scale growing, are greens that sprout in 3 days or so, and are leafy in 7-14 days.
Buckwheat lettuce is mild flavored with slightly tart undertones. It’s delicious on sandwiches, mixes well with other salad greens, adds a green boost to smoothies and is also just nice to nibble on it’s own.
You will want to have on hand some organic potting soil, a tray with drainage (I used an empty salad greens tray and drilled some holes in the bottom), a trowel or large spoon and your seeds of choice. Sunflower seeds (in the hull) are another great choice, with a much fuller bite and satisfying flavor.
Gently cover the seeds with a thin, smooth layer of soil – about 1/4 inch thick
Water your seeds very gently. I found the mist setting on my hose nozzle works well. A gentle pouring of what ever water you drink (I like to water my seeds with purified water) is also an easy way to water without too much disturbance.
Set in a well lit area, but out of direct sun. Keep the soil evenly moist, but not too wet. How often you will need to water will depend on the humidity in your house. In about 3 -4 days you should start to see tiny tails.
This is where we were at after 7 days of growth
And here we are at 9 days.
And here we are enjoying some of our homegrown greens!
I feel I should add that I recently read some articles regarding the potential toxicity of buckwheat greens. They contain a naturally occurring substance called fagopyrin, which, when ingested in large quantities, can cause photosensitivity. The quantities I have heard discussed are in the half pound and more per day, juicing large amount and eating large portions over lengths of time. I think that many foods can have toxic effects when eaten in large quantities over time, and I (as well as others who have touched on this subject) feel that when eaten in moderation buckwheat lettuce is a supportive, nutritive addition to the diet. I have grown these at different times throughout the years and have never had side effects from these greens. By rotating the micro-greens you grow, you will add variety and interest and not over do on any one in particular. Other possibilities for growing are sunflower, mesclun, alfalfa, broccoli, fenugreek, chia… We find ours at our local herb shop. Most health food stores will have a selection to choose from as well.
Have fun! It’s so satisfying to eat homegrown food.