Each New Year feels like a fresh start to me and an opportunity to explore new ways to go deeper, have more fun and enjoy life. As winter digs its tendrils into the garden and sends its icy fingers everywhere, I enjoy being cozy in a warm house. Yet, I do long for the taste of spring.
For most of us, the garden has been put to bed. Eating from my garden is one of my greatest joys. Well, I found my winter solution. While living in New Mexico I had very poor soil and abundant light many days. I began growing microgreens—shoot peas and sunflowers. Inspired by others’ efforts, I expanded to broccoli, kale and cilantro microgreens, etc. In one to two weeks, in our 65-degree home, we had greens all winter long. An indoor garden helps lighten the winter blues, the grey, rainy or snowy days. Daily I checked for emerging greens. Much to my surprise, they thrived indoors-- even on grey days...like in rainy Hawaii where we had more clouds than sunlight. And now I am growing microgreens in Colorado.
Do you miss the fresh taste of peas, beets, cilantro, gentle, or piquant flavors to complement your salad, your soup or to add nutrition to your smoothie?
In my joy, I began selling them at our local farmers’ market and then teaching folks to grow their own. I found that most microgreens are easy to grow and inexpensive (less than store bought and much fresher). You can grow them in plastic pots with drainage holes, in fruit clamshell containers, or in anything with drainage holes. If you compost, you already have a good soil base. If you sprout or want to learn, you are on your way. And many seeds are just planted dry. You can maximize your nutritional content with these little gems and avoid bacterial problems from packaged greens. FYI my secret: it takes me 5-10 minutes a day to grow enough greens for 4 people.
By Alima Susan Friar