Now that November is here, our fall gardens are reaching their conclusion, and I begin leaning into a different method of gardening to keep excercising my green thumb. I begin microgreening and sprouting like mad! There something about the colder months that push me into getting my kitchen counter organized, busting out the sprouting jars and the microgreens planting trays, getting my counter-top garden in place.
For those of you who may not know what microgreens are, they are simply certain plant varieties that are grown en masse on a grow surface, harvested when the seedlings are still very young. Microgreens make fantastic additions to numerous dishes, of course, but they also have aromatic properties that lift the spirit.
Sprouting is simply the act of growing certain plant varieties in water. Sprouts are usually consumed within 5 to 7 days of starting. A terrific snack that contain higher concentrations of nutrients compared to the sprout's full-grown counter part.
Much like an outdoor vegetable garden, there are numerous microgreens seed varieties and sprouting seed varieties to choose from. It can be a real joy picking what diverse seeds you'll grow throughout the winter.
A microgreen and sprouting garden is so useful to have during the winter months as you cook; it is a reminder of the spring that has past and will come and all the gardening that entails. A counter-top garden is a great way to grow older seeds, giving you more of a reason to try new garden varieties in the spring. Here's a holiday tip: grow tiny trays of microgreens and give them as gifts on Thanksgiving or Christmas. People love them.
Allow me to get poetic for a moment.
Some nomadic cultures throughout history would carry the smoldering remains of their fire with them as they traveled, often contained in a ceramic pot known as a fire pot. That way, when these travelers made camp again, starting the communal fire would be a quick task. I think of my microgreens and sprouting counter-top garden as my own personal "fire pot" containing the fiery remains of spring that will carry me through winter. Getting started again in the spring isn't a big task when I've already been gardening all winter long!
Fair warning, however, when you start microgreening and sprouting, it is hard to stop. You may find it turns into a year-round practice. It sure has for me!