Growing Micro-Greens

cookbook_logo_b&wAs promised, in this blog we’re going to show you how to grow super nutritious micro-greens for pennies on the dollar. The micro-greens that we’re looking at today are broccoli, peas, kale, and mustard. A study done by the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry points to higher concentrations of nutrients in micro-greens. Between four and forty times more concentrated. A lay version of these findings can be found on WebMD.

At forty times the nutritional value you only have to eat one fifth of an ounce of micro-greens to obtain the same nutritional value of eight ounces of the fully matured vegetable. At four times the nutritional value you’d eat two ounces instead of eight. If you grow the greens yourself you’ll save from 40-90% of what it would cost to buy the matured vegetable in the store and you don’t have to drive to the store. As a comparison, eight ounces of broccoli will cost you about 63 cents. A fifth of an ounce of broccoli micro-greens will cost you three cents to grow. Two ounces of the broccoli greens will cost you 34 cents.

Micro-greens are extremely easy to grow. They have a short grow time, typically 10-14 days, take up little space,  you can grow them year round and you get the full nutritional value of the plant when you eat them right after you cut them. All you need to feed them is water and light. So in the middle of winter when the price of fresh produce skyrockets, you can have fresh micro-greens at a fraction of the cost of the matured produce.

If you have kids the benefits of growing your own micro-greens can be enormous. A study  done by the Copenhagen Consensus Center and reported on Freakonomics Radio indicates that if you get better nutrition to kids early in life, their brains develop more, they stay longer in school and they learn more. Good nutrition allows them to make three times the income when they become adults than they would without good nutrition. So they’re much more productive in society. Estimates are that for every dollar spent on good nutrition, kids receive about $59 worth of benefit.

Here is a list of what you’ll need to grow your own micro-greens: trays that drain, trays that don’t, paper towels, water jugs, a spray mister, hydroponic grow mats, potting soil (only needed for chard and beets), seed, some type of shelf, a shop light and full spectrum florescent bulbs. We suggest you get the paper towels, spray mister, shelf, light and bulbs from your local hardware store. All the other materials you can get at either Johnny’s Selected Seeds,  or Handy Pantry.

Chard and beets are the only greens that need to be grown in potting soil. In addition chard and beet seeds need to be soaked for twenty four hours before planting. All other greens can be grown in the hydroponic grow mats.

A video from Peaceful Desert Homestead shows you step-by-step how to grow micro-greens.

The Occupy Cookbook is a “do it yourself” program that shows you how to keep your hard earned cash out of the hands of the one percent.

Jim Sea has a Masters in Divinity, a Masters of Social Work, was a registered investment advisor and residential realtor.

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