Why microgreens and baby greens?
These have a high/compact nutrient density and big taste and could qualify as 'superfoods'.
What can microgreens and baby greens be used for?
Plate decoration, smoothies, sandwiches and salads.
Materials and Equipment:
-Seeds from 'Eden Seeds'-) microgreens or baby greens (edenseeds.com.au/)
-Full spectrum LEDs from eBay - I'm trialling blue and red LEDs
-Finely milled Biochar
*If you can make your own biochar, you can add biochar placed half way up in a metal bucket then pound it vertically with a sledgehammer for small batches
*If you want to purchase finely milled biochar, you can do so at Green Man Char:
-Water spray bottle
-Curlys microgreen trays (https://paperpotplanter.com.au/plastic-trays-product/)
-Trestle table eg. white foldable one from Officeworks OR wire mesh shelving if going vertical farming
-Finely milled biochar added to the top of a Curly/other microgreens tray is soaked with water and 10% liquid sea kelp (from a sustainable source) eg.1.5 litres, the night before seeding.
-Give the biochar a stir a couple of times before going to bed (assuming you sleep)
-Soak some seeds prior to seeding eg.12-24h in water
*presumably if the husks are thick like sunflower seeds then soak them for longer
-Place ?soaked seeds on top of the soaked biochar (without any top layer)
-Cover for 1.5+ days (refer to bar chart below) with another microgreens tray and remove the top tray once seeds have germinated. Check daily - once a radicle (sent downwards) and shoot (sent upwards) has pushed through the seed coat it could be considered germinated and ready for growing
-Water + liquid sea kelp from a spray bottle 2 times per day once sprouted - the kelp and water can be absorbed via the foliar method!
-Top up biochar aquifers to half full when needed - water only is OK.
*Note that some microgreens or baby greens don't like 'wet feet' so probably don't like a biochar aquifer. This needs to be researched. So far I can report that wheatgrass, radish, mizuna and sunflower all grow well in the biochar aquifers
-Put the microgreen trays under LED lights for 18hrs/day + 6hrs/day in non-direct/filtered sunlight
-Harvest once microgreens or baby greens are at the appropriate height (which varies between plants - need to research). Use the bar chart below as a guide.
*you could use scissors or there are some labour-saving cutting devices around on the internet probably useful if you want to scale up production like 'microacres' has
-Cut the microgreens or baby greens at the base of the plant. It's possible you could get a second harvest for some plants (need to research. So far I've managed to grow a second crop of wheatgrass
-Wash thoroughly twice to remove any residual sea kelp (non-toxic but not very tasty)
-Best to harvest and consume on the same day in order to maximise nutritional benefits (plus the microgreens/baby greens taste better)
-Compost the biochar after harvest since it will be tangled with root biomass, which will also add organic matter to your compost pile. It will also reuse the waste nutrients and trace elements from the sea kelp.
-The biochar will also provide the usual benefits to your compost->soil, such as water buffering, slow nutrient release, soil porosity, CEC, soil structure and high rise apartment buildings for your microbes.
-Maybe you could add the compost to a Permachar Kitchen Garden for additional plants, such as herbs and vegetables. If you're really keen, it could be used for fruit and nut trees as well in the planting holes. Plus, whatever other plants you want to grow!
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