April 29, 2021
The Lettuce Rejoice
Firmly Rooted Farm's Newsletter for their Veggie Loving Farm-ily
On the Farm: A Little Goodness in Microgreens
I hope you haven’t let the snow get your spirits down! In the greenhouses at Firmly Rooted, you can almost forget about the flurries outside, as hundreds of little plants stretch their leaves, just itching to be planted in their permanent beds. To grow food is truly to invest in the future. Before we know it, we will be planting our hot crops; peppers, cucumbers, and tomatoes. However, the plants we grow in the highest abundance (at least by plant count) are microgreens.
Microgreens add a beautiful splash of colour and a burst of flavour to any salad, burger, or cheese plate; use them to garnish any of your favourite dishes. But what exactly are microgreens? Simply put, microgreens are any vegetable crop that has been harvested as soon as the cotyledons (the first set of leaves any plant sets forth) and often the first true leaves have emerged. Popularly grown microgreen vegetables include radish, mustards, tatsoi, Chinese cabbage, basil, broccoli, sunflower shoots, and pea shoots, all of which are grown at Firmly Rooted. Pound for pound, they pack a higher nutrient concentration than their mature counterparts. Rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, microgreens are perfect for diversifying your diet.
Our feature photo for this week’s newsletter showcases the lovely Michelle seeding microgreens, which she does every Monday and Friday. Michelle is the greenhouse manager at Firmly Rooted and is responsible for all the tiny plant babies that will grow up to become veggies. On the left you see her holding a tray of radish microgreens. On the bottom right she’s using the vacuum seeder, which speeds up the entire process. The vacuum seeder has a plate that drops 4 seeds per 128 cells, which is a process repeated 3 or 4 times, meaning in one tray of microgreens there are 1,500 to 2,000 plants! Most trays are covered with vermiculite, which allows for the right amount of moisture and air to reach the seeds. The trays are stacked to retain moisture and unstacked once they sprout, then after a few weeks, they’ve grown to a size you see in the upper right corner of the photo collage. That beautiful mix is a collection of mustards, tatsoi, and Chinese cabbage, which along with radish sprouts, make up our spicy micro mix.
Microgreens always bring a little excitement to the day at the farm. In the fall when plants are dying off it’s lovely to see new life set forth in bright abundance.
There’s been a flurry of activity on the farm lately. The beginning of this past week saw gravel truck after gravel truck in and out of the farm, as construction began on a new building and improved parking spaces. There are lots of exciting projects on the horizon, as the farm will be expanded by the construction of a new greenhouse later this summer. The plan is to expand the ability to conduct seedlings sales in the future so Firmly Rooted can help you expand your growing capacities at home!
Oftentimes the plants dictate what we have in abundance, and it seems that this week we are abundant in parsley. My favourite dish to make is Tabbouleh, which is perfect if you really want to get your fix of parsley. But parsley is also enjoyed as gremolata or chimichurri sauce, which can both be served as accompaniments to any meat dish. Parsley is also delicious as a fresh addition to a green smoothie.
Moving forward, should you have any questions about your farm share please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
That’s all for now folks, happy eating until next time!