MicroGreens are the widely talked about hottest new gourmet greens for foodies! These kitchen counter plants have an intense flavor and high nutritional value that exceeds that of sprouts and baby greens. Being harvested so early in their growth cycle, they create very tender, flavorful stems and leaves, which are superb in salads, on hors d'oeuvres, on sandwiches, or as a powerful additive garnish. As a bonus, many MicroGreens can be easily grown and ready for eating within a week.
Mountain Valley is currently conducting extensive growth trials to find the best methods, times and light requirements for various MicroGreens in order to provide maximum flavor and success for the average home grower. Please check back frequently to receive the newest information and feel free to share your experience with us at Micro@mvseeds.com or on our Facebook page.
If you are just getting started, you might want to check out one of our MicroGreen starter kits or other MicroGreen supplies. You don't need a kit to get started, but we have testedthese products and they worked best in our trials. You might also be interested in "Microgreens" by Eric Franks & Jasmine Richardson. This is a great book to get you started and the photos alone are worth the price. You can also download the free Mountain Valley MicroGreen Quick Start guide to get the basics.
Listed below are the seeds we have tested so far, grouped by Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. We put seeds in these categories based upon 1) the ease with which the seeds germinated, 2) the speed with which they germinated, and 3) the crop-to-crop repeatability, both in our lab and at home where it matters most.
Radish is a quick grower, will emerge in only a day or two, and will usually be ready to harvest within a week. The flavor is best before the second set of leaves form (these are called the true leaves); this usually gives you a two week harvest window. Radish is excellent in salads or onsandwiches (tuna with China Rose is our favorite).Use approximately 5g (1 1/2 teaspoons) of seed per 5x5 tray.
Champion – green leaves with a red stalk. Good radish flavor with a bit of radish "kick."
China Rose (organic) – produces nice green leaves with a beautiful rose colored stalk. China Rose has a light flavor with a clear radish bite finish.
Crimson Giant – green leaves with a red stalk. Like the Champion, it has good radish flavor with a nice "kick."
Daikon (organic) – green leaves with a white stalk. One of the milder radishes, good if you find the others a bit too hot. Frequently used as a sushi garnish.
Easter Egg – green leaves with a white stalk. Generally a milder radish MicroGreen.
French Breakfast – green leaves with a white stalk. Mild flavor and generally has a mild finish as well.
Hailstone – green leaves with a white stalk. Good radish flavor and scores midrange on the "hot" scale.
TritonPurple – produces green leaves with a light purple stalk. Mild up front with a good radish bite.
Mustard is a quick grower that will start to emerge after a few days and be ready to eat within a week to 10 days. Lovely green heart shaped first leaves (cotyledon), followed by typical mustard shaped true leaves. Strong mustard flavor is most intense while young but remains distinguishable throughout growth cycle. Excellent on sandwiches or hamburgers in place of Dijon, as an accent in salads, or as a flavorful garnish on fish. Use approximately 5g of seed per 5x5 tray.
Sunflower Black Oil (organic)
Basil MicroGreenshave a very strong basil flavor that, like most MicroGreens, tend to be most intense the younger the plant, however unlike some other greens basil continues to have a nice flavor throughout its growth cycle. Basil takes a little more care and patience to grow than some MicroGreens but your investment will be well rewarded. Our favorite use of MicroBasil is to mix it with freshly cut, vine ripened tomatoes, lightly seasoned with salt and pepper, or kick it up with a little fresh pressed garlic. Use approximately 1/4th of a teaspoon of seed per 5x5 tray.
Dark Opal – has brilliant, deep purple leaves with green edges. Like most Basil MicroGreens they are absolutely delicious and hard to stop eating. Because of their color they are a great addition to many dishes.
Cilantro has crisp greenpointed first leaves (cotyledon), followed by your typical cilantro true leaves. Due to its tough seed coat, cilantro takes longer than many MicroGreens to emerge taking on average, a week to 10 days. Amazingly intense cilantro flavor can and should be used everywhere – salsa, coleslaw, mixed with rice, cilantro herb butter, cilantro shrimp. I would put it in my toothpaste if it wouldn't get caught in my teeth! Use approximately 1 full teaspoon of seed per 5x5 tray.
Onion is not particularly hard to grow but it does take longer than the "beginner" seeds to germinate and grow to a size worth harvesting. It also stubbornly holds on to its seed coat. Not surprisingly,MicroOnion has a very intense onion flavor. It is a beautiful green growing in a singular tall green stalk with its black seed coat sitting atop. Great in salads, omelets or anywhere you like onion.
Sorrelas a MicroGreenis definitely worth a try. It takes a little longer to germinate than "beginner" seeds, and grows rather slowly, but it has a very unique almost citrus like flavor (almost like lemon). We have experimented with Sorrel in a number of dishes and even a few drinks!
Celery may be one of our favorite Micros. The flavor is amazingly intense, even when the leaves are miniscule. Celery grows very slowly and can be a little tricky to germinate. We have found the most success when we germinate in a cooler temperature, stable environment, such as a basement if you are lucky enough to have one. Great accent in lots of dishes and perfect on a tuna sandwich.
Dill, like many of the varieties in the "Advanced" category, is a slow germinator and a slow grower. This leaves plenty of chances to make a mistake, such as over or under watering. However, if you like the flavor of dill it is worth the effort. We love dill flavored sunflower seeds and now we love dill MicroGreens.
Fennel is a slow germinator, slow grower and stubborn seed coat holder. Fennel is sensitive to over and under watering, which can be a bit frustrating, but the anise flavor is worth the work.