When space is a limiting factor, gardeners may consider changing their strategy from big backyards to micro gardens. Microgreens are tiny variations of fresh vegetables, herbs, and greens.
Though tiny in size, microgreens are packed with flavor and high in nutritional value, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. In USDA tests, microgreens contained about five times greater levels of vitamins and carotenoids than their corresponding mature plant.
Microgreens are harvested from seven to 14 days after germination, after the cotyledons have developed but prior to the expansion of leaves. Harvesting is simple; the seedlings are clipped, just above the soil, says James Theuri, University of Illinois Extension local food system educator.
A free online webinar at noon Aug. 6 will review the nutritional value of microgreens and how their presentation adds to plating appeal and texture of meals. "Urban dwellers, small-space gardeners, and local food enthusiasts wishing to learn basic growing techniques should register before Aug. 4."
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