You’re listening to Fish Grow Plants—A podcast all about practicing and sharing the love of aquaponics; hosted by Logan Schoolcraft.
Hello, and welcome to Fish Grow Plants! In today’s episode we’re getting all excited about aquaponic microgreens!
For me, microgreens are a relatively new addition to my diet, growing, and education. I actually have purchased some small amount of microgreen seeds in the past, but didn’t really have any direction for why I had them and how I used them.
But, like it not, I think I was looking for something else when I stumbled upon a microgreens video on YouTube…
A few hours later, I have completely changed the way I think and feel about them!
I can’t believe I did know or find out about these little, wonderful plants a long time ago!
One of the major reasons I’m so smitten with them is that they fit fabulously into a small grow area. Which, that is exactly what I have. In fact, they are very well suited to indoor growing, which is where I am at now. And they are a very clean crop, which is something I love too. And for those of you who don’t have an aquaponic system yet, fear not, for you can grow microgreens without a system and still have all the joy and excitement I’m filled with now.
But not to stick on my thoughts this whole episode, what are microgreens exactly, just to get clear here.
Well, microgreens are those tiny plants that have passed the sprouting stage but have yet to get to the “baby greens” stage. Essentially, they are small, or micro, plants that have just started to put on their first true leaves. A lot of microgreens are just plants with their cotyledon, or seed leaves fully grown out and the true leaves just budding or emerging. (Obviously, it depends on the type of plant and the direction the grower wants to take with the green, but this is a good ballpark to start with.)
I guess the next obvious question, is, “so why microgreens?”
Well, for the consumer, it means loads of things like condensed nutrition, amazing flavor, texture, and colors, in an easy to eat, handle, and prepare package. These little guys really do seem to pack it all in; in a very small space! I mean, you can make salads out of them just like regular greens, but you can juice them, blend them, or top and add them to so many of the other foods you enjoy to add some nutrition, color, and extra flavor!
For the grower, these little guys come down to savings, in my opinion. They save a grower on space, time, energy, effort, and resources (aside from the seeds themselves). I have been blown away with the few trials I’ve started and how quickly I get a return with such minimal effort. I usually contrast this to the other greens I’ve grown out. Usually, when I’m worrying about a transplant making the move, I can be harvesting my microgreens and only worrying about how much I want to eat that night! Big difference!
Well, microgreens aren’t all positives without any downsides. I mean there are some hardware pieces you need to get and the volume of seeds you’ll go through can be quite high. But probably the biggest catch for most people is the maintenance. These little guys are so small and tender, they require regular care—essentially daily at the minimum. I might get caught here, because I tend to leave for the weekend occasionally, and my aquaponics and potted plants are fine, but I might have to figure out how my microgreens are going to fit into this habit.
I don’t want to dissuade you from trying these tiny greens. Even if you don’t like them, just by trying them, you’ll open your palate to their taste, and your growing methods to their savings.
Ok, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve not tied microgreens to aquaponics in a very clear cut manner. So how about now?
Well, in a simple version, as I have been doing now, I simply scoop water from my aquaponics tank and do the bottom watering of the microgreens when they are big enough to be put under lights.
Obviously, this is not ideal for me long term. So, I am looking into ideas using my raft system as well as building a small add-on rack system that will allow me to use my fish water in a flood and drain or nutrient film technique kind of way. Figuring out the physical build seems straight forward to me, given my constraints, but figuring out a good substrate, timing, volume of water, etc. will probably be a bit more challenging. (Have no fear, if it’s successful, you’ll probably hear about it. And if it fails, you might hear about it too; only not as proudly.)
So, if this episode has you itching for more microgreen information, I’d like to help you find some sources, names, and information to get you going on your micro growing path!
Depending on your purpose, of course, here are a few keyword terms to search for in your favorite browser:
- Microgreens business
- Indoor Microgreens
- Starting with Microgreens
- Growing Microgreens
A few names I found helpful when looking up information were:
- Curtis Stone
- Donny Greens
- Nate Dodson
- On The Grow
For seeds and supplies, take a look at:
- True Leaf Market
- Johnny’s Selected Seeds, and
- Mumm’s Sprouting Seeds, if you’re in Canada
Well, that’s it in seed shell. I hope this has sparked some interest and curiosity in microgreens for you and maybe you can find a way to integrate them into you own aquaponic system, or growing routine. At least I hope you go out and give your mouth a taste of them, if nothing else!
Take care and happy aquaponicing!
Questions! Let me have them! Do you need clarification, more information, or maybe you just have a tangent thought—send all your thoughts my way. See the website fishgrowplants.com for episode details, or just fire off an email to email@example.com and I’ll get back to you.
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This has been another episode of Fish Grow Plants—the podcast all about practicing and sharing the love of aquaponics; hosted by Logan Schoolcraft.