Microgreens, tiny greens packed with 4 to 40 times more nutrients than their mature counterparts. Plus, they are so easy to grow indoors! I have been interested in growing microgreens and baby greens for quite a while but never really took the leap until I found the yumminess of pea shoots a few months ago. After adding pea shoots to everything from soups to sandwiches I came across an Alys Fowler’s doc and realized how easy growing them can be.
Pea shoots are simply the leaves of the pea plant. To grow them at home you just need a container with some holes for drainage (a plastic salad container with few holes in the bottom or a small clementine crate works well), soil (such as potting soil), and dried peas (the grocery store ones are cheap and perfect for this).
Then you just need to fill about ¾ of the container with well-moistened soil. Spread the seeds tightly (no need to worry about spacing since we are not allowing the greens to fully grow). Cover the seeds with more moistened soil and place the container on a sunny spot of your house. Keep the soil moist and in a couple of weeks the tray will be covered with pea shoots ready for picking. Once they are about 2”-3” long grab a scissor and start harvesting. The best is that you might get a second crop from the stems. Once it stops producing you can pull out any remaining seeds or roots and use the same soil for a second sowing. If you garden you can also dump the soil with roots and all on your compost bin since the pea roots will be adding much important nitrogen to the soil.
I also did another crate with some old broccoli, arugula, and mustard sprouting seeds I had kicking around. The result was not as dramatic as the thick patch of pea shoots but the taste was all there. Next time I should just have them more densely packed… and do more containers.
This is also a great activity to do with children. First, you can let them do the sowing freely since seed spacing is not a concern. Our seeds were certainly not evenly distributed and we still had a great crop! Second, it makes them a little bit more aware of the wonders of nature. The pea shoots grow so fast that every morning my 2 year old was in awe. Third, they might actually look forward to eating them! Samuel now says that he loves pea shoots and is one of the first things he eats in his plate.
I wish I had been growing microgreens throughout the winter. Such a great alternative to the sad salad greens we get here on the island. Have I mentioned that pea shoots are bursting with vitamins A, C and folic acid?