Happy National Gardening Week! After more than a year of lockdowns during Coronavirus, so many people are doing more projects at home, like remodeling, baking, and gardening. There is no better year to celebrate gardening than now, when so many people are cultivating their gardens, or trying it out for the first time!
One type of gardening that is taking the world by storm is growing microgreens. These edible, immature greens are an accessible and nutritious smack that is taking the world by storm! In this blog post, we’re going to be talking about how microgreens are the future of gardening, and how they are the future of local food production.
Microgreens are really good for us
If you don’t know what microgreens are, they are essentially just immature greens that are cut before they fully grow. So not as young as baby sprouts, but not full vegetables, they are the toddlers of the development process. There’s around 60 different variants of microgreens that people typically consume, from cauliflower, beets, cabble, broccoli and more!
Though microgreens aren’t as large as full grown vegetables, they have been found to be 40x more nutritious. That’s why many people will add microgreens to their salads, shakes or as garnish to soups and sandwiches. Their higher vitamin, mineral and antioxidant levels are helpful for combating heart diseases and high blood pressure, and help boost your immune system! The benefits of microgreens are in abundance, as they can reduce constipation, improve eyesight, lower cholesterol and possibly help fight cancer cells!
Microgreens can be grown and consumed quickly
Microgreens are a great plant to grow in loads of different places, from full grown farm/gardens, to the windosils of apartments in big cities. Microgreens can be grown year round, and it only takes a couple of weeks for them to grow, so they’re a cost effective, quick-growing choice that doesn’t take up too much space.
Rather than needing large amounts of land to grow full grown plants, microgreens can be quickly grown, cut and consumed in a matter of weeks in more compact spaces. Microgreens are a great way to save on time in the grocery store, and gives people a way to grow their own food without needing a lot of land, or a green thumb. This also provides a way for beginner or small time farmers to produce a larger amount of greens, in a shorter amount of time.
Microgreens can grow in rural and urban settings
Because microgreens can be stacked on top of one another in trays, they can be grown in confined spaces, and available in more urban settings because of this. In London, housed in a former air raid shelter, microgreens are being grown in the world’s first underground farm! Being underground, the microgreens are completely unaffected by the changes in the weather outside, so they can grow and be available in any season. Being able to be grown inside means that microgreens are more available to locals without needing to transport them miles to deliver. The people of London can get fresh microgreens right from the city, without long transport time and travel emissions!
In north Wales, microgreens are one of the ways that farmers can re-purpose agricultural buildings to house vertical farming units. Tech Tyfu, a project delivered by Mentor Mon, is using vertical farming to produce fresh food supply chains across north Wales, one of them being microgreens. Projects like Tech Tyfu provide a way for local microgreens to be provided to restaurants around Wales, and for farmers to diversify.
Now, our student teams here at Enterprise by Design are looking at the ways microgreens can further provide local opportunities and food options. Our multidisciplinary teams have been hard at work the last few weeks coming up with ways to spread the word about microgreens in north Wales, and the ways growing them could combat food poverty, provide working opportunities and help the local economy! Keep up with our blog every week to see some of the ideas our teams come up with as we get nearer to our 2021 finale!