Picking silverbeet thinnings as microgreens

| Farming, Gardening, Harvesting, Market Garden | 3 comments | Author :

This year in the market garden Michael has sown lots of silverbeet and rainbow chard, because it’s such a versatile and hardy green. However silverbeet are poly-embryonic, which means that multiple plants will sprout from the one seed.

So to prevent crowding and to be able to regulate the final size of the plant, silverbeet can be ‘thinned’, so you end up with just one silverbeet per planting. Thinning can be done at various stages of the growing cycle, but Michael decided to pick/thin the chard at micro greens stage, which means the beginning of mass salads of loveliness at Milkwood Farm.

We just served up our first mass of micro greens to our forest garden design students, and they were delicious – very sweet and crunchy in the way that young greens are. There’s nothing quite like salad greens that you know have had no chemicals whatsoever on them during their growing cycle…

And the whole ‘fresh from the garden’ factor means that going into spring at Milkwood Farm we’re one happy and healthy crew. Which is partly why we started this whole market garden enterprise.

The life of a Milkwood micro green in pictures:

Soil blocking silverbeet in mid August

Soil blocks hardening off after sprouting

Into the cold frames in early September

Sowing silverbeet soilblocks into the garden during the Intro to Market Gardening course in late September

And picking silverbeet thinnings as microgreens by the start of October!

We should note that this cycle from seed to microgreen took a long time because in early Spring it’s still darn cold and frosty here at night, which means things grow a bit slower. But then, we’ve just had an unseasonably hot week of 30 degree C days, so go figure. We try to just roll with what nature throws our way, where we can.

In the next week or so Michael will start selling our surplus veggies to our friends Amy and Zac who run a local business called the Veggie Van of Mudgee, delivering boxes of fresh produce to over 100 local families.

So everyone is happy. Hopefully it’s the beginning of a wider local food system including ‘beyond organic’ produce from Milkwood Farm. Whoohoo!

Microgreens, pickled cauliflower and Milkwood-grown pork terrine. Yummo.
Thanks Michael!

>> More adventures in growing beyond organic veggies

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  • http://fotogirl48.wordpress.com Nancy Miller photographer

    We need to plant lots of micro greens!

    Sent from my iPad

  • Hannah cooper

    Couldn’t get enough of these greens on the recent Forest Gardening course- they were delicious (and necessarily nutritious after 3weeks of travel without organic produce). Can feel them doin’ ya good!

  • http://www.sunny-corner-farm.blogspot.com Tracy

    My rainbow chard saved my salad two nights ago. No other leaves were ready so it was great to have them ready to thin.