Microgreens—What are they?


Tobias Heeringa | 2 minutes

At Farmwall we love and often talk about our little microgreen companions. But if you are like most people you are probably asking “what exactly ARE microgreens?” You’ve probably encountered microgreens before and didn’t realise what they were, the tiny little herbs garnishing your eggs and avocado on your Sunday brunch. Microgreens have had an illustrious career diversifying the colour palettes of pancakes worldwide, but they are fast becoming recognised as so much more, a nutritious superfood, and a real contender as a staple of the modern diet. 

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Microgreens are edible plants and vegetable greens picked in an early stage of their growth for a tasty and highly nutritious source of food. Plants go through a few stages in their early growth. First, there is germination and sprouting. Then as the plant develops it turns into a seedling, where the stem starts to lengthen and the plant develops it’s true leaves. However there is a stage between sprout and seedling when the plant has developed its stem and very first leaves, known as cotyledons. This is when a plant is recognised as a microgreen. This stage is generally within 7 to 14 days of the germination of the seed, when the plant is about 2—5cm tall. 

The important thing to note here is that microgreens aren’t exactly seedlings and they are definitely not sprouts. They are their own category entirely, characterised by having those first two cotyledon leaves. Some vegetables are not edible as microgreens because of toxic molecules located in the inside of the central stem and/or leaves, like tomato, rhubarb or potato plants, for example. However, the majority are completely safe to eat, taste great and are highly nutritious. Many of the same herbs and vegetables that you know and love like broccoli, kale, and chickpeas can be grown and eaten as microgreens. 

But the really cool thing about microgreens is their crazy nutrient profile Microgreens have high levels of phytonutrients, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. They are also rich in enzymes, which enable them to be more easily digested. Studies have shown just how nutritious these little microgreens are. In fact, a US department of agriculture study found microgreens contained “considerably higher levels of vitamins and carotenoids – about five times greater – than their mature plant counterparts.”

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The benefits of eating healthy can’t be understated; reduced risk of chronic disease, improved gut digestion, boost energy, manage weight and strengthen immunity, just to name a few. Though we all know how hard it can be to prioritise eating healthy! Fortunately due to their high nutrient density, microgreens make it super easy to pack in lots of nutrition into a meal. And did we mention they taste great? Spicy, fresh, buttery, and many more unique flavours that provide a unique character to whatever meal they grace. 

At Farmwall we want people to be able to access this amazing superfood. So we build and install Farmwall zero waste aquaponic systems specifically designed for growing microgreens into the places we visit everyday. With a Farmwall you can have access to high quality microgreens easily, simply snip off a handful of greens from your Farmwall to add to your lunch, or to have on their own as a delicious and refreshing snack! Spice up your diet, enjoy the taste and improve your wellbeing. Just try them and you’ll realise why we love these little plants so much.

Talk to us today at hello@farmwall.com.au if you’re interested in a Farmwall for your workplace, school or university. 

Serena Lee