The first batch of microgreens are doing so well, taste so good, and are ready to harvest. I am harvesting the blue curled kale micros as well as the leaf lettuce I planted on 3/23 later on today, making for a total grow cycle of this first batch to right at 10 days for these little dudes.
I’ll be posting next about their harvest next...when I get that rocking and rolling later this afternoon.
The first thing I learned:
I initially had planted some regular kale in a pie plate, but I don’t think I had the soil moisture quite correct, and only had a few come up.
I harvested those few (like literally fewer than ten) a few days ago and decided to just experiment with mixing the seeds back in the dirt, moistening it correctly, pressing the soil back down...then I sat it on a heating pad covered with a kitchen towel.
The Scientist has a couple of these really cool temp strips for her home-brewing experiments, so I snagged one to keep an eye on what’s up as far as my temperature on the heating pad and keep my heating bed right around 80 degrees all the time. The heating pad isn’t a special high-priced one made for germinating plants...it’s just the regular heating pad we had around the house for when my hips are killing me, and it’s working wonders as a germination station!!
(Specifically the ones in the center pie plate.)
These particular kale micros blew my mind, really. I wasn’t expecting much when I just haphazardly attempted to get the same seeds to germinate, but boy did they ever, and they’re looking great. I re-set them on the 28th, and on the 30th, I uncovered them to find quite actually a lot was going on, so I sat them under the light.
As the day went on, I was observing how much they greened up under the light, and as you can see, what a difference a day makes in the world of microgreens!
This is what it looks like as I’m writing this...so good, and so green!
I did some work to our shelving units as well with bungee cords and had some great success setting an additional light that also has the ability to be moved as much or as easily as we prefer it due to it being secured with bungee cords and essentially gravity. Pretty cool. *Also remember, we are using basic fluorescent light bars instead of specialized and more expensive grow-lights. We got each of these for about $10/per.
I’ve been posting about composting...com-posting if you will, and you can check it out from its very beginnings, but today is the day to stir!
So first...the weather.
Missouri is in the middle of one of its many odd quasi-seasons which have even been the subject of many memes.
Anyway, it’s raining a lot...it’s been raining for days. Big rain, little rain, torrential rain, sprinkling rain...yesterday it sleeted/hailed (it was small balls of ice, either way)...it’s been raining for days and there are many area farmers concerned with what’s going on with the weather.
That being said, it’s been cold af so I didn’t want to put the compost outside to start out with since it was raining and cold and I’m trying to control this first round as much as possible. Also..it’s been said that it’s not supposed to stink...so I decided to go ahead and put that to the test as well, and I moved it inside. First to our attached (but very old and very drafty) garage, but when it became even colder, I decided to go ahead and move it into the house.
It has been in the house, in our laundry room, next to the plant shelf for a few days, and unless you are standing right over it...trying to smell it...it doesn’t stink at all. I’m impressed. However...I’m still concerned with the amount of heat it is or isn’t generating. After all, to get the matter to compost, we definitely need heat, and the first time I stirred it up, there was no heat that had been generated...hence my decision to move it from the cold-ass garage into the house.
Instead of turning it every day upon moving it inside, I left it inside the laundry room for 48 hours to see if the warmth back there, combined with the goodies inside the composter, would go ahead and jump-start the process—I was correct, indeed!
Upon just feeling the outside of the outer bucket, I could feel what I thought was warmth, but also wanted to blame it on something like the fact I’d been doing laundry or that it is next to our hot water heater, but upon prying the lid off...I saw it was definitely generating heat and starting to break down much of what’s in there!
I tried to stir it with my stir stick, but found it mixes together much better with hands...so I went for it and mixed it up. The key for this compost method is to make sure you are circulating the mixture from bottom to top, which not only assures even composting, but also gently aerates the soil, which is much-needed as well in this method.
The grain castings from The Scientist’s beer brewing experiments are still breaking down, and at first I thought they were bugs and thought I’d messed something up, but realized quickly that those were just the grain castings.
The compost is moist, but not too much so. I added some coffee grounds, and leftover tomato pasta, along with some dried soils and egg shells to the mix, and I plan to add to the mix tomorrow the used soil from the microgreens harvest. If any extra seeds start to germinate in that process, just make sure you are turning the compost regularly...daily perhaps depending how quickly the compost is digesting, and breaking up any larger pieces you put in there. Also remember to keep your 3:1 ratio of browns to greens to make sure you have even compost! When you add greens, make sure to also add browns!