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Wintering With City Green: Growing Microgreens

Welcome to Wintering with City Green! Each month this winter we’re taking a deep dive into a City Green department to learn more about what they do during the winter months. Explore their programs, follow along at their workshops, learn how they plan for the upcoming season, and so much more! Follow along this week on our blog, social media, and newsletter as we take a deep dive into City Green’s Department of Agriculture and learn about what our farm team has growing on this winter. - Emily Evers, City Green's Communications Coordinator


Radish microgreens ready to be harvested

The City Green farm team is taking on a new venture: growing microgreens! Microgreens are edible seedlings of common vegetables and herbs like beets, chard, arugula, kale, and cilantro. Although they’re small in stature, microgreens contain extremely high levels of vitamins and minerals. They can contain up to 40% more beneficial nutrients than their full-grown counterparts because their nutrient content is so concentrated. Microgreens vary in taste but are often a more concentrated flavor of whatever the mature crop tastes like. They can taste neutral like lettuce or bitter like arugula, depending on which variety is grown. Microgreens can be enjoyed as a garnish on salads, soups, and pizza; added to a green smoothie; or as an alternative to lettuce on a sandwich. They’re simple to grow, using few resources and taking only 5-25 days until harvest, and are a way to enjoy fresh, locally grown greens during the winter months.


The City Green farm team is growing radish and arugula microgreens for our Winter CSA members. Henry Anderson, City Green’s Director of Agriculture, created a growing rack for the microgreens indoors at the farmhouse. Using materials already on hand like shelving, trays, soil, and leftover seeds, our farmers created a DIY setup and easily begin the growing process.

Harvesting microgreens for the Winter CSA

To grow the microgreens, our farmers weigh out 45 grams of radish seeds and sprinkle them over the surface of a seed tray. Each seed tray is filled with the same organic potting mix we use to start our greenhouse seedlings to ensure they can sustainability receive all of the nutrients they need. After the trays are seeded, we lightly water them and stack them on top of each other. Then we turn off all of the lights and leave them to germinate in the darkness for 3-4 days. After they begin to sprout, we turn on LED lights for 14 hours per day to mimic the sunlight provided during the summer solstice. Once they receive about 4-5 days of regular light, they’ll grow to about 2 inches tall and are ready to be harvested, packed, and enjoyed by our CSA members.



Want to learn more about how City Green’s farm team is growing microgreens this winter? Follow us on Instagram and subscribe to our newsletter for even more farm content! If you have any questions about growing microgreens, leave a comment down below and a member of our farm team will be happy to get back to you.


City Green is a 501(c)3 urban farming and gardening organization based in Clifton, New Jersey working to foster connections between communities, agriculture, and the environment. For more information about City Green, visitwww.citygreenonline.org.

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