As you may have noticed, I'm kind of a lazy homesteader. I like projects that are quick and easy that I can squeeze into my busy day. I haven't built a high tunnel or low tunnel or a cold frame yet, so my winter growing is limited to what I can plant indoors. You'll enjoy this project if you are short on time and resources, or if you are just starting out homesteading. My set up is simple: a foil pan and tray from the dollar store filled with organic potting soil, a single bulb clamp light , and of course, a grow light bulb. And since I also enjoy immediate gratification, growing microgreens is quite satisfying. You can have super healthy food ready to harvest in a week or two. You can even set up a second tray a week after the first (we call this succession planting) to ensure a steady stream of weekly harvests.
What To Plant
I bought bulk seed from my two seed suppliers, www.groworganic.com and www.hudsonvalleyseed.com. My favorite for taste and price is organic buckwheat. But I also plant Austrian winter peas (pictured in this post) and cilantro. Other quick harvest plants include:
How To Plant and Harvest
1. Poke holes in the bottom of your foil pan with a pencil to allow for drainage. Set the pan on the foil tray to catch excess water and soil.
2. Fill the pan with potting soil.
3. Sprinkle seeds around the pan. You don't have to follow the recommended spacing for seed starting since you will be harvesting these before they grow into vegetables.
4. Top off with 1/4" to 1/2" of potting soil.
5. Water, turn on your grow light, and wait. Water daily or every other day (keep evenly moist but not soaking wet).
6. When the first true leaves open up, cut and munch on these vitamin packed babies. Add to salads or wraps.
Austrian winter peas a few days after planting.
Growing tall a few days later.
Here is a nice picture of what various plants look like when they are ready to harvest