Microgreens – The Toddlers of the Plant World

Veggies without the yucky factor is one way to describe microgreens. Entrepreneur, teacher, and mom and grandmother, Margo Clayson of The Mighty Microgreen brings her science and nutrition background in the promotion of microgreens as part of a healthy diet. Microgreens are simply regular vegetables harvested 8 to 21 days after planting.

Clayson explains that these young plants have a nutritional value much greater than their diminutive size. Her website indicates,

“microgreens are up to 40 times more nutritious than mature vegetables, and twice that of sprouts.”

All the nutrition in the world is no good if kids (or adults) do not eat them. Clayson explains that the beauty of microgreens is that they can be hidden inside tasty food. She offers recipes as to how to integrate them into soups and salads, main dishes, and even desserts, such as fresh mint ice cream with pea microgreens.

Her story is as amazing as the tiny microgreen. She started the business as a school project selling microgreens at local farmers’ markets. Like the Give a Man a Fish parable, Clayson realized that she could leverage her efforts through education (classes, webinars, educational kits for schools, videos). She also helps people grow microgreens through the sale of kits.

Thanks to the Internet, she can ship and spread her message from her rural southeast Idaho home nation and worldwide.

Interview Highlights

3 responses to “Microgreens – The Toddlers of the Plant World”

  1. Margo Clayson Avatar

    Ken, it was a pleasure to meet you. I enjoyed our conversation. Thank you for helping us spread the nutrition message. Keep growing those greens!

    1. Ken Pyle Avatar

      Thanks, Margo. It was a blessing to meet you. I am looking forward to seeing how they grow. What a great teaching tool!

  2. Ken Pyle Avatar

    The idea of distributed, homegrown nutrition is the important message that Margo is spreading. This could be life-changing for kids (and adults) that don’t have access to fresh vegetables. Plus, it gives people the opportunity to participate in growing their nutrients. This is better than farm-to-table. This is windowsill to table. It is potentially much more environmentally friendly as well.

    This research from Idaho State’s Carolyn Weber is enlightening in terms of the impact microgreens can have on the environment.

    “In addition to C microgreens having superior nutrition to HFG and HW microgreens, utilizing compost as a growth substrate can help close nutrient loops by reducing waste that ends up in landfills, where it produces large amounts of greenhouse gases (GHGs). The compost used to grow C microgreens in this study was generated using a small vermicomposter that can be easily managed inside someone’s home, even if it is a small urban dwelling. Composted materials included “unavoidable waste” from fruit and vegetables that are nutrient rich, but go uneaten (i.e., avocado and banana peels)….”

    “Collectively, these insights bolster the case for growing microgreens on compost using a distributed agricultural model rather than industrial greenhouse-based hydroponic growing methods.”

    “Regardless of how they were grown, microgreens had larger quantities of Mg, Mn, Cu, and Zn than the vegetable. However, compost-grown (C) microgreens had higher P, K, Mg, Mn, Zn, Fe, Ca, Na, and Cu concentrations than the vegetable. For eight nutritionally important minerals (P, K, Ca, Mg, Mn, Fe, Zn, and Na), the average C microgreen:vegetable nutrient ratio was 1.73. Extrapolation from experimental data presented here indicates that broccoli microgreens would require 158–236 times less water than it does to grow a nutritionally equivalent amount of mature vegetable in the fields of California’s Central Valley in 93–95% less time and without the need for fertilizer, pesticides, or energy-demanding transport from farm to table. The results of this study suggest that broccoli microgreens have the potential to be a rich source of minerals that can be produced by individuals, even in urban settings, providing better access to adequate nutrition.”

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