Growing Together: Open Forum

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  • 1.  MIcrogreens!

    Posted 12-04-2021 09:21:00 PM
    Hi all, Has anyone tried simple growing of microgreens, indoors, with kids?
    I liked the video produced by KidsGardening Growing Together; Gardening with Kids - Microgreens but I need some real world anecdotes. Was it fun? Did it work? What age kids? Did you use soil?
    In wintertime, it would be so fun to have something inexpensive, fun, and GREEN to do indoors with kids. Thanks ahead of time for any tips or stories you can provide! --Rachel

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    Rachel Heckscher
    Piney Branch Elementary School/ Montgomery County Public Schools (Maryland)
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  • 2.  RE: MIcrogreens!

    Posted 12-05-2021 12:09:00 PM
    Hi Rachel,
    I have done this last year! We used cocoa fibre to germinate the seeds. It was fun and worked well. It was helpful in a variety of ways: we could space kids out better in this time of physical distancing, the mini-gardens were easy to maintain, students could get close to the plants for making observations, and we could make a variety of measurements and observations and also have a delicious salad all within a couple of weeks. We are in Florida and the mini-gardens were grown outside on a covered porch, but if you had either sunny windows or grow lights you could do it inside.

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    Danielle Feller
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  • 3.  RE: MIcrogreens!

    Posted 12-05-2021 12:09:00 PM
    I forgot to add that I did this with Kindergarten, first grade and second grade.

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    Danielle Feller
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  • 4.  RE: MIcrogreens!

    Posted 12-06-2021 08:46:00 AM
    Not exactly microgreens, but I did this experiment with campers and the grass grows quickly enough to manage in a one week session. They can also draw on the CD cases with Sharpies, which is fun. 

    https://www.rookieparenting.com/grow-a-cd-garden/

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    Franke Smith
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  • 5.  RE: MIcrogreens!

    Posted 12-06-2021 09:43:00 AM

    Hey Rachel,

    We haven't started our Microgreen program but plan to after Christmas break.Metal Wire Shelving Unit | 4 Industrial Grade TiersOtryad T8 Led Grow Lights Strips, 5Pcs Full Spectrum Grow Lamp Tube for  Seed Starting/Indoor Plant/Flower Bloom/Vegetable, Greenhouse Garden Grow  Shelf Plant Light Bar Fixtures - Walmart.com

    We have a rack similar to this one, with lights similar to these, zip tied to the bottom of each rack. Our plan is to plant on Mondays and harvest the following Monday, restart the trays and do it again. We are hoping to consistently supply our cafeteria with microgreens. This is a trial run for us before deciding if we want to invest in more racks and expand to other schools as well. I think soil and seed is going to be our biggest continuing expense. But we plan to purchase bulk seed so it will be cheaper in the long run. The rack and lights probably costed us $100-$150? I expect to spend at least $20 in seed and soil per month. Our students seem very excited about it now, but once it becomes a weekly activity, I wouldn't be surprised if they eventually saw it as a chore. Hopefully we can continue the excitement!

    We are starting at our Alternative Center. So this will be high school age. This is intentional because the Alternative Center's schedule is a bit more flexible. We plan to test it at an elementary school as well.

    I'll try to remember to follow up after a couple of weeks of growing. I hope this helps!



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    Kendall Slaughter
    Farm to School Specialist
    Springfield Public Schools
    Springfield, Mo
    keslaughter@spsmail.org
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  • 6.  RE: MIcrogreens!

    Posted 12-06-2021 01:59:00 PM
    Your microgreens question is interesting and as made me wonder about food safety in microgreens since I had heard of food safety issues with sprouts. After a little poking around, I came across the Master's thesis Food Safety Risk In an Indoor Microgreen System. While this is not oriented towards school gardening, it's definitely worth a look if for no other reason than to remind us of the importance of thorough hand washing and keeping the tools and materials we use clean.

    I hadn't thought about microgreen farming with my 1st and 2nd graders during the winter months before your post, but I'm going to look into it now. Sounds like fun! Following up with a vinaigrette recipe on harvest day would make a great activity and something that could be sent home. Thanks for the great idea!

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    [Lara] [Guerra]
    [Science Teacher]
    [The Hockaday School]
    [Dallas] [Texas]
    [lguerra@hockaday.org]
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  • 7.  RE: MIcrogreens!

    Posted 12-06-2021 09:43:00 PM
    Hey Rachel we grew sunflower seeds with the Pre-K class - they loved it and you have greens up in about 6 days. I used peat moss to plant them in but coco fiber would work too. I liked it because it was easy for the kids to participate putting handfuls of seeds on a layer of peat then I straightened them out a bit and we put a covering of peat on top. I put the tray with dome covering on top of the fridge (or any warm spot) then we had a little light to put them under but they are fine by a window too. The kids loved cutting them and just eating them straight from the tray then we had some with cream cheese on bagels.

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    Patrice Porter
    The Gardening Grandma
    Big River SK
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