As we decided to discontinue our homeschooling playgroup sessions, I decided to organise a Microgreens Workshop for our very last session. I think it was pretty apt, since we had been working on the theme of Fruits and Vegetables, and the other mummies readily agreed to it. We had the workshop at Bishan Park, one of our favourite places for our outdoor playgroup sessions last year, and thankfully, the weather was good, albeit a tad hot, that day.
Khai Lin of MicroGreens prepared some simple materials for the children to create their own garden, and I think we all had a good time together.
Group photo before we started
Khai Lin started the session by telling the mums a little more about Microgreens. We learnt that microgreens are actually the smallest of cultivated green plants, and are harvested at a young stage, between 5 to 14 days, as opposed to sprouts which are germinated seeds. Each is a complete plant which usually has a rich or intense flavour, for its small size. In addition, their nutritional value is 4 to 6 times more than a fully grown plant! Microgreens are grown from vegetable, herb, or edible flower seeds, and the whole plant is eaten. They are harvested just above the soil, when the first two leaves (cotyledons) are fully developed, and the actual “true leaves”, which appear in the middle of two fully developed cotyledons, may have started to form. Once harvested, they can’t be regrown, and you will need to start a fresh crop each time. The growing medium can be composted. It is encouraged to use new growing medium for each crop, as the previous crop would have depleted some nutrients from the growing medium.
She then invited the children to touch the leaves of the speckled pea shoots (dou miao), and to examine their roots. The children were all very curious, and took turns to carefully touch the leaves.
Touching the leaves
Examining the roots
Next, we made our own rabbits out of recycled toilet rolls, and drew lines on the mini pots, so that they would resemble carrots. Noah was very bothered that his rabbit didn’t have a mouth, but Khai Lin told him that the rabbit was peeping out from the ground, which was why his mouth couldn’t be seen.
Drawing the rabbit’s ears
Pasting the nose on
Drawing the lines on the ‘carrot’
After the rabbits were done, the children took turns filling up their containers with pebbles and peat moss (the growing medium). I liked that Khai Lin encouraged the children to use their hands for this, so that they could feel the different textures. A real hands-on experience! After a while though, she gave them mini pots to use as scoops instead, as it was faster. The children got to practise their scooping and pouring skills, which is one of our usual Practical Life stations during our homeschooling playgroups.
Putting the pebbles in
Using the mini pots instead of their hands
Adding the peat moss on top of the pebbles
The children then filled the mini pots with peat moss, added a little water, placed the seeds in, covered them with a thin layer of peat moss, and watered them. I think Noah enjoyed watering the seeds the most, as he kept trying to add more water! I tried telling him that the seeds won’t be able to grow if he drowned them, but he didn’t seem too bothered by it. Luckily, Khai Lin gave us pots that had some holes below, which allowed the excess water to drain out into the bottom “ground” layer of peat moss and pebbles.
Adding a little water to the peat moss
Putting the seeds in
Watering the seeds carefully
Pleased as punch with his little garden
Group photo of the kids before they ran off to play
Khai Lin taught us to create the greenhouse effect by keeping the cover of the container on after watering the seeds daily, until the shoots appeared. Noah took his task very seriously, and kept trying to water the plants whenever he could. He was thrilled when the shoots appeared, and sang this Chinese song about seeds growing, “种子撒在泥土里”, that he learnt from school, as he watered the plants. Such a happy coincidence that his teachers taught him the song when we started on this project!
Watering the plants diligently at home
Our little garden (with a rather wet rabbit)
Lyrics: 种子撒在泥土里 / 一天一天长大了 / 太阳雨水帮助你 / 天父计划真奇妙
When the shoots had grown to at least 5cm, it was time to harvest them. I got Noah to help me cut the shoots, before I washed them, and gave them to him to eat. He’s a generally fussy eater, so I was surprised that he was so eager to try them. Khai Lin said that the microgreens could be eaten raw, like a salad, or stir-fried with a little oil and garlic, but I was too lazy to cook them, so I served them raw. Noah actually munched on a few strands on his own accord, before asking for something else to eat, but to me, that was already an achievement. Check out the video of him eating the microgreens!
Harvesting the microgreens
Examining them carefully
Munching on Microgreens
The speckled pea shoots can be harvested twice, by letting them grow again after the first harvest, so we’re now waiting for our second harvest. Noah is still very enthusiastic about watering them twice daily, whenever the peat moss seems dry, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that he will be as enthusiastic about eating them when they are ready for harvest again.
*The mums in the group each paid a discounted fee of $25 (usual price: $40) for the Microgreens workshop, which included the materials and instructor fee.
SPECIAL DISCOUNT FOR READERS OF GROWING WITH THE TANS!
Want to get your own starter kit? Visit the MicroGreens’ website to learn more, and shop away on their e-shop! Don’t forget to use the code GYOGWTT to get a special 15% discount off your purchase. This discount code is valid till 10th May 2015. Happy shopping!
MicroGreens is giving away a starter kit to THREE lucky readers of Growing with the Tans! Each starter kit is worth $15, and consists of a pot, a packet of growing medium, two different types of organic Microgreens seeds, instructions/information on the Microgreens, and two basic recipes. Just enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Terms and conditions apply.
Terms and Conditions:
This giveaway will end on Monday, 4th May 2015, at 2359h.
Winners will be contacted via the particulars provided when entering this giveaway, and will have 24 hours to respond, failing which a new winner will be selected.
All incomplete entries will be disqualified, and all entries will be verified before the winners are announced. To be fair to our sponsor, please note that all fake Facebook accounts (accounts set up purely to take part in contests, with no or very few real friends), will be disqualified.
If you’ve enjoyed reading this post, do like my Facebook page to get updates. You can also follow me on Twitter (@GrowingwtheTans), Instagram (@GrowingwiththeTans), and Dayre (@GrowingwiththeTans), for short updates on what’s going on in our lives. Thank you! 🙂