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Microgreens are not Sprouts

It was announced yesterday that a salmonella outbreak has been linked to sprouts that were sold on sandwiches at Jimmy John’s.

Some consumers use the terms “sprouts” and “microgreens” interchangeably, but they are actually very different crops that are grown in very different ways.  At Finding Eminence Farm, we grow only micro greens, not sprouts. Since they are often so easily confused, we thought it was important to highlight the differences.  Even the Center for Disease Control posted on their facebook about this breaking news story about sprouts with an image of micro greens. Here are the main differences between micro greens and sprouts.

Sprouts:

  1. Sprouts are germinated in water. To prevent mold growth, they are rinsed one to two times per day
  2. Very little light and nutrition is needed for sprouts to grow
  3. They require high humidity to grow
  4. To ensure their safety, it is recommended that sprouts are cooked to prevent food borne illness since they are grown in dark, humid, and wet conditions (a perfect situation for icky stuff to grow)

Alfalfa sprouts from Johnny’s Seeds

Micro greens:

  1. Seeds germinate in peat moss or soil
  2. Plants require light and good air circulation, just like any other plants that are grown in- or outdoors
  3. The leaves and stems are eaten, but the seeds are not since they are in the soil

Three different varieties of microgreens grown at Finding Eminence Farm

On our farm, we compost our potting soil after each crop and then wash and sterilize our trays every week.  Seeds that are prone to fungal issues are soaked in a mixture of vinegar and food-grade hydrogen peroxide to prevent any possible issues before the seeds are sown.

If you really like sprouts, there are lots of countertop sprouting kits that you can purchase that would allow you to sprout seeds yourself and avoid buying from these mega producers.  We certainly wouldn’t recommend eating store-bought sprouts for the time being.  We’re jaded, but we think microgreens are better anyway.  We’ll just keep eating those on everything, and we’d encourage you to do the same.

You can purchase our microgreens at Green Top Grocery. Keep your eyes peeled for an announcement about Chris teaching a class at Green Top Grocery about microgreens too.

 

Frickin’ Freezin’

You guys. It has been SO COLD. And we have been cooooooped up.

But this is what we do this time of year. We rest and recover. We have to give ourselves grace because come June, ain’t nobody getting that 1:00 p.m. nap. So we have been reading all the books, doing all the yoga, walking on a treadmill in a creepy basement, and eating a crazy amount of Christmas cookies.

There are a few things I’d like to do better in the coming year. One of them is take better photos of us as a family. When we went to go put our Christmas card together, we realized only one photo existed of the three of us together. So the card got scrapped for the first time in seven years.

Read more damn books. Nothing exciting is happening on that phone of mine. I need to detach from it. Little Fires Everywhere and What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky were two great reads from this past year for me.

What are things that you’d like to do better this coming year?

Slow Flow

We are in recovery mode from the summer, but planning mode for next year as we steadily wade our way into engagement season. Engagement season? Yes, engagement season. People propose during certain times of the year and the most popular time to propose is, you guessed it, Christmas and New Years.

There have been quite a few nights of me chatting on the phone with wonderful people who explain with excitement their vision for their wedding day. There are people who get us and people who don’t and that’s okay.

But the people who get us are more than likely people who love the outdoors, who understand the value of hard work, and get that magical things don’t come from pressing a button.

A potential bride told me this week “that must be a lot of work for two people.” It is a lot of hard work, but it’s such great hard work. And the reality is getting to work is a privilege and I’m thankful for that hard, back-breaking, sweaty, buggy work because I get to do it with two people who get me.

And that hard work translates into days like this where other people just get it too:

 

Couples don’t realize it that all the world’s problems are solved, music is blared, tears are shed, dreams are conjured, so much laughter happens, and lame movie quotes are said over and over again all while growing and designing their flowers. Magic exists and it thrives on this little hill top and moving here and growing unconventional crops was the best damn thing we ever did.

Thank you for your love, support, guidance, and cheers this year. John B. McLemore once said, “but the best times of my life, I realize, were the times I spent in the forest and field.” We get it and we know you do too.

Photos by Rachael Schirano, Sara Gardner Photography, Larry Reimker, and Images by Whitney.