FAQ question #2 of ?

After last week’s market cancellation, we’re itching to get back at it this coming Saturday. Weather forecast says sunny, high of 53, so should be a good day for it. We’ll have plenty of duck eggs, chicken eggs, and microgreens. Hope to see you!

Next question for our evolving FAQ list…

Will the microgreens regrow?

Aside from one exception (peas), none of our microgreens will regrow after harvest. Per our basic horticultural understanding, with any plant, the seed provides the bulk of the resources needed in early growth before photosynthesis eventually takes over. And there are essentially two distinct forms of seed germination: epigeal and hypogeal.

In epigeal germination, the seed rises above ground as the plant grows upward. Thus, when you harvest a young plant which grows in this manner, the unharvested remainder has no energy reserves from which to draw on and, thus, dies. We believe that all of our microgreens varieties aside from peas are epigeal germinators.

With hypogeal germination, the seed remains on the ground (though “hypo” implies that the seed is actually underground) and doesn’t move upward as the plant grows. And you can readily see this with our pea trays. Thus, when you harvest a tray of peas, there are still energy reserves in the seed from which the unharvested portion can draw on and resume growth. However, because the second round of growth is starting from partially depleted resources, the results will likely not be as good as the first… the shoots might look scragglier or thinner, and some of the shoots may not have sufficient reserves to grow at all. So your overall harvest weight from a second (or third) cutting will likely be less than what you’d get on the first cut.

Market closed tomorrow

Saw a Facebook post from the market managers last night… They’re going to cancel tomorrow’s (Feb 15) Manassas farmer’s market due to the forecasted low temperatures.

Like usual, we grow microgreens every week and we have a big backlog of chicken eggs and duck eggs, so if you’d be willing to make the drive to our house in Nokesville, we can hook you up with our typical farmer’s market fare. Just send us an email at farmer@pennmarketfarm.com and we can make arrangements.

Anyway, at least it isn’t raining(?) Hope to see everyone at the market on the 22nd!

FAQ question #1 of ?

All setup and ready to go! From this past Saturday’s market.

The year is off to a good start so far. Market activity is admittedly quite a bit lower this time of year with far fewer vendors and far fewer customers. But we’re hanging in there, and we’re still getting great feedback and support from the new and returning customers who do make it out, so that’s awesome. We’ll be there again this Saturday, February 8 from 9am – 1pm, so hope you can come out and see us!

Wanted to try a little something with the blog. We get asked questions at the market, sometimes the same question multiple times in a day. So we’re going to try addressing some of these questions in blog posts going forward and maybe eventually build a separate FAQ page, etc. Anyway, so here’s the first one…

What do I do with microgreens? Can I grow them in my garden?

At a basic level, you could obviously do anything you want with the microgreens you buy from us. But the “intended purpose” would be so that you could eat / serve them as food. They are often used in salads or as a garnish for soups or meat. Potentially a lettuce replacement in a sandwich, etc. When you buy a live 5″x5″ tray from us, the general idea would be to keep the plants alive and healthy for the following week or so, and cut (harvest) from the tray as needed. Any harvested portion could be used immediately or stored in the refrigerator for an additional week beyond that.

You don’t really want to grow the plants much larger than they are at the time of sale, mainly because they are seeded quite densely and the individual plants would begin competing with each other for resources (soil nutrients, water, light)… it could get unruly in there. So planting a tray directly into a garden isn’t recommended. We would offer that you keep the tray indoors and in a room with some amount of ambient light. And water perhaps once a day to keep the plants alive and healthy. Our particular trays have slits in the bottom, which means you can water from underneath rather than overhead (helps avoid mold issues, etc). Just put the tray on a plate or some larger vessel and water into that, and the plants will suck the water up through the slits in the tray.