Microgreen Growing for Kids!

July 18, 2020 4 Comments

Microgreen Growing for Kids!

Picture Credit: Shanie Belferman

 

Let's get the kids involved in your home growing in an even more meaningful way! Go through kid-specific lessons on microgreens and how a Hamama Seed Quilt grows!

Print this page for a fun summer worksheet including growing tracking logs, how to write your own recipe, word search, and coloring page!

By the way, mail or email in your worksheet if you're interested to have your work featured on the website!

Just have your and a parent's permission! So exciting!

[Email to contact@hamama.com] or mail to:
[Hamama, 2501 Del Monte St. West Sacramento, CA 95691]

Let's get started!

 

What are Microgreens?

Did you know that every vegetable and fruit that you eat starts off as a small little baby plant? Just like humans, plants have their own life cycles! They start off as tiny sprouts and grow to be adult veggies which we eventually consume for nutrients and energy.

Sprouts are the first visible stage of germination! They can be grown from seeds in water and eaten within just a couple of days. Microgreens are what sprouts eventually grow into within 7-10 days! This small but very mighty green comes packed with more nutrients than older (baby greens or full-grown vegetables) selves.

Those small greens eventually grow into what you know as veggies. It could be broccoli, cabbage, kale, etc. You can use these tasty little microgreens in your meals, smoothies or eat them as a daytime snack - the choice is yours :) The best part though, is that you can grow them right from your home!! 


Questions:

What’s your favorite vegetable?

Would you rather eat a microgreen or an adult veggie?

If you could grow any vegetable at home which one would it be?

  

How can microgreens help me be healthier?

Just like any other veggie, microgreens provide you with special vitamins and nutrients that keep you healthy and full of energy! What makes microgreens different is that they can sometimes contain MORE of these nutrients and vitamins per serving compared to their full grown versions. 

For example, red cabbage microgreens have been shown to contain 40 times more vitamin E and six times more vitamin C than mature red cabbage! (1)

Vitamin E helps to maintain the cells in your body and keep them alive longer which lead to an overall healthier system. Benefits of vitamin C include protection for your immune system, heart diseases, prenatal health problems, eye disease, and even against skin wrinkling! (2) Basically it is SUPER good for you. Imagine having access to all that in a small microgreen!? So cool!


Questions

Do you know any other reasons eating your veggies can help make you strong and healthy?

What types of vitamins and minerals have you heard about? 

 

 

Growing Microgreens with Hamama!

 

Our Hamama kit makes it easy to grow and harvest your own microgreens in as little as 10 days!

If you haven’t already done so, you can purchase our starter kit here to grow along with us!

Your kit will come with a black growing tray and 3 Seed Quilts. The black growing tray is what holds all of the water your greens will need to grow! The 3 Seed Quilts will hold your seeds and provide a cozy home for them to grow on :)

It’s composed of a brown coconut mat, a felt pad where your seeds rest and then a top layer that sits on top of them for coverage. 

The coconut mat works to wick the amount of water that your seeds receive so that it gets the perfect amount throughout its growth cycle. Lastly that top layer of your Seed Quilt is used to provide a blackout period for your greens.

Our top layer mimics placing soil over the top of your seeds as you'd typically do if you were planting outside :D 

The weighted blackout period is crucial for two reasons: holding the seeds in place and shielding them from light. 

Holding the seeds down helps keep the seeds in close contact with the moist coconut mat & encourages the seeds to send their roots downward, deeper into the coconut mat. 

The darkness is important for the first few days so the seeds can germinate, root deeply, and grow to a point where they're ready to start photosynthesis. At the beginning phase, light can actually disrupt the chemical reactions necessary for the seed to begin to grow! 

Before we start, you can check out this awesome video our friends made showing you the growth of their Seed Quilts!



Getting Started

When you receive your kit you will want to make sure you fill your tray right to the fill line marked inside. You want to make sure not to go over or under the line! Going over can lead to over-watering and under-watering can lead to an under germinated quilt - the horror!!



Once your tray is filled, you will want to add your Seed Quilt to your tray! The brown, spongy side will go facing down into the tray while the tan side with the seeds will be facing up.



Now here comes the most important (and pretty fun) part! You will want to PUSH the mat into your tray! Don’t worry, the little ridges at the bottom of your tray will prevent the quilt from being completely submerged into the water. As the water from your tray starts to reach the top of the quilt, you will notice it turn a shade darker! This means the water is slowly being absorbed into the felt mat for the seeds to soak up. This water is what wakes up our seeds and tells them to “Start Growing!!” 

 

Waiting for Peel Day!

 

Each of our Seed Quilts comes with a small card that lets you know approximately when you should peel and harvest your microgreens. There’s a lot of fun other info on there too like the variety of broccoli green it is as well as the min number of seeds (can you believe there’s that many in there!?) and the germination rate! That lets you know the likely number of seeds that will sprout completely, 98% - I’d say that’s pretty good! 

When it comes to peeling your greens, you want to take a look at them when they are nearing the suggested peel date on your card. 

There are two ways in which your quilt will peel. It can either rip open like this:

 

 Or it can balloon up like this example:

Both are totally normal and a sign of good growth!

Depending on the way your quilt opens you will either have to rip open the rest of the quilt or peel it!


Questions:

Did your quilt balloon or rip?

 

 

Keeping track of our growth 

Depending on the microgreen you decide to grow and the environment they are in, each quilt will have different growth cycles. Below is a handy “Grow Chart” that will help you keep track of your greens’ progress! Use a ruler to measure the height of your greens and the height of your water level!  You'll see that as the greens grow taller, the water level will get lower - that's exactly what should happen because the plants are using up the water to help them grow big and strong!


Seed Quilt Type___________________________ Planting Date_____________ Peel Date_______   Harvest Date_______

DAY

HEIGHT

WATER LEVEL

OBSERVATIONS (Sight, smell, touch, taste)

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5 

Day 6

Day 7

Day 8

Day 9

Day 10


 

Final Days Until Harvest

 

Are you excited to harvest your greens!? To harvest something means that you pick or gather it. As a noun, harvest means the time when crops are ripe and ready to be gathered! 

As your greens start to grow they begin to take up a lot more water than before so keep a close eye on the water level before you harvest. If you wait too long to harvest and your greens run out of water they could wilt before you even get a chance to harvest them - IT’S TOO SAD TO EVEN THINK ABOUT!

Hmm well how do we know when your greens are ready? Great question!

Take a look back at that little information card that was included in your Seed Quilt package. 

You should see a “Grow Time” day. That should be your goal for when you want to harvest your greens! 

To harvest you can either cut your greens at the base of the root or pull the greens directly from your mat - root and all! You can wrap your greens in a paper towel or cloth and store them in a baggie or tupperware for when you’re ready to use them. Which brings us to another question..

How do I eat my greens? The simple answer is - any way you want!

Microgreens can be eaten alone as a snack, in a salad, in a wrap or sandwich, or even just on top of another meal as a garnish. The possibilities are endless!

You can find some recipes here for ideas or you can come up with one on your own!



Activities

 

Now it's YOUR turn to come up with a recipe!  Use this guide to learn how to write your own recipe that you can share with your Hamama friends!  You always want to write a catchy title that tells your friends why they should try your creation.  Make sure to write the measurement of each ingredient and how it should be prepared (for example 4 apples, 2 tsp salt) and easy step-by-step instructions that are very clear!

Coloring Time!

 

 

Can you find all the fun Hamama words in here?!  

  

Sources

1) Xiao, Z. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Aug. 22, 2012. News release, American Chemical Society.

2)  Krinsky, Norman I., et al. "Dietary reference intakes for vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, and carotenoids." Institute of Medicine (2000).

 

 



4 Responses

Allie Hamama
Allie Hamama

August 06, 2020

Hi Michelle! That is so cool! We are coming up with a blog post about travelling with Hamama – we would LOVE to see your pictures if you want to share them with us at Contact@hamama.com. :D Have fun & be safe! -Allie

Allie Hamama
Allie Hamama

August 06, 2020

Hi Veronica! So happy you and your gbaby are enjoying gardening together- love it! Hope you both have fum with this :D -Allie

Michelle
Michelle

August 06, 2020

My son and I are looking forward to growing microgreens on our roadtrip!

Veronica Ortiz
Veronica Ortiz

July 21, 2020

I absolutely love this idea!! My gbaby loves to learn and garden with me.
I can’t wait to show her! Thank you so much!!!

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