Oniony Leeks Growing Diary

October 17, 2022

Oniony Leeks Growing Diary

Can you be-leaf it?…Leeks are here! Leeks in their microgreen form boast a fresh and mild onion-y flavor, adding a burst of flavor to any savory dish. These bright green, long & slender greens can be used as an onion substitute in most any dish. They are an especially delicious compliment to burgers, soups, tacos, pastas and eggs. 😍

Health Benefits

🌱 High in vitamin B6

🌱 Good source of vitamin K 

🌱 Contain vitamin C for cellular and tissue health

🌱 High in vitamin A for vision health and immunity

🌱 Contain Calcium, Iron & Phosphorus to aid in blood clotting, muscle function, bone regeneration, cell signaling and more.

🌱 Good source of magnesium, manganese & folate to support muscle and nerve function, energy           production, red blood cell formation and thyroid health.

🌱 Contain allicin, an anti-microbial for immune support.

🌱 May lower risk of heart disease and stroke, lower inflammation and protect heart health.

Taste & Appearance

🌱 Leek microgreens have an elongated and needle-like shape, and grow to be about 3-4 inches tall. They are a beautiful bright green with some soft black seed hulls (these are edible!) still attached at the tops. Very unique and beautiful!

🌱 Leek microgreens have a soft and juicy texture and they will add a slight garlic & onion-y flavor to any dish!  

We love micro-leeks on just about any savory dish! They are an especially popular and delicious addition to burgers, pizza, pasta, potatoes, eggs, and soups.

We created a BIG, Holiday-Edition compilation of recipes using leek microgreens & more in our FREE Recipe eBook...Be sure to download it and give them a go this holiday season! We hope you and your loved ones enjoy them!

Recipe eBook sneak peek:

Here are a few things you should know before you grow:

  1. The peel time is around 6-7 days after the initial soak (a tad longer than your typical Hamama Seed Quilt!).
  2. The grow time is around 8-10 days.
  3. You will see some black seeds stuck on top of the grown leek microgreens - these are edible and perfectly normal!
  4. Leek microgreens will grow to be about 3-4 inches tall at maturity when ready to harvest. The top ⅓ of each micro-herb will fold or “hook” over - this is the best time to harvest them! They may keep growing taller than that but it is best to harvest at this stage for peak flavor (this is a rule of thumb as different growing conditions may affect this slightly).
  5. Onions, garlic, chives, and leeks are in the Allium family, and are poisonous to both dogs and cats. If your dog or cat eats a small slice of leek by accident, they should probably be okay. However, eating a significant amount of leek in one serving, or eating small amounts regularly, can both lead to sickness and anemia. How much leek is bad for your pet will depend on their size, breed, age, and metabolism as these all affect their tolerance and how their body processes the toxin.

Day 1: Planting the Seed Quilt

Just follow the simple Hamama instructions & check out our YouTube channel for some great tips and tricks to ensure a perfect harvest! This video demonstrates how to soak your Seed Quilt for optimal and even germination!

Give your Seed Quilt a quick shake to evenly distribute the seeds, add water to the fill line on your tray, then set the quilt on the tray’s bottom ribs. To ensure that it is adequately soaked, be sure to hold it down long enough for the quilt to turn a shade darker. A good trick is to flick the Seed Quilt! If the seeds roll around in their pods, that is a good sign it is too dry and could soak for just a little longer. After the soak, you want to be sure that the quilt is properly propped on the tray's bottom ribs so that neither side of the quilt is dipping into the water. You also want to be sure the seed pockets are not under water after the dunk and that no water is left pooling on top of the seeds. Here are some extra watering tips!

Day 2: Not too many changes

You won’t see much happening on day two but there are some things to note:

  • The water level may have gone down from day one. That’s totally normal! Our Seed Quilts and trays are designed to provide the seeds with enough water to last them from day one until harvest day. No need to add additional water at this point.
  • Another thing to note is the environment where you keep your greens! When referring to temperature, anywhere between 65-80 F is best. The warmer they are in that range, the faster they will grow on time with predictable health. Cooler temps can stunt the growth and it'll take a little longer for the seeds to germinate. Microgreens don't necessarily need a lot of light to grow (especially pre-peel) but will halt if they are too cold so I would prioritize warmth over light! Remember our rule of thumb: if it’s comfy for you, it’ll be comfortable for your little plant babies!

Curious what that top layer is for? It's important to have a weighted black-out period for the first few days of growing microgreens. The weighted black-out period (seeds held down + darkness) encourages the seeds to send their roots downward, as opposed to growing outward and sending out root hairs to grab moisture from the air.

Day 3: Hang tight

There aren't many changes to note just yet! With some our other Seed Quilts, you will commonly see some germination by day 3 or so, but hang tight for the leeks! You may see that the top paper is puffing just slightly.

Day 4: Sprout, sprout baby

Now you will likely start to see the seeds sprouting & you should notice consistent ballooning across the Seed Quilt more and more each day. At this point, the seeds are starting to set their roots down into the coconut mat.

Day 5: Consistent Ballooning

Each pocket of the leek Seed Quilt is evenly ballooning, and slightly tearing open in this case on one of the corner pockets. These microgreens have sprung up and have made progress in ballooning and ripping through the top paper. I waited another day before I peeled, when every pocket was on the same page.

It’s important not to peel too early! As the roots begin to grow, they need that top layer to encourage them to penetrate the bottom of the mat. Without it, the roots risk staying above the mat, which would cause them to dry out.

Not only does it help the roots but it is also super beneficial for the greens themselves! It keeps moisture in from the initial soak, regulates temperature and humidity, and also shields the seeds from light during the germination process!

Day 6: Peel Day!

If your seedlings have germinated and you see that the top paper is fully ballooned and/or ripped, it's time to peel and give those leeks some sun and air. Don't worry if your Seed Quilt is not to this point yet; depending on your growing conditions (light/temp/humidity/etc), your Seed Quilt may be ahead or behind by a couple of days. Reach out to our team of Grow Coaches at hamama.com/help with a photo if you want a second opinion!

This particular Leek Seed Quilt is a great example of a ballooned and ripped Seed Quilt. If your Seed Quilt is ballooned, you can just peel the cover off in one motion! Some quilts will have microgreens that rip through the top layer rather than balloon. All you have to do in that case is remove the pieces individually.

Day 7: Greening & growing up

Now that your greens aren’t hiding under that top layer, you can see just how much they grow day to day! They will also turn greener as they absorb more light. As the greens get bigger they also tend to take up a lot more water. That makes this the perfect time to check the water level of your greens, especially if you live in a drier climate! If you notice that the water level has gone below the halfway point of the fill line and bottom of your tray, you can add enough water to reach the ridges at the base of the tray. This gives those roots enough water to sustain the greens without over-watering them!

*Remember, this only applies to dry growing conditions (indoor heat included) - the normal function is that you just add water once.

Day 8 - Eat up!

For a general rule of thumb, your leek microgreens will range from 3-5 inches tall at maturity. Just like any other microgreen though, this is just a reference as growing conditions (light, temp, etc) will affect the mature height slightly. A reminder that you may see some dark seed hulls stuck to the tops of the greens which is normal!

Harvesting & Storing your Leek Microgreens 

Your leek microgreens can be harvested by cutting at the base & storing them in a glass Tupperware or Stasher Bag in the fridge. They will last for about 10 days that way! If you prefer to munch on your greens while they are in the tray, the mature greens can remain there for a few extra days, but you must periodically check that they have enough water to drink! Otherwise, they may prematurely wilt over from thirst. The greens can also become slightly bitter and more fibrous the longer you leave them in the tray after maturing. Check out our YouTube episode on Harvesting your Microgreens!

* Make harvesting & storing your homegrown greens a breeze! The Hamama Harvesting Kit includes a reusable Stasher Bag®, cute branded harvesting scissors, and natural fiber bamboo scrub brush for cleaning your grow tray!

 

Do you need to rinse your micro-leeks before use?

When the microgreens are ready to harvest you don't need to rinse them, but you can if you want. Whatever you feel comfortable with! Since there’s no soil, they’re already super clean.

*For longer storage, don’t rinse the harvested microgreens before storing. Instead, rinse just before eating, if desired!

 

What's next?

After harvesting your greens, you can compost or re-purpose the used coconut mat! Learn how to Upcycle your Coconut Mats here!

Then, you can give your grow tray a quick wash & plant your next Seed Quilt! Learn how to wash your grow tray here.

We hope you really enjoy our Leek microgreens...Let us know what you think in the comments below!

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