Saturday, 31 January 2015

The all year round veg

If there is one Veg that has become very fashionable in the last few years that would be Micro Veg they have become loved by Michelin star chiefs.
They also go under the name of speedy veg, sprouting seeds and several other names but what ever you call them they are all grown and eaten in the same way. You are basically eating seedlings they are packed full of nutrients and make a great salad or garnish all year round. Best of all they only take from seven days from sowing to eating depending on the variety you are growing. Where once there was only mustard and cress now there is a multitude of variety's to choose from. Broccoli, leek, alfalfa, beetroot, sunflower, basil and many more. They are all grown in the same way the only difference is the time they take from sowing to eating. To get started chose some good seeds on this occasion I have chosen Suttons seeds. Best to choose variety's that have been specially bread for sprouting as you get much more seed in your packet and also the price. Get yourself a container any shallow plastic pot/tray out of the recycling I have a tray which is split up in to several individual containers.
It had Christmas nibbles in which where very nice and instead of it going in the bin I am re using it for Micro Veg. Place about a centimetre of compost in the bottom sprinkle the seeds on top and give a little water being carefully not to over water as there is no holes for drainage. Place on a window sill and just keep an eye on the watering they will germinate within days of sowing. When they are about 3-4cm tall simply clip them off at the base give them a quick wash and you have a great salad or garnish for your table. For a constant supply sow new batches regularly I tend to just grow Micro Veg through the winter when there is very few other salad's available. They add a bit of summer to the plate which is not needed the rest of the year when salads are in plentiful supply.
Newly sowed Micro Veg
One of the biggest fans of Micro Veg is Raymond Blanc I was lucky enough to be able to visit Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons at the end of the summer last year. Hear they have a whole greenhouse dedicated to Micro Veg celery, beetroot, basil etc. are all grown for the kitchen. They have to make a new sowing every day to keep up with demand as several full size seed trays are needed every day. It reminds me of a propagation house except not one seedling will every grow up they are all sent off to the kitchen from 7 - 20 days depending on the variety. I don't know of any other restaurant that goes to this much trouble to get the very best produce for there table. But they are one of the best restaurants in the country they also grow about 10% of the vegetables they use in the kitchen in there own vegetable garden I am going to write a post on the veg garden soon.
Micro Veg ready for harvest

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