41North & Microgreens
This post originally appeared on A Rainbow A Day. Reposted with permission.
One of the silver linings of the current lockdown situation is my new weekly farm share with 41North. Located in Hayden, about 30 minutes from Steamboat Springs, 41North features a year-round, 3,680 square-foot passive-solar greenhouse. It is the Yampa Valley’s first and only aquaponic produce farm and typically provides local restaurants with a variety of high quality and unusual produce.. Yet when restaurants were mandated to close, 41North unexpectedly lost their clients. And so overnight, they changed their model and offered CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm shares. They had no idea what to expect. Would anyone sign up? Would people be interested in what they had to offer? Not surprisingly, they were sold out within a week and currently have a waitlist. I am beyond thankful that I was able to snag a share.
You may think I am a little weird, but I have to say that I love the arrival of my farm share. I look forward to my weekly delivery – every week feels like Christmas as you never know exactly what you are going to get! I opted for the vegan share and each week we receive 4 heads of butter lettuce, 2 to 4 heads of bok choy and a variety of microgreens and herbs. Needless to say, I am definitely eating well during lockdown!
The microgreens are one of my new favorite discoveries. Until I started receiving weekly deliveries from 41North, I had only occasionally eaten microgreens in salads at restaurants or as garnish. In fact, I couldn’t have told you exactly what they were. And if you are like me, you may not be 100% sure either. So in case you are wondering, 41North sums it up nicely by stating:
Way more than just garnish, microgreens pack all sorts of nutrients and flavor in a compact package. Distinct from sprouts, which are just a couple days old, 41North microgreens take about 1-3 weeks to grow and offer a wide variety of uses and culinary possibilities.
Studies have shown that microgreens are loaded with nutrients, such as vitamins C, E an K, lutein and beta-carotene, 40 fold than the mature leaves of the same plants. As well as being concentrated in nutrients, they are packed with flavor. So, not only do they taste incredible but they are also really good for you. What’s not to love?
Lunchtimes have become a creative meal for me. Each day, I create a new salad using whatever microgreens I have been given. It has been fun trying to find the perfect combinations. Microgreens offer a slightly milder taste than their regular counterparts. Here are some of my new favorite combinations.
Celery microgreens – A great option to either enhance fresh celery that you might already have in a dish or to replace celery that might not be present. I added celery microgreens to a tuna fish salad and it was delicious. It also worked well with hard-boiled eggs.
Fennel microgreens – Not everyone loves the taste of fennel, but growing up in Europe where fennel is widely used, I love the unique anise taste of fennel. Fennel microgreens are milder than regular fennel but they still have the unique taste of fennel. I unexpectedly paired this microgreen with raspberries and a raspberry vinaigrette and the unique combination was delightful.
Cilantro microgreens – A great garnish for any curry or Asian dish. Also tasty sprinkled on avocado toast with salt and lime.
Mustard microgreens – These peppery gems are amazing paired with a good ham!
I am loving my microgreens so much that I decided to start growing my own. My daughter really wants to have a garden this year but with 3+feet of snow on the ground, it’s going to be a while before we grow anything so I decided to invest in growing our own microgreens. After some internet research, I bought a 3 month supply of seeds from Hamama. The unique system includes a ‘seed quilt’ that sits in water. The seeds take 10 days to 2 weeks to grow. We are on day 5. It’s exciting watching the seeds start to sprout. I can’t wait to share our progress with you next week! It reminds me of growing garden cress as a child. We used to grow it in water inside our house in the winter. I used to love watching it grow. Just like my daughter is enjoying watching our seeds grow. Some things never change!
Enjoy your week!