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Microgreen Garden Book Review

Microgreen Garden Book Review

When I first started an urban farming business last year growing microgreens, I was REALLY new to the whole process.  I didn’t know exactly what I was doing, because I started out growing microgreens as a hobby.  Only when I saw how beautiful they were and tasted their flavor did I decide to don my entrepreneurial hat and start selling them to restaurants around town.

When I was learning how to grow microgreens better, I came across this site by Mark Mathew Braunstein and devoured all of the content (despite the “90′s” look of the site.  I’ve been around since the Angelfire and Geocities days too, so I couldn’t fault the design of the site – especially when the information on growing microgreens was so good.)

Mark’s info helped me grow healthier microgreens in bigger quantities…but I still wanted more.  I was going  deep into the process of microgreen cultivation, learning the right seed spacing, watering techniques, soil requirements, and even harvesting techniques…but there had to be a resource I could turn to to know how the commercial growers do it so successfully.

Out of the blue, I got an email from a gardening book publisher letting me know that Mark was releasing a book on microgreens, asking if I wanted to check it out.  What kind of question was that?  Of course I would!

Just a few days later I had the book in my hands.

Sections

The book takes you from an absolute beginner’s perspective all the way to the most intricate details of growing microgreens – all in 104 well-illustrated pages.  I’ve gone ahead and summarized what you’ll learn in each of the main chapters below.  Enjoy!

Starting Your Garden

Great introduction to the philosophy behind microgreens and what makes them different than most of the plants that you’re used to growing.  Hint: they’re not that different!

Seeds

Because microgreens are harvested at such a young age, it’s really important to choose the right seeds for each variety.  Mark goes into incredible detail in this section, outlining the easiest seeds to start with, as well as the type of seeds you should look for (organic, untreated, which cultivar..) and how to care for them to maximize production

Sowing and Watering

When I started growing microgreens for the first time, the sowing and watering phase was by far the hardest thing to get a handle on.  I tested around 10 different types of soil, coco coir, and even hydroponic mats, all with mixed results.  When it came to watering, I just couldn’t seem to come up with a method that gave my plants adequate moisture without causing a lot of mold – which is a serious no-no when you’re selling to local restaurants.

In this section, Mark outlines exactly what soil you need depending on the type of plant you’re growing, as well as the best ways to water (hint: it’s simpler than you think!)

Germination and Growth

One of the more frustrating parts of growing micros is weak growth, or even a failure for most of the seeds in the tray to germinate.  This section covers the most common problems people have with germination and growing high quality micros, with some great suggestions on lighting, warmth, and seed-specific strategies.

Harvesting and Storing

Knowing how to harvest and store your micros after you’ve grown them is crucial – especially if you’re selling them commercially.  The last thing you want to do is deliver a batch to a local restaurant or a buyer at a farmer’s market, only to have them call you up and let you know that the microgreens went bad the very next day.  Because you harvest at such an early stage, these plants are very fragile and require some really unique harvesting and storing techniques to make sure you are able to enjoy them for as long as possible.

Planting in Containers

If you’re a home grower looking to supplement your diet with these superfoods, Mark goes into some cool tips about planting in fruit containers,

Planting in Trays

If you just can’t get enough micros and need massive quanitities (or if you’re a commercial grower), this section is for you.  Growing in trays requires a different approach and Mark outlines the things to consider when growing in trays.

Growing Sunflower and Pea Microgreens

Sunflower and pea microgreens are some of the most popular micros both commercially and for home growers – but they require a unique approach due to their seeds.  These are two plants that we actually EAT both seeds as normal food, so it stands to reason that they need to be grown in a different way. Mark shows you exactly how to have a successful sunflower or pea microgreen harvest.

Bonus: Sunflower microgreens are delicious :)

Recommended Microgreens

In my opinion, this section alone is worth the purchase price of the book.  Every plant is different, so it stands to reason that each type of microgreen that you grow will need slightly different watering, spacing, and lighting requirements to really thrive.  This section breaks down the easiest and most popular microgreens, giving you all of the conditions that they need to thrive.

Recipes

As if dropping this much knowledge on growing microgreens wasn’t enough, Mark then offers some really tasty ways to mix your micros into dishes.  If you want to eat them in different ways than micro salads or garnishes, this section is for you.

Start Your Microgreen Garden!

This is the book I wish I had when I first started growing microgreens.  It would have saved me hours of headaches figuring out how to water, light, supplement, harvest, and store my micros.  No matter if you’re a home grower or someone looking to set up a small commercial growing operation, Microgreen Garden by Mark Mathew Braunstein will help you grow microgreens like a true master of the garden.

Buy Microgreen Garden
Ready to get your microgreen garden started?  If you want to cut out a bunch of wasted time messing around with different seeds, soil mixes, and watering methods and would rather learn how to grow gorgeous microgreens on your first try, this book is a must-have.
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About Kevin

Kevin is the creator of Epic Gardening, a community dedicated to teaching urban gardening, hydroponics, and aquaponics. He enjoys skateboarding, piano, guitar, business, and experimenting with all kinds of gardening techniques!
  • http://www.microgreengarden.com mark mathew braunstein

    THANK YOU for such an extensive and favorable review of my book, Microgreen Garden.

    I note that your one complaint is about the interface of my OLD website. I created it using no cookie cutter template, so that I could assure it fill the entire screen no matter how high a monitor’s resolution. When I began my personal website in 2009, that was just before the rise in popularity of mobile devices. Trends change, and now people are viewing the web on smaller and smaller screens, not on bigger and better screens. Consequently, templates which restrict dimensions to only the low resolution of for instance iPads are now not so objectionable.

    You will be glad to know I created a new website devoted just to microgreens, and that website uses a cookie cutter template. I created it primarily to display in larger size all my photos, because the book reproduces them so small. As long as I was engaged in that, I also revised and added the texts there too.

    The new website is at: http://www.microgreengarden.com

    - Mark

    • Kevin

      Hey Mark,

      Thanks for taking the time to respond! I certainly didn’t mean to insult your old website, I used to build websites as a kid and had a lot of similar looking sites. Your book is AWESOME and I’m recommending it to everyone I know that wants to get started. By the way, would love to do an interview sometime if you are available :)

      - Kevin

      • http://www.microgreengarden.com mark mathew braunstein

        Kevin -

        Sure, an interview is welcomed. Twice, each one week apart, I attempted to contact you via your email, but you have exceeded your storage allowance and my messages bounced. Nor is your phone number listed on your website.

        I kindly await your response.

        - Mark

        • http://www.microgreengarden.com mark mathew braunstein

          Kevin -

          thanks for your email reply, but my response to you bounced yet again

          best to phone me, home phone 860-443-1271

          - Mark