Microgreens add color, flavor and nutrition – The Storm Lake Times

Buena Vista County's Hometown Newspaper
Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Liza with multiple varieties of microgreens.
Microgreens on keto bowls at Coffee Tree.
Harvest is complete at the Rod and Liza Parker farm west of Aurelia, but one crop is still growing in the basement: Liza’s microgreens – young, flavorful vegetable greens that are catching on as a superfood.
Liza started growing microgreens two years ago. They thrive under grow-lights year round and when they’re only a few inches tall she harvests them carefully with a knife.
She packages them and delivers them once a week to Daily Apple and Coffee Tree in Storm Lake and Noggin’ Water in Cherokee.
Microgreens can be incorporated into a variety of dishes, including sandwiches, wraps and salads.
Pea seeds ready to plant.
Liza tops stir fries with the tiny tender plants. At Coffee Tree they appear on keto bowls and are blended into smoothie mixtures.
“I wanted something for myself to do,” Liza explains, of her enterprise. For 11 years she operated Degree of Style, a salon in Cherokee. Upon the arrival of her fourth child, the youngest, who’s now two, she became a stay-at-home mom.
Watering the young sprouts.
The microgreens were a natural choice for Liza. “I came upon them online,” she says. “I wanted something to offer the community that’s useful.” She added, “I have a high interest in healthy food.” She eats a limited amount of meat, though she happily cooks hearty meaty meals for Rod, an Aurelia High School grad in the class of 2000, and the kids.
She plants these varieties, under her brand name ParkerGreens: peas, spicy salad mix, broccoli, kale, spinach and purple radish, each with their own distinct flavor.
Harvesting the microgreens.
She places seeds on top of a layer of soil in plastic trays. They are covered for four days, during which time they germinate.
Next, the trays are uncovered and placed under lights. They’re ready to harvest in about a week. The whole process takes 11 days.
Later the soil is dumped on a compost pile outside and the process is repeated with new seeds.
Despite their small size, microgreens pack a nutritional punch, containing higher nutrient levels than more mature vegetable greens.
Packaged and ready to sell. Liza designed the logo.
Retailing at $4.50, Liza’s two-ounce pack of microgreens looks expensive, but it matches or exceeds the health benefits of a much larger container of lettuce.
Unlike sprouts, microgreens have leaves. Sprouts are more susceptible to bacteria and mold because they are grown in a liquid solution instead of soil.
Liza takes care to control the humidity and airflow around her little crops to prevent mold.
Although her operation is small scale, she’s satisfied with the income it generates. “I’m thrilled to be a part of something I believe in,” she says. “People are learning to appreciate what these little greens can do.”
The Storm Lake Times
220 W Railroad St
PO Box 487
Storm Lake, IA 50588
712.732.4991 | 1.800.732.4992
DMCA Notices
Newspaper web site content management software and services