Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions is where you can get all of your questions answered about Micro-greens and Vitality Farms. Dont see your answer email us at info@vitalityfarmscompany.com or call at 863-660-8424

Micro-Green Questions

What are MicroGreens?

Microgreens are the seedlings of edible vegetables, herbs and flowers. They are harvested when the first leaves form, usually at about 10 days (depending on variety). Microgreens grow densely in a medium like soil or hydroponically. Because microgreens are harvested at the seedling state, they have concentrated levels of nutrients and flavor.

What is the difference between microgreens, sprouts & baby salad greens?

These are all different stages of a plant’s growth:

  • Sprouts: Sprouts are the first stage of a seed’s development and generally grow without a growing medium (soil), but are sprouted and rinsed in a sprouting tray, jar, or bag. They are usually eaten soon after the seeds germinate.
  • Microgreens: Microgreens typically grow in soil or other growing medium and are the second stage of a plant’s life, where roots establish themselves and the first leaves (called cotyledons) appear. They’re harvested at this stage or just as the true leaves (adult stage leaves) emerge. Plants in the microgreen stage are typically at their peak of flavor intensity and nutritional content.
  • Baby Salad Green: Baby greens are allowed to grow for a week or two beyond the microgreen stage when the true leaves have emerged. They’re harvested while they are still juvenile plants. The flavors are much closer to their full adult stage. These greens have had time to pull nutrients out of the soil they are growing in.
Why should I grow and eat microgreens?

Microgreens…

  • Are an easy way to get extra vegetables in your diet.
  • Offer great flavor and freshness.
  • Altought they are small, microgreens are packed with vitamins, mineral and antioxidants and offer a wide range of health benefits. In fact, evidence show that microgreens provide up to 40X more vitamins, minerals, and other health-promoting properties per bite when compared to their full-grown counterparts. (according to a study performed by the University of Maryland).
  • Are quick, easy and inexpensive to grow. 
  • Provide intense flavor pops to your food.
  • Add vibrant colors to make your dishes more visually appealing.
How nutritious are microgreens?

Because microgreens are harvested at the seedling stage, the plant’s nutrients are extremely concentrated. Microgreens contain high levels of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and offer a wide range of health benefits. In fact, evidence shows that microgreens provide up to 40X more vitamins, minerals, and other health-promoting properties per bite when compared to their full-grown counterparts. (according to a study performed by the University of Maryland).

How long can microgreens last once harvested?

Microgreens usually last at least 5-7 days if they are refrigerated at the right temperature.

Whats Sulforaphane?

Sulforaphane is a natural plant compound found in many cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and kale.It has been linked to health benefits, such as improved heart health and digestion. 

Sulforaphane has been shown to have anticancer properties in a number of test-tube and animal studies, reducing both the size and number of various types of cancer cells. 

Sulforaphane may also prevent cancer cell growth by releasing antioxidant and detoxification enzymes that protect against carcinogens — substances that cause cancer. 

Sulforaphane is activated when glucoraphanin comes into contact with myrosinase, a family of enzymes that play a role in the defense response of plants.

Myrosinase enzymes are only released and activated when a plant is damaged. Therefore, cruciferous vegetables must be cut, chopped, or chewed to release myrosinase and activate sulforaphane. 

Raw vegetables have the highest levels of sulforaphane. One study found that raw broccoli had ten times more sulforaphane than cooked broccoli. We highly recommend this video.

are your microgreens organic?

We are not certified organic growers. Our growing method is considered organic because we don’t use any fertilizers, pesticides or soil that might be contaminated. Plus we only use Non-GMO seeds and purified water. So technically, it is organic growing, BUT not every seed we purchase is organic. Some of the seed varieties are not available as organic. We try our best to only purchase organic seeds but even if they are not organic, rest knowing that they are all Non-GMO seeds grown in an organic way! So it’s as close to organic as you can possibly get. It’s actually considered veganic. 

Can microgreens be grown outside?

Microgreens are a little delicate and like all young seedlings, they are better protected from the harsh world outside. The heat, sun, and wind can dry them out and their tender leaves are an easy target for pests to munch on. Fortunately, most microgreens do very well indoors as they like room temperatures (70°F to 80°F) and the partially filtered light that comes through a window. The best place to grow your microgreens is an indoor windowsill if you’ve got one. 

If you are going to grow them outside there are a couple steps you should follow. First, make sure it’s not too cold when you are starting, as the seed will have trouble sprouting below 65 °F. Second, avoid harsh environments by setting up in a partially shaded area that is protected from the wind. Finally, if you see flies, caterpillers, or bugs, give them a thorough rise before eating (we don’t recommend using pesticides). 

Can Microgreens regrow?

Most gardeners are used to being able to pick a few leaves at a time from their herbs or greens and the plant will grow back just fine – it’s a great way to get the most out of your plants! While we wish this worked for microgreens, unfortunately most can only be harvested one time. This is because most microgreens only have one set of leaves, so after they’re harvested, there’s nothing left to collect the sunshine needed to grow back. However, there are a couple exceptions to this rule.  Microgreen shoots, like peas, beans, and lentils, are able to grow back a couple of times as long as you harvest them above their bottom leaf. The taste starts to fade after the first harvest, but you can usually get these to regrow once or twice with decent flavor and texture.  

Do microgreens need to be washed before eating them?

Per the USDA (United States Agriculture Department), it is recommended that all produce should be rinsed before consumption.  Just make sure to give them a very quick rinse with filtered water. Try not to soak your microgreens when washing them. Keep in mind that our microgreens are grown in purified water. So, if you do not have filtered water in your home, you will be introducing chlorine and other toxic chemicals to your microgreens before consumption. You don’t want that! Rinsing your microgreens will wash off any seed hulls as well as any coco coir that you might have found their way onto your greens. The coco coir won’t hurt you if consumed, but it sure isn’t tasty and has zero nutritional value! 🙂 Our microgreens are grown in a sterile environment, so we personally do not worry about it a lot.

Why don’t you offer living Microgreens?

We have found that living microgreens are not as widely desired as we originally anticipated. Properly grown, fresh pre-cut Microgreens  in lightweight plastic containers are much less costly, use less packaging, are higher quality and save time in the kitchen.  

Vitality Farms Questions

Who founded Vitality Farms?

Vitality Farms Company  LLC was founded by James & Lisa Welsh in 2019;  they have a combined 6 years experience in the farming industry. Through there expertise, they  had pivoted through a pandemic, and have now produce some unique product lines. We developed Microsalt, which we now teach farmers how to do. We also create GIY Grow it yourself kits, we cater them to companies, holidays, people etc. 

where do you grow?

Vitality Farms Company  LLC grows the majority of its crop inside its home about 1/3 of the house has been transformed into a large grow area. We are also growing out side in our back yard. 

why did you start Vitality Farms?

Vitality Farms Company was born as James decided that he always wanted to be responsible for providing goodness in people lives, instead of making money of things that harm people. (Do you really know what’s in candy…. he does and its really gross). Lisa has watch several amazing people die to cancer and she thinks it sucks, ( Once she read about Broccoli, she was in and on a quest to make everyone eat broccoli). Reason 3 collectively our youngest son and grandchildren really were in need of a super dense nutrient rich product, because the little kids can grow it, and the athlete can take it with him. Next year he will grow his veggies in his college dorm. 

Don't you use alot of electricity?

Vitality Farms Company LLC is grow in our home which is fully powered by solar energy so we do all we can to maintain a small impact on the environment. 

Sprout Questions

What are sprouts?

Sprouts are a primal stage of growth and are often, grown in water. Sprouts are eaten whole, stems and seeds, usually soon after the seeds germinate.

is it safe to sprout?
  • The outbreaks of salmonella and e.coli associated with supermarket bought sprouts are scary, but since you are sprouting at home, you are in control, from the cleanliness of the jar, tray, your hands, how often you rinse the seeds and how much ventilation the sprouts get, so the chances of getting food-borne illness with sprouts are greatly reduced.e.
  • Microgreens: Microgreens typically grow in soil or other growing medium and are the second stage of a plant’s life, where roots establish themselves and the first leaves (called cotyledons) appear. They’re harvested at this stage or just as the true leaves (adult stage leaves) emerge. Plants in the microgreen stage are typically at their peak of flavor intensity and nutritional content.
  • Baby Salad Green: Baby greens are allowed to grow for a week or two beyond the microgreen stage when the true leaves have emerged. They’re harvested while they are still juvenile plants. The flavors are much closer to their full adult stage. These greens have had time to pull nutrients out of the soil they are growing in.
Where is the best place to grow my sprouts or microgreens?

Sprouts grow well in temperatures between 18-24ºC; therefore, are best grown in areas like over the kitchen counter.

How long does it take to grow Micro-Greens?

Lisa’s awesome answer!

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What is the shelf life of your sprouting seeds?

Most seeds will sprout with a very high germination rate for several years. After about the second or third year, the germination rate begins to decline a bit. However, keep in mind that seeds are designed by nature to keep for prolonged lengths of time and still sprout. Just like the wheat (a strain called “kamut”) found in Egyptian tombs which still sprouted after thousands of years. Our Food Storage Sprouting Kit includes seeds that are packed oxygen free, which effectively extends the shelf life of the seeds for 5 to 10 years without drastically affecting the germination rate.

What does certified organic mean?

Sprouting is certified by the USDA. Organic certification means that we are regularly inspected and pass rigorous standards for organic certification. You can learn more about it from the USDA

How to sprout?

Method 1: The Soak and Sieve Method

Good for: Mung beans, chickpeas, lentils, quinoa, buckwheat

You will need:

  • Container to soak beans/lentils/peas in
  • Sieve
  • Towel

Directions:

  • Soak beans/lentils/peas of choice overnight.
  • Rinse thoroughly in a sieve.
  • Leave in the sieve over a bowl.
  • Rinse twice per day, once in the morning, once in the evening, then cover with a towel.
  • Watch them sprout away!

Method 2: The Saggy Sack Method

Good for: Alfalfa sprouts, broccoli, sprouts cabbage sprouts, clover sprouts

You will need:

  • Mason jar
  • Nut sack or cheesecloth (available at health foods stores and hardware stores – and they have multiple uses)
  • Seed/lentil of choice
  • Food-grade hydrogen peroxide (to prevent mould growth, optional)

Directions:

  • Add 1-2 Tbsp of seeds to the nut sack, then place the sack in a mason jar.
  • Fill jar with water, making sure all beans/seeds are covered.
  • Allow to sit like this for 12-24 hours.
  • After elapsed time, drain out the water and rinse the seeds.
  • Leave the nut sack and seeds hanging in the empty jar.
  • Rinse your sproutlings twice a day. Each time you rinse them, rinse several times, then leave to drain.
  • If using food-grade hydrogen peroxide, add 1/2 tsp to the water and let sit for five minutes before rinsing several times. This helps prevent mould growth.
  • When ready, keep sprouts refrigerated and rinse daily.

Method 3: The Micro-Farm Method

Good for: Pea sprouts, sunflower sprouts, wheat grass

You will need:

  • A pan or casserole dish
  • Organic sprouting seeds of choice
  • Organic soil

Directions:

  • Line a casserole dish or pan with approximately two inches of organic soil.
  • Sprinkle a handful of seeds on top, then cover with another inch of soil.
  • Spritz with a little bit of water every day.
  • After 4-5 days, you will have sprouts! When you’re ready to use them, trim them with scissors.
What types of micro-greens are available?

Lisa’s awesome answer B

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GIY Grow it yourself kit Questions

Is this mold or root hairs?

Many people get this confused here is a picture to help you.

The white hairs shown in the above image are  root hairs on Sunflower microgreens and are to be expected. The Mold has a more fuzzy look than root hairs. This fungus was treated with food-grade hydrogen peroxide and disappeared.

my soil pucks don't fill the contianer?

You do not need your counter filled to the Brim as a matter of fact they need very little soil but feel free to fill up or top off with everyday potting soil if you desire. 

 

What about bugs?

We can’t say 100% no, but for most microgreens varieties, the plants are harvested before gnats can become a problem. I can say that if bugs were a problem Lisa would shut it down. She tends to be scared of most things that move in her direction. (Just ask her about snakes, or bats)

Here’s how to reduce or eliminate the possibility of having fungus gnats affect the soil. Buy a “fresh” bag professional-grade potting mix. By fresh, we mean soil in recently packaged bags. All commercial potting mix is sterilized before being packaged. There are holes in the bags to allow moisture exchange with the soil, so if potting mixes sit too long on the shelves of a store (especially stores that sell soil near their tropical plants), fungus gnats can lay eggs in the bagged soil.

Ask for new bags and don’t buy so much that it sits around in the house. 

The second helpful tip is to not overwater any of your plants, including your houseplants. Fungus gnats only occur when very moist soil is available to the insects for an extended period.

Another insect problem is aphids. I’m not sure how they get in, whether it’s from open windows, or they’re brought in from outside on shoes or clothes, but they can infest herb microgreens at times. Especially basil and cilantro. The best way to get rid of aphids is to wash them off the microgreens after you harvest them. Short term microgreens like broccoli, radishes, kohlrabi, kale, etc. never have pest problems. 

 

How densely should i plant my microgreens?

As a general rule of thumb, seeding densities should be thick enough to cover your sowing surface, but not to the point of inhibiting air flow. Both small and large seeds should be planted thickly (⅛–¼” apart).

  • Small seeds: 10–12 seeds per square inch
  • Medium to large seeds: 6–8 per square inch

Seeding too densely can result in lack of air circulation which increases risk of disease.

when do i harvest my microgreens?

When to harvest is subjective to the taste of the individual and the variety of microgreen. Some microgreens such as celery, cilantro, and basil shouldn’t be cut until they develop true leaves. 

Other microgreens, like radishes, kohlrabi, cabbage, and broccoli, should be harvested in the cotyleydon stage at 3 or 4 inches in height.

Microgreens like mustards and kales can be harvested during either stage, depending on the taste characteristics of  the consumer.

Do I fertilize my greens?

Unless you were specifically told to fertilize or it is on the package of seed directly you do not need to have any fertilizer.  Vitality Farms tries to make sure all necessary information is given to you on the grow card. Fertilizer is used for any of the long-term growing microgreens such as basil, celery, onions, or any other microgreen you’re trying to grow past 21-days. 

Do I need grow lights?

Absolutely not.

Grow lights are not necessary to grow microgreens. Microgreens will grow well under inexpensive LED lights with a color temperature above 5,000K.

What is the best way to water microgreens?

Most microgreens varieties prefer bottom watering to overhead watering. To bottom water, be sure to plant into a tray with drainage holes. Seat your planted tray into an empty tray with no holes. Add water to this bottom tray and allow your microgreens to soak up this water without getting leaves wet.

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