While people worked from home and stayed in more over the last couple of years, many developed new hobbies, including gardening. For those with large gardens or those who only have room in their kitchens, microgreens were an easy intro into growing and harvesting your own food.
Lori Babineaux, who owns City Girl's Farm in Lafayette, has been growing and selling microgreens for about 7 years, and she explained what all the hype is about.
"A microgreen is a baby plant. Once it's germinated you let it grow for a couple of weeks, and then its before the true leaves come out and that's when the enzymes are highest and when the beneficial nutrients are highest," explains Babineaux.
Popular microgreen varieties include broccoli, cabbage, radish and sunflower. The plants are harvested long before they're fully grown, but they pack a punch.
"It's dialed up," explains Babineaux. "Most microgreens are between four and forty times as nutrient dense as a mature plant, so for example broccoli microgreens are between ten and twenty times as nutrient dense. So a big pinch of that is between like 15 or 20 cups of broccoli."
According to LSU's Ag Center, Microgreens are packed with fiber, essential minerals, vitamins and antioxidant compounds. Broccoli microgreens are gaining popularity for disease-fighting sulforaphane, which is said to be a defense for Alzheimers, Parkinsons, Diabetes and even Cancer. Microgreens also combat inflammation.
On top of that, growing them at home doesn't require much space. City Girl's Farm has several shelves, but all you really need is a sunny spot by a window and two weeks to water your greens and watch them grow. Then you can try them for yourself.
"People put them on sandwiches and in salads. That's the main way people eat them. But they're really great in a lot of applications. Some of my clients will send me pictures of them on their pizza. If you're going to eat fast food, you might as well make it count," says Babineaux.
If you'd like to start incorporating microgreens in your diet, City Girl's Farm can be found at the Hub City Farmer's Market every Saturday in the Oil Center, Fightingville Fresh on Tuesdays and Saturdays, and in Delcambre once a month. Babineaux has greens that you can take home and eat or seeds to grow them yourself. Her facebook page is a great way to find out where she'll show up next.