Reposting of Windowsill Gardening: Micro-greens

(This is a post from a few Aprils ago to celebrate Earth Day, Every Day. I am re-posting it, because I think sprouting is a great way to start growing your own food.)

Sprouting is a great project to delve into, especially if you have no backyard garden to plant flowers and veggies. We have a patio, and my husband plants the flowers while I grow the herbs and some veggies. But “baby greens,” also called soil sprouts, gourmet sprouts, or micro-greens can be done on your windowsill. By sprouting organic seeds, you are growing locally and organically. How good is that?


Ready to harvest! Sunflower on the left
and buckwheat on the right.

Tools: Bowls for soaking seeds, strainers, small plastic tubs, organic garden soil, paper towels, dark plastic bags,

Here are the basic steps:

  1. Find some small containers, such as tubs from strawberries, tofu, or other foods that come in plastic containers. Wash and dry and fill with potting soil. (I buy organic soil from a local nursery and also may be able to obtain composted soil.)
  2. Soak about 1/2 cup of seeds of choice in jars or bowls overnight. Next day, strain and leave in the strainer to sprout a little before planting, maybe one or to days, rinsing the seeds at least once each day. You may not see any “tails” yet.
  3. On the second or third day, fill the tubs with soil and add water to soil to moisten. Spread the seeds onto the soil, shoulder-to-shoulder, that is, don’t worry about spacing. Moisten a piece of paper towel twice the size of the tub and fold in half over the seeds.  Moisten the paper towel. Cover with a dark plastic bag and tie off the end and then place on a warm windowsill. Check in 24 hours. If the paper towel is dry, moisten and place tub back in its mini-greenhouse.
  4. In 3 or 4 days you should see the black plastic looking higher than when you first planted the seeds. Time to remove the paper towel and black plastic and let the seeds sprout on your windowsill, giving them some water at least every other day or every day is the temperature on the sill dries out the soil.

Here are the micro-greens while they are still growing.
The black hulls are beginning to fall off.

5. By the time one week has passed, more or less depending on the temperature on your sill and whether or not it is a sunny window, the hulls will probably fall off by themselves and land on your windowsill, so putting a small tray under the tubs may be a good idea.

6. You can start cutting down the tallest sprouts and let the shorter ones come up now that they are not “shaded” by the earlier sprouts. The ones you cut down will not grow back, but you will get a second harvest from the shorter ones that were shaded by the earlier sprouts.

7. The micro-greens are full of nutrients, since if they were placed in the ground, they would become plants. And since they are eaten raw, none of the nutrients are destroyed, so only cut down what you can use each day, keeping them “alive” in the soil.

Add micro-greens to salads, sandwiches, as garnish for soups, sprinkled on celery stuffed with nut butters, in wraps and just to munch on!


This is a cooking-by-the-strings of your apron recipe, because a lot depends on the house temperature, the quality of the seeds, and “getting to know” what the seedlings need. I also soaked and planted peas to make pea shoots, and they spoiled before they sprouted and I had to compost them. So don’t worry if the first couple of times you have problems. You can email me at: with questions.



SPROUTING on ZOOM: Friday, October 22nd: 10:30 am EST



Join me to learn Sprouting on Friday, October 22nd at 10:30 am (est) ID: 894 0728 0194

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Because for most of the class we will be learning what to sprout, how to sprout seeds in jars and grow microgreens in trays, there will be fewer recipes but more information, since sprouts and microgreens can be added to your own favorite recipes.

However, I will be making a black bean pasta topped with grated orange carrots as my special recipe for Halloween. This is a cooking by the strings of your apron with the amounts to your liking.

Halloween Pasta

My local Acme had a sale on lentil pasta (non-grain), so I bought three boxes: one from red lentils, one from green lentils and one from black beans, which I had never seen. I also added black olives (hard to see) and raw carrot ribbons, but I think grated carrots might be a better choice.  I hope to change it when I make a batch on Friday. Also, add any of the sprouts you grow right before serving.

Utensils: Cooking pot for pasta, peeler or grater
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 7-9 minutes


2-3 ounces pasta (per box directions)
enough water to cover the beans (Directions say 3 qts but they may be for whole box)
Grated carrots or strips
Cooked black beans or black olives for topping
Sauce of your choice. I used pestacado (pesto from avocado, my recipe)*
Sprouts or microgreens of your choice

Directions (from the box)

Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil, salt if desired.

Add pasta. Stir, reduce heat to a gentle boil

Cook 7-9 minutes or until desired doneness.

Drain in a colander; then rinse under note water.

Toss pasta with your favorite sauce.

* Since the idea is to have orange and black dominant, I used less pesto dressing than normal.



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