The growing project included in December's Veggie Buds Club box is "Grow Micro Basil", and let me tell you, this one is fun (and yummy!). Veggie Buds Club members receive a seed packet of organic basil seeds, grow tray, and organic grow pad (seeds and pad are from Sprout People, a great company based in the US that has been providing 100% GMO-free organic seeds for over 20 years). Instructions are also included, but we wanted to elaborate on how to grow Micro Basil at home in more detail and provide some kid-friendly ways to incorporate these tasty sprouts into everyday meals. First we'll outline our basic instructions, keep scrolling for day-by-day photos and recipe inspiration!
How to Grow Micro Basil
Here is more in-depth information about growing Micro Basil from Sprout People:
*You are working with mucilaginous seeds. Every seed will take up water from the thoroughly moistened medium and will surround itself with a gel sack. That sack has all the water the seed needs to germinate. You won't need to water again until germination begins.
Once germination takes place - keep the medium moist by watering gently or misting with a spray bottle every day or three. The deal with watering is that the deeper your medium, the less you need to water, and the plants won't require a lot of water until they get growing big - at which point you may need to drench the medium every day.
Note: These amazing little plants have a unique root structure. They may show microscopic roots starting a couple days after they germinate. They are called root hairs and are most visible just before watering - when the plants are at their driest. These root hairs impress many people as mold - but they are not. When you water your crop the root hairs collapse back against the tap root. Viola! No root hairs!
Growing Micro Basil in Pictures
These are photos from our Micro Basil growing experience! My 4 year old had a great time with this growing project and thought the Micro Basil was super yummy. She enjoyed watering it with the spray bottle and smelling and patting the Micro Basil as it grew. It took us exactly 14 days to grow Micro Basil in Minnesota in November.
You Grew Micro Basil- Now What?
Micro Basil is a delicious garnish on many dishes such as pasta, tomato salad, pizza, and salads. Here at Veggie Buds Club we focus on kid-friendly meals, below are some ways that myself and the kids (ages 4 and 2) enjoyed our Micro Basil!
This sprouting activity is super fun because it is quick and the corn sprouts grow very tall, both of which will keep the attention of your little ones.
"Sprout a Corncob" was the growing activity included in August's "Kids Love Sweet Corn" Veggie Buds Club kit, read on to learn how to sprout your own at home!
You can often find dry corncobs at garden or hardware stores (it is used for feed for wild animals). You can also find decorative Indian or ornamental corn at farmers markets, grocery stores, etc. in the fall season.
Dry corncob kernels are corn seeds. Simply fill a dish with 1 inch of water and place the corncob in the water. Place this is a sunny spot and then admire your corn as it grows! Within a few days you will begin to see the shoots sprout upwards, you will also see the roots grow in the water. You may need to pour the water out and refill with fresh water if it gets a little stinky.
Corn is actually a type of grass that has been cultivated over the course of thousands of years to resemble today's modern corn. You will definitely notice that the sprouts look just like grass!
A Little History of Corn
Scientists believe that people living in central Mexico developed corn at least 7,000 years ago. It was started from a wild grass called teosinte. Teosinte looked very different from our corn today. The kernels were small and were not placed close together like kernels on the husked ear of modern corn. Also known as maize, Indians throughout North and South America, eventually depended upon this crop for much of their food.
You can read more here!