Microgreen test Dec 21-22 Radish

This is the Radish on day 8, it was ready to harvest yesterday easy.

Very successful grow, you can see an uneven germination in the center however but it seems to be catching up a bit.

I planted these on Dec 21, and this is how they looked on the 23 after I unstacked them.

Here they are on the 24th.
uncovered Radish on the 25th
Dec 26, 2018 uncovered and starting to turn green
Dec 27 nice looking but some started to wilt so a little water and they were back.

Microgreen Test Dec 15

Dec 15
We are up at the farm in Oregon, and it is cold out. The logical place to grow the microgreens now is in the garage as there is no place indoors where we can keep it heated.

So my first worry was too be able to keep them at about 70 degrees so they can germinate. John came up with the idea of using a space heater on low. I ordered some Vivosun heating mats also.

Broccoli Micro’s on day 9 , the best performer

My new set up in the garage on the farm in Beaverton.
Using the new LED T5
This fits a 10 by 20 tray or 2 of the foil pans I use

Vivosun 2 pack 10 by 20 Heating Mat

I also am using coconut coire either for the whole substrate or mixed half and half with potting soil .

Microgreen set up
Rustic set up to get started. I only have a few weeks to complete this grow

Above are the trays that I weighed down for 3 days, then I flipped the tray to keep them in the dark.

Slowbolt Arugula
Waltham Broccoli
Red Acre Cabbage
Speckled Pea

Along with the microgreen shots, I am experimenting with salad cups.

I had some concerns up here in Oregon that I didn’t in Palm Springs.
I am worried about the temperature and the humidity as well.

So I used the coconut coire to lightly cover the seeds. I learned that from Pepe a microgreen grower that feels it is a very neutral substance that will keep the seeds protected. So he puts a light coating over the top of the seeds.

Dec 17

Arugula day 3 nice germination

Dec 18 day 4

Arugula ready to uncover
Arugula ready to uncover
day 4
Amaranth on Day 4, after 3 days of weighing down, they are peeking through.
I used some coconut coire to cover the seeds so they had to sprout farther through
this covering. I am not sure I will use this much again.
Sunflower Day 3
Sunflower Day 3
The Red Acre Cabbage peaking through on Day 4

Dec 19

Arugula day 5
Arugula day 5
I uncovered them this morning.

Broccoli day 5
The Broccoli day 5 has never been uncovered but it is still gaining color. It must be creeping through. I should maybe cover these with towels.
Amaranth day 5
Amaranth day 5 still covered
Microgreen Shots
Microgreen shots day 5, some with paper towel on a bed of coconut coire and also
some with just coconut coire . The broccoli on the paper towels are doing well.
The arugula is gaining lots of growth and the Amaranth is peeking through.

Day 5 the salad cups have greens peaking through. I put quite a bit of coire to cover them. I watched one Microgreen grower that fills them up to the top with the soil mix so that you can weigh down the seeds.

The blue is pea shoots that I only had a few seeds left.

Red Acre Cabbage day 5
Red Acre Cabbage day 5

Day 7

Towel set up
I started covering the trays yesterday with towels to keep light from creeping in the cracks of the blackout domes. I noticed that several trays were greening up even though they were covered. I noticed that the towels also kept the trays warmer and the growth accelerated.

Broccoli gaining nice height, overtaking Arugula in size

Broccoli and Arugula
Broccoli and Arugula day 7
The Basil has finally gotten a little growth going.

Red Acre Cabbage
The Red Acre Cabbage gaining nice height.. Should be able to uncover this soon.

The Beets have finally gotten a little height to them.

The Sunflower has finally gotten a few looking up with a leaves. Seems like it is much slower than usual.

Amaranth gaining some nice height. some were tangled up in too much coconut coir. Seemed wet so I am thinking of uncovering this soon to avoid any mold.

Microgreen Shots
Surprisingly the microgreen shots have gotten height fairly fast. The coir underneath the paper towel has definitely kept t he paper towel moist.

Microgreen Salad Cups
Last and the least the salad cups are gaining in height a bit but so much coir is on the salad ones and the pea shoots barely showing a little height. Slower this time than even the basil.

Dec 24

What a disappointment this has been to see the beets and the amaranth dying.

It looks to me like either too much water or a fungus that eventually rots the stem. Sometimes referred to as damping off, it is a fungus that eventually rots the seedlings. They looked as if they were doing fine then they are starting to collapse and fall over, or just wither. The beets are falling faster. Not a good Christmas present but I should expect some. Also the seeds may be too crowded.

I immediately took the towels off the new crop fearing that I am creating too damp and warm an environment for the fungus to grow. It is not getting any ventilation either. I shot them with a bit of hydrogen peroxide.

On the other hand the Red Acre Cabbage is doing well, so is the broccoli and Arugula

Amaranth on Christmas looks good
3 Days later it is starting to die. So frustrating. It could be I am using too many seeds or damping off. Amaranth has just been tricky up here in the grow area. I have ordered a dehumidifier. I am going to sanitize my growing trays much better also.

The Arugula looked as if it was dying off but I found it just needed water. It bounced right back, as did the red cabbage and a few other things.

The little food containers I have had some success. The ones with strictly radish worked well, the combo radish/ broccoli didn’t seem to go well. There was some damping off.

The Basil after 14 days seems is just barely hitting the top of the tray height. Very slow growing.

Fall Garden Plot

In Late August 2018 we planted a garden for a late Fall crop and to see if it would
winter over. I planted some;
Red Russian Kale
Mesculin Mix Lettuce
Green Kale 
Red Radish 

The Crop did well when we came back in November. 
We enjoyed lots of Red Russian Kale in salads. The Mesculin mix was just ok. 
We enjoyed lots of radish. 

We also did Beets and Carrots 

Fall garden plot with poly low tunnel protection
We built a poly low tunnel to extend the life of these plants and see if the carrots a
and beets would mature. 

Growing Mushrooms

I bought this Mushroom growing kit, 
So lets grow some Oyster Mushrooms 
You cut tear out the window. 
You can order it here 

So you cut an X in the plastic wrap where the window is, then take out the brick. 
Leave the flaps, they help keep in the moisture. 

Soak the Brick for 12 hours or so. 
Put back the brick in the box and scratch the brick inside all the flaps. 
Keep it in a cool , area where there is good air flow but not in direct light. 

In 7 days the mushrooms looked like this. 

Here they are after 10 days 

Time to cut and fry up with a steak 

Absolutely Delicious !

Microgreen Shots Test – Dec 7, 2018

This was a quick test to see how the microgreen shots would do using paper towels instead of soil. A special thanks to Tikki O. for her youtube of growing microgreens on a moist paper towel. 

 I stuffed the K cups with damp paper towel and sprinkled the seed on. I saw there was bunching so I flattened out the towel and then spread the seed out.  I did some Broccoli (Waltham) and some Radish seeds from True Value

We had germination after the first day and a half 

The Broccoli are growing pretty well on the paper towel. They went under the lights, this morning Dec 11, the beginning of the 5th day. 

Even on Day 5 the germination and growth  on the radish is slow. 

Broccoli after 1 day under light 
As you can see some grew better than others

There was a few successful shots that grew nicely and I will expand on the idea. They are so much easier to eat than those in soil. You can actually pick them out with your hands roots and all and eat them. 

Lean Farming

In this post it will be an ongoing discussion of this book I am studying. For those that are not familiar with the “Lean” philosophy, it was developed by Taiichi Ohno of Toyota for improving production using 5 principles he developed to increase “Value” which he defines as the product or service wanted by the customer. Now that seems obvious except that he will use this term throughout the book in different ways. Like the term “value stream” refers to the line between, the moment you have a concept of a product to the completion of the sale to the customer. 

 The Tightening the Bolt Thing ; 
“..It is only the last turn of a wrench that tightens a bolt and gives value to the product.”
This sounds a bit strange at first but it causes you to think about the steps in your production in different ways. 

So if you are picking lettuce and walking 20 steps to put it in a bin dirt and all, then washing it, drying it then let it sit in a refrigerator before you package and bring it to market where you sold it took the money and then went to the bank.
There are a lot of wasted steps here…….
What if the customer bought your head of lettuce online, stopped by on his way home from work  you cut a head of lettuce, packaged it and let him go home and wash it. 

The Hardest Part of Lean is to See the Waste

Ben will talk about the 5 “S” of Lean 

5S represents Japanese words that describe the steps of a workplace organization process. English equivalent words are shown in parenthesis

thank you to Lean Six Sigma

  1. Seiri (Sort)
  2. Seiton (Straighten, Set)
  3. Seiso (Shine, Sweep)
  4. Seiketsu (Standardize)
  5. Shitsuke (Sustain)

Seri Sort 
The sorting principle that Ben talks about with your farm is to get rid of anything that doesn’t add value. There goes that value word again. He talks about getting rid of anything on the farm that doesn’t directly add to the value of your product. If you just like some process or tool that isn’t necessary it will impede your progress, slow you down, distract and work against you. For instance a pile of scrap metal or wood. Extra garden tools that you haven’t used in years that clutter up your storage. Perhaps you have products that you sell only a few a year that don’t add much to your income.
Ben says that this is an ongoing process, they are always on the lookout for ideas to lean up their farm. I always thought several spares of tools was a good thing but the Hartman family farm feels that the hardware store is a better place to store most spare parts. If it doesn’t take that much to replace it then get rid of it. Realize the space it takes and the time to manage it also costs you money, probably more than what you save by keeping it. 

The Kainexus Blog 

The Kainexus Blog describes well what Ben is talking about in overall principles, in this post on “The 7 Wastes of Lean”.

1.Overproduction; is a form of waste. If you produce too much you have to find a way to discount and sell it, give it to a food bank, or dry it. All things that are couter productive to your basic product that is bringing in the dough. 

2. Waiting; refers to breaks in the production cycle from beginning to when the customer gets the product. On the farm this could be walking to far to get a hoe, or a process that causes a mess. Ben says that when they processed tomatoes too many fell on the floor and got stomped causing a mess. 

3. Transport; This is similar in ways to waiting but particularly deals with transporting the product. Ben says  that the experts of “Lean” teach to ask Why you do anything 5 times to really get to the reason and see if it is important. Ben said they found a more efficient way to deliver there CSA’s using a lock box in a convenient storage area in town where the customer could pick it up anytime. 

More tomorrow on this continuing post. 

MicroGreen Crop Planted Nov 29

So far this crop is going well. There are always doubts after a few days when so little happens. I am still new at this. 

 This test is to see if by covering the microgreens for 4 -6 days I will get some better height as they grow in the dark increasing stem size searching for light.

I did also some Microgreen shots in K-cups that was a blead of Broccoli, Basil and Arugula
and I did a Broccoli Amaranth blend  and a Basil

You never think that they are going to germinate. “Did Iget the soil to wet? Are the seeds no good?”
It just takes time.

Basil – Genovese – Microgreens Seeds × 1

Cabbage – Red Acre – Microgreens Seeds × 1

Amaranth – Red Garnet – Microgreens Seeds × 1

Broccoli – Waltham 29 – Microgreens Seeds × 1 

K Cups , Basil, and mixed greens 

The Broccoli was the first to Germinate on Dec 1 
Keep in mind I have been covering these. 


Amaranth growing a bit Dec 2, still covered.
Broccoli is the fastest of this crop and so I uncovered it Dec 3

Broccoli salad micro shot germinating Dec 1


Amaranth growing a bit Dec 2, still covered.


Day 8 Amaranth getting it’s first leaves. 


Broccoli on Day 8. Almost ready to harvest

Micro Shots Salad Mix

Micro Shots, broccoli, red cabbage, amaranth mix.  Day 8 they are doing well. 

Basil Microgreens

This is the basil micro shots and they are ready to uncover after 8 days.


The microgreen shots turned out full and good height.
I almost lost some of the shots when I didn’t realize they dry out faster than the pans. I did an experiment to see if they would wick up water from the bottom even though the fabric filter inside doesn’t reach the bottom. 

I think the next experiment will be using a paper towel instead of soil.


This is the Basil in the pan on Dec 10. This took the longest to grow, but it is starting to look nice. It is short but I felt I was running out of time keeping it in the dark. We leave on the 13th so I am rushing it a bit. 

Dec 9, The microgreen shots turned out fantastic The Basil on the left turned out great with good height, then the broccoli and red cabbage was full looking. The Broccoli and Amaranth turned out leggy but nice. . I made and  labeled a balsamic vinegar in a spray to coat the shot before you eat it. 

Microgreen Crop Nov 10

Microgreen Crop Nov 10, 2018

Slow Bolt

Red Acre


Speckled planted


Nov 11

I used about 2 teaspoons of each seed except for the peas which was ½ cup

I covered these for 3 days weighting them down then uncovered and put under T8 Fluorescent lights.
Growing these in the garage with no real natural light.

The growth seems very slow.
I am at Day 5 right now and they just seem to be popping up.

 Nov 14 













Progress seems very slow
I am wondering about the temperature in the garage as being too cold. Perhaps I should take them outside during the day heat and light and then bring them back in for supplemental light.

Nov 15

The Peas I have uncovered the weight after 3 days and then turned the cover over on them to see if they grow less fibrous being grown in the dark.

They are barely above the soil. This seems very slow. Perhaps this is also due to the heat in the garage.
I did take them outside yesterday to warm them up even though they were still covered.

Nov 16

Beets, Detroit









The Beets not doing much after 6 days

Cabbage Microgreens
Cabbage Microgreen Progress









Red Cabbage germinating only on one side

Arugula progress









Arugula spotty germination and low stem.

Nov 17

Peas growth after 7 days









The Greens are doing well though the growth seems stunted. The stems seem short. The trays have evaporated and it was time to water today. I did a bottom watering.

Cabbage Red Acre
Cabbage , Red Acre Progress after 7 days









Dropped the Broccoli tray and saved a few seedlings but wonder if they will survive. I transplanted them into a smaller container.

I have had some damping off in areas and I feel that is probably due to the lack of evaporation in the soil and being too cold in the garage which hinders the evaporation and is just not the best for germination.

The soil was a bad choice. I used Miracle Grow Garden soil instead of potting soil. I think I should buy some new soil and vermiculite just in case.

The short stems may be due to uncovering them too soon. Corey said that he covers his Amaranth for quite a few days otherwise the stems are too short.

Planting too dense also can be a problem. That can cause damping off or other problems.

Pea Shoots looking nice, uncovered them to take a pic.

Arugula, picking up a bit








Nov 18

Pea Shoots ready to uncover
The Pea Shoots are about 4 inches high and ready to uncover and get a little greening.









Arugula microgreens
The Arugula is filling out nicely










Broccoli Microgreens
Broccoli microgreens after falling on the floor and taking the clumps and putting them together. They look like they are benefiting from the loosened soil.












The Beets are picking up some growth.
The Beets are picking up some growth. I covered them for 7 days so they would grow taller.








Nov 19

Pea Shoots turning a nice green after 1 day of light.









The Arugula is short but nice looking and ready for harvest.
The Arugula is short but nice looking and ready for harvest.









Nov 20

Harvest day after 2 days of light.

Nov 27

After a week of letting them sit after harvest
The growing has gone on.

Pea Shoots are out of control…lol









The Red Cabbage has become almost like baby lettuce.
The Red Cabbage has become almost like baby lettuce.









The beets that I thought were a bust have started to come into a real crop
The beets that I thought were a bust have started to come into a real crop










Arugula are the same way. The inch long leaves are ready to be baby lettuce.
Arugula are the same way. The inch long leaves are ready to be baby lettuce.










Baby lettuce greens
Baby lettuce greens

Our first baby green salad we grew ourselves indoors
Our first baby green salad we grew ourselves indoors