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Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Eat what you can grow: Microgreenfarming now catching up in Bangalore | bangalore news

BENGALURU: Trapped in the concrete jungle, many Bengaluruans are turning to micro-green farming to grow their own food, immersing themselves in the joy of sowing seeds, watering plants and harvesting.

Dr. renuka verma de Hebbal says that nothing delights her more than looking at the buds that sprout from the green seeds of moong and methi. The 48-year-old dentist was involved in agriculture before the covid-19 pandemic and she uses her homegrown microgreens for salads and baking.

simran oberoi of Old Airport Road grows mustard and radish microgreens and uses them primarily in salads, dressings, spreads, and sauces. “I’ve tried growing a very small amount of sunflower and basil,” she says.
Caring for baby plants that do not require soil and can be grown in damp tissue paper is the perfect stress buster for many.
Anamika Bist, 50, a NIFT graduate who worked in retail for 21 years, ran a microgreens and community farm in Sampigehalli for five years. “I used to grow more than 15 varieties of microgreens. Hardly anyone knew about these tender greens when I started growing them. People used to get confused with sprouts and microgreens. We started giving free workshops during the pandemic and even released DIY (do-it-yourself) kits for people to grow at home to boost immunity,” he says.
Anamika, who closed her farm during the second wave of covid, still grows microgreens for her family in her kitchen garden. “I grow radishes, snap peas, and sunflower…my all-time favorites. I use my microgreens for salads, sandwiches, pesto, and garnishes. My family and friends become addicted after seeing the benefits. Plus, the different colors of the microgreens make food visually appealing.”
Microgreens can even be grown in an office cubicle. Some like the moong can be harvested in a week. Studies have also found that microgreens have 40 times more nutrients than their mature counterparts.
“Keep the seeds in the dark until they germinate and then expose them to sunlight. If you have grown sprouts, you already know how to germinate. Just do the same in a tray with coco peat, soil mix, or even tissue paper, and water them,” explains Vinod. Chakravarti, an urban farmer who has helped more than 5,000 households grow microgreens. “You are not required to use additional manure…The seeds have enough nutrition to grow to the microgreen stage,” adds Chakravarti, who was a former vice president of a large mutual fund firm, in charge of operations and sales in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
Microgreens farming can be a wonderful family bonding activity, he says Nidhi Nahata, nutritionist and founder of Justbe Cafe, a Bangalore-based plant-based whole-food vegan restaurant. “You can use them in salads, smoothies, and cold-pressed juices. We’ve started putting microgreens in desserts, too,” says Nahata.

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