Microgreens diary & mcn

2020-08-22 16:19, today

I’ve been developing a system to monitor, track & orchestrate indoor farming on and off for the last year. It’s been going pretty well & I’m almost at the point where I can start developing the hardware to work with it, it’s open-source and anyone can create devices, but I’ll need a few to test it out - obviously.

There comes a time though when you need to do some practical work - I’ve never grown much of anything in my whole life, so some experience in how it all works will aid me in developing the system. My farm consists of 1 level with a 300-800nm spectrum grow light, for bigger veggies like lettuces and 4 levels with red&blue strip LEDs for microgreens.

Growing pea shoots

Step 1: Soaking the seeds

I bought some trays from AliExpress to do soil-less growing & filled the whole thing with pea shoot seeds - totally way too much as you’ll see later;

All in, this was about 200g unsoaked. These were then soaked in a bowl of water for around 15 hours.

Step 2: Germination

After allowing the seeds to soak, they had grown to be pretty much double in size, mine weighed 397g post soak - I then evenly distributed the seeds in the tray and covered the tray so the seeds were in total darkness. Every few hours I lightly misted the seeds with water. Do this for 2 days.

Since the seeds grew so much they far exceeded the single trays capacity, so I had to split them over two trays - seeing as I had two sets of lights (white & red/blue) I did a little experiment to see what the difference would be in growth.

Step 3: Growing up

After about 2 days of blackout, I uncovered the seeds and exposed them to light for ~18hrs a day.

It seems as if the pea shoots were more ‘leggy’ under the red/blue light, but that may just be due to how close the plants were relative to the lights, I couldn’t really tell any noticeable difference in taste though. My final yield is as follows:

  • red/blue: input: 129g, output: 78g, io ratio: 0.604
  • white: input: 268g, output: 178g, io ratio: 0.664

All in all the pea shoots only took 10-ish days from seed to harvest, so definitely possible to put on rotation for an unlimited supply. I eventually plan to step up production to use all 5 levels & sell these at the local farmers market. 🌱