There is good reason that most people haven't heard about MicroGreens, and that is because they haven't been around for that long! According to a local industry source, MicroGreens started appearing on chef menu's in the 1980's around San Francisco, California.
It wasn't until the 1990's that MicroGreens became more popular, with the first documented use of the word "microgreen" in 1998. Spreading East, MicroGreens are now grown all over the U.S. and in several other countries.
The first recorded varieties grown specifically as MicroGreens were arugula, beets, kale, basil, cilantro, and a medley called Rainbow Mix (We like to call our mix the Healthy Mix! ) Today there is an ever increasing number of varieties being grown as MicroGreens. At Heritage Prairie Farm, we grow Arugula, Kale, Broccoli, Radish, and the Healthy Mix Blend (a combination of Kale, Broccoli, Pak Choi, Mizuna, Mustard, and Purple Cabbage) We also grow MicroGreen Basil, Dill, and Cilantro seasonally available at our Farm Store.
With MicroGreens gaining popularity in the food world, roughly around 2010, MicroGreens started to appear at grocery stores so that food enthusiasts alike could enjoy them at home.
In 2012, researchers at the USDA Agriculture Research Service finally conducted research on the nutritional make-up and shelf life of MicroGreens, testing 25 most commonly available MicroGreens. It was this research that gained the attention by National Public Radio and the Huffington Post, and other media outlets. The discovered high nutritional value of MicroGreens began to peek everyone's interest, not only as a flavorful and visual addition to a dish, but as a powerful supplement as well.
Today, MicroGreens are still subject to a shorter shelf life and researchers continue to investigate ways to extend their shelf life by optimizing their packaging and exposure to light. So currently, enjoy our MicroGreens within 7 days of harvest, sprinkling them daily in your breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
At Heritage Prairie Farm, we are proud to be a Midwest leader in the MicroGreen industry!