How I fixed our problem with the microgreens trays breaking & cracking

We grow in our home and are always toting around the flimsy 10″ x 20″ trays around from our soil and seeding area (in the garage) to our shelving unit inside the house. The trays sometimes broke or cracked and then were no longer useful. The trays were also not so nice to look at when they were placed on the grow shelves in our dining room. That got us thinking and looking for a substitute for those ugly, flimsy black grow trays.

Step 7 - Microgreens on seedling mat
Here are some of those ugly, plastic propagation trays most use for microgreens. It’s not ideal to have to look at these in your home.

After scouring the internet, searching on Amazon.com and various other online grow specialty stores, we could not find what we were looking for. So like just like anything else we can’t find or afford, we decided to build our own trays. My wife and I both like dark wood colors (woohoo! we agree on something!) so I decided to create the tray out of wood and stain it.

Luckily, I like to build things out of wood. I have built tables, chairs, planting beds, play sets, the kids’ playhouse and zip-line tree stands so the microgreens tray idea didn’t seem to be a big task…..boy, I was wrong! After several iterations of sizes, cuts and fasteners, I finally settled on what you see in the photos.

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Our stack of wood stained microgreen trays.

 

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Finished wood trays. I decided using the plastic trays as inserts was the best solution. These are a lot easier to carry. The wooden microgreen trays look much nicer too! I also write on the sides with a crayon on which microgreen is growing. The crayon wipes off and does not affect the wood finish.

So, what do you think? Is this something you would use in your home to grow microgreens? Please let us know!

How to sharpen your chef’s knife to harvest microgreens.

So I have read a bunch of growers’ blogs and watched tons of videos on how to harvest microgreens. I have tried all the different ways you can find out there, but the one I like most is using a chef’s knife like we show in our “Harvesting Microgreens with a Chef’s Knife” video.

This method of harvesting microgreens only works if your knife is super sharp! Otherwise, the knife will pull on the stems of your greens and you will end up with soil in your harvest. Clumps of soil in your harvest means you will have to rinse your microgreens before you sell them which means more work and more hours wasted! We are all farmers running on a tight budget and every precious minute counts!

So, here is a not so great video showing me sharpening my harvest knife with a Work Sharp (link below). This is the quickest way I know how to sharpen a knife effectively and quickly. I added some commentary at the end to explain the settings on the Work Sharp and the best way I found how to use it.

Again, I hope this video helps and I plan on getting better at these as 2018 progresses. This is my first attempt at videos so I appreciate you visiting our page and supporting our cause! #growyourown #localproduce

Cheers!