BROOKVILLE — A Brookville woman has found a “growing” passion in a special kind of vegetable – one she is now passing on to others through area classes.
Alaria Sun has always been a plant lover – she can recall growing flowers throughout her life. She views food as the best form of medicine.
One of the easiest ways to “grow your own non-GMO garden” is to learn how, Sun says.
Microgreens are flavor-packed “mini” versions of full-grown vegetables. They are harvested after sprouting as shoots, and used for flavor in food dishes or as garnishes at restaurants.
Sun recently held a “Sip and Grow” microgreens class at Copper Fox Winery in Kersey, where about 15 people attended and had a wonderful time, she said. She received positive feedback and follow-up photos from growers. Another class will be held there April 7.
A “Growing Microgreens” class will be held from 2-4:30 p.m. at Fusion Cafe on March 23, and from 6-8:30 p.m. on March 20 at Deer Creek Winery in Shippenville.
Sun’s love for microgreens started when she saw them at a farmer’s market in California in 2017. After only a year of growing them, she adds microgreens to everything she eats, including smoothies, omelets and sandwiches.
She also practices sustainability, including composting and recycling. She studies herbs and nutrition and uses essential oils, too.
Her microgreen seeds come from TrueLeaf Market Seed Company of Utah, Sun said. She grows the greens on fully-recycled Seventh Generation paper towels, and uses food-grade trays. They take about two weeks to grow.
“We live in an unhealthy environment full of processed sugars and junk food,” she said, adding there is a growing obesity problem in children and adults.
The greens take about two weeks to grow, and the process is very simple, Sun said.
Microgreens are good for animals, too, Sun said, adding one of her friends wants to grow them for her parrot.
The microgreens are sold in clamshells regularly at Fusion Cafe in Brookville, and the community market there every Saturday. She is always searching for other restaurants and cafes to sell them to.
“Some use it for a garnish, since the colors are so beautiful,” she said, adding the red-to-violet-colored red acre cabbage is one of her favorite microgreens.
It’s important to start developing healthy habits in children when they’re young, Sun said. She will be giving a presentation to fifth graders at Hickory Grove Elementary in Brookville.
Sun hopes parents and students will become interested and research the microgreens, she said.
“Kids are all about hands-on activities,” she said. “They’ll get to watch and care for the microgreens the whole time.”
She’s in the midst of creating “grow kits” for teachers to use when instructing health and science classes. Another kit on which she is working will be for home and garden centers. The kits will have enough seeds for 10-20 plantings.
For more information, visit Sun Microgreens on Facebook.