By: Eric Frank & Jasmine Richardson
Photography by Margaux Gibbons
Published by: Gibbs Smith
Publication Date: February 2009
Review Date: June 2009
Review by: Dr. Bill Alberts
Spouted seeds provide excellent nutrition because the conversion of the stored nutrients released at germination provides nutrients not found in more mature plant materials. I was excited to read the new book Microgreens which covers the plant stage immediately after sprouting. In addition to an elevated nutritional level, plants at this phase in their life cycle offer a fresh, crisp culinary experience.
Upon opening this book, printed on heavy coated paper, I was immediately inclined to leaf through it from one end to the other. The photography is superb and Ms. Gibbons is to be congratulated on its excellence with good depth of field and great presentation of some rather diminutive plants.
The book follows the authors experiences as they learn the ups and down of how to grow microgreens. When they first start, they have only a small area in which to grow their crops. They discuss their search for locating sources of seeds and finding the best varieties to grow on well structured and modified soils. As their skills improve, they find a location with more space and begin to produce crops commercially.
Microgreens covers, both in word and picture, the difference between sprouts, microgreens and baby greens. There is useful information on soils, nutrition, and the value of various plant types.
The authors detail materials from soils to containers and seed sources and provide a sequential set of steps for producing a crop up to harvesting. It is evident that Frank and Richardson enjoy the freshness and nutrition of their work. I found the section detailing each type of plant with details of the botany and taxonomy particularly interesting. Also provided is germination data and the level of difficulty in growing each plant. Associated with each detail page is a photograph of the specific cultivar at the proper stage for harvest.
Towards the end of the book is a section in which several chefs provide recipes and other information on microgreens as well as a section with a select source of seeds and materials.
Quill says: We found this book well worth exploring both for those who wish to expand their horizons and especially for those who want to eat organically.