hand holding seedlings

The Importance of Using Organic Live Microbes in Growing Organic MicroGreens

MicroGreens, our young edible greens harvested just after the cotyledon leaves have developed, are celebrated for their intense flavours, vibrant colours, and high nutritional content. Growing them organically is important to us and as more people seek out healthy, sustainable food options. A critical aspect of organic MicroGreen cultivation is the use of organic live microbes. These microorganisms play a pivotal role in ensuring the health of the growing medium, enhancing the nutritional quality of our MicroGreens, and ultimately contributing to our gut health and well-being. This article explores the significance of using organic live microbes in growing our organic MicroGreens and the broader benefits associated with this unique practice.

The Role of Organic Live Microbes in Soil Health.

The health of the growing medium is foundational to the successful cultivation of MicroGreens. Organic live microbes, including bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms, are essential to maintaining a thriving and balanced soil ecosystem. These microorganisms contribute to soil health in several ways:

  1. Nutrient Cycling: Microbes are integral to the process of nutrient cycling. They decompose organic matter, breaking it down into simpler compounds that plants can absorb as nutrients. This process ensures that MicroGreens have a steady supply of essential nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, which are critical for their growth and development.
  2. Soil Structure: Microorganisms help improve soil structure by producing substances that bind soil particles together, creating a crumbly texture that allows for better water infiltration and root penetration. This structure ensures that the roots of MicroGreens can access the water and nutrients they need to grow robustly.
  3. Disease Suppression: Certain beneficial microbes can suppress soil-borne pathogens by outcompeting them for resources or producing natural antibiotics. This natural disease suppression reduces the need for chemical pesticides, aligning with organic farming principles and ensuring the MicroGreens remain free from harmful residues.
  4. Symbiotic Relationships: Some microbes form symbiotic relationships with plant roots, such as mycorrhizal fungi, which enhance the plant’s ability to absorb water and nutrients. These relationships can significantly boost the growth and nutritional content of MicroGreens.
scoop of soil

Enhancing Nutritional Quality

MicroGreens are renowned for their high concentrations of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The presence of organic live microbes in the growing medium can further enhance the nutritional quality of these young plants:

  1. Increased Nutrient Uptake: Microbes help convert complex nutrients in the soil into forms that are more easily absorbed by plant roots. This increased nutrient availability can result in MicroGreens that are richer in essential nutrients like iron, zinc, magnesium, and vitamins A, C, and K.
  2. Biofortification: Certain microbes can facilitate the uptake of specific micronutrients and even synthesise beneficial compounds such as phytohormones, amino acids, and vitamins. This biofortification process can lead to MicroGreens with higher levels of health-promoting compounds.
  3. Enhanced Flavour and Aroma: The interaction between plant roots and soil microbes can influence the production of secondary metabolites, which contribute to the flavour and aroma of MicroGreens. This means that MicroGreens grown with organic live microbes often have more intense and complex flavours compared to those grown without these beneficial microorganisms.

Gut Health and MicroGreens

The link between diet and gut health has been extensively studied, and MicroGreens are increasingly recognised for their potential benefits in this area. Incorporating MicroGreens grown with organic live microbes into the diet can positively impact gut health in several ways:

  1. Prebiotic Content: MicroGreens are a source of dietary fibre, which acts as a prebiotic, feeding the beneficial bacteria in the gut. A healthy gut microbiome is essential for optimal digestion, nutrient absorption, and immune function.
  2. Antioxidant Properties: The high levels of antioxidants found in MicroGreens can help reduce inflammation in the gut and protect against oxidative stress, which is linked to various gastrointestinal disorders.
  3. Enhanced Microbial Diversity: Consuming foods rich in beneficial microbes can contribute to a more diverse gut microbiome. A diverse gut microbiome is associated with better overall health and a reduced risk of chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and inflammatory bowel disease.
  4. Natural Detoxification: Certain compounds found in MicroGreens, such as glucosinolates in brassica MicroGreens, have been shown to support the body’s natural detoxification processes. These compounds can help eliminate toxins from the gut, promoting a healthier digestive system.

Environmental and Sustainability Benefits

Growing MicroGreens with organic live microbes is not only beneficial for human health but also for our environment. Organic farming practices that incorporate beneficial microbes offer several environmental advantages:

  1. Reduced Chemical Use: The natural disease suppression and nutrient cycling provided by microbes reduce the need for synthetic pesticides and fertilisers. This reduction in chemical use minimises the environmental impact of farming and protects local ecosystems.
  2. Soil Health and Biodiversity: Organic farming practices that support a diverse microbial community contribute to healthier soils and increased biodiversity. Healthy soils are more resilient to erosion, drought, and other environmental stresses, ensuring long-term agricultural sustainability.
  3. Carbon Sequestration: Healthy, microbially active soils have a greater capacity to sequester carbon, helping to mitigate climate change. Organic farming practices that enhance soil health can play a significant role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Water Conservation: Improved soil structure and health, facilitated by microbes, enhance the soil’s ability to retain water. This water conservation is particularly important in areas facing water scarcity and can lead to more sustainable water use in agriculture.

Practical Considerations for Using Organic Live Microbes

To successfully incorporate organic live microbes into MicroGreen cultivation, several practical considerations should be kept in mind:

  1. Selecting the Right Microbes: Different plants benefit from different types of microbes. It’s essential to select microbial inoculants that are well-suited to the specific MicroGreens being grown. Common microbial inoculants include mycorrhizal fungi, nitrogen-fixing bacteria, and compost teas.
  2. Quality of Inoculants: Using high-quality, organic-certified microbial inoculants ensures that the microbes are viable and effective. It’s important to source these inoculants from reputable suppliers.
  3. Application Methods: Microbial inoculants can be applied to the soil through various methods, including soil drenching, seed coating, or mixing with compost. The chosen method should ensure even distribution and contact with plant roots.
  4. Maintaining Soil Health: Organic matter, such as compost or well-rotted manure, should be regularly added to the growing medium to provide a continuous food source for the microbes. Avoiding the use of synthetic chemicals that can harm microbial populations is also crucial.
  5. Monitoring and Adjusting: Regular monitoring of soil health and microbial activity can help identify any issues early on. Adjustments to the growing practices or microbial inoculants may be necessary to maintain optimal conditions.

Case Studies and Research

Numerous studies and real-world examples highlight the benefits of using organic live microbes in MicroGreen cultivation:

  1. University Research: Research conducted at various universities has demonstrated the positive impact of microbial inoculants on the growth and nutritional quality of MicroGreens. For instance, studies have shown that mycorrhizal fungi can enhance the nutrient content and biomass of MicroGreens like basil and arugula.
  2. Commercial Growers: Many commercial MicroGreen growers have adopted the use of organic live microbes to improve crop yields and quality. Testimonials from these growers often emphasise the reduced need for chemical inputs and the enhanced flavour and nutritional profile of their MicroGreens.
  3. Community Gardens: Community and urban gardens that focus on sustainable agriculture practices have successfully used microbial inoculants to grow MicroGreens. These initiatives often serve as educational platforms, showcasing the benefits of organic farming to local communities.
colourful pansies in a box

Here at Urban MicroGreens Co HQ, we proudly utilise and recommend EarthFood – ORGANIC BIO-FERTILISER + SOIL CONDITIONER.

Powered by live microbes, this complete all-in-one 100% certified organic fertiliser and soil conditioner contains highly specialised living microbiology.

Produced through an innovative manufacturing process, it transforms organic raw materials into an environmentally safe, natural liquid microbial inoculant, micronutrient, and soil conditioner. Suitable for all plant types, it promotes healthier fruit, vegetables, gardens, and plants, ultimately contributing to the health of people and the planet.

The use of organic live microbes in growing organic MicroGreens is a practice rooted in the principles of sustainability, health, and environmental stewardship. By fostering a healthy soil ecosystem, enhancing the nutritional quality of MicroGreens, and supporting gut health, these beneficial microorganisms play a vital role in organic farming. Moreover, the broader environmental benefits, such as no chemical use, improved soil health, and water conservation, underscore the importance of incorporating microbial inoculants into MicroGreen cultivation. As more research and real-world applications continue to demonstrate the advantages of this approach, the future of organic MicroGreen farming looks promising, offering a pathway to healthier food systems and a more sustainable planet.

Yours in Well-Being
Claire xox