Home Apothecary

Identifying a collection of herbs specifically chosen to support the main, key functions of the body that you can grow at home. Our Home Apothecary program is unique in that it traverses two of our groups, the Environmental Group and Natural Laws Research. We have placed the Home Apothecary program in both groups because the benefits of Home Apothecary draw upon the natural physical environment and primary energy (referred to in our Psychic Energy Research). The aims of the Environmental Group and the Natural Laws Group come together to offer you support in achieving nutritional self sufficiency and overall well being.

This primary energy found in all of nature comes to light in the healing properties of herbs. We offer the following Home Apothecary tools and resources:

Herbal Reference Guide
Soil
Microgreens
Sprouting
How to Grow Plants
Preparations
Resources


PRECAUTIONS

Caution should be used when pregnant or breast feeding, and before giving to children. Discontinue use if allergic reactions occur and contact your medical provider.

For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.

This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

landing home apothecary

ha sproutsMicrogreens bring fresh produce into one’s diet and are easy to grow at home.  These small greens don’t take up much room, and can grow quite easily and quickly because you cut the vegetables when they are short.  In what follows, you will find  a brief explanation about micro-green seeds, what soil and container to use to grow the seeds, how much water and light the greens need, and how best to harvest the greens.

Quick overview

Go online or in a seed catalog to find and order a variety of seeds that you would like to grow.  Get a growing tray with holes in the bottom, and enough good soil to fill the tray.  Pack the try with the soil and spread the seeds densely over the surface, but so none are on top of others.  Lightly coat the seeds with soil at a depth of less than ¼ inch.  Place in a warm well lit place out of harsh direct sunlight.  Water the seeds and continue to water them twice a day for approximately the next 10 days until they become ready to harvest.  Cut your microgreens and enjoy.

Soil

We will focus on using soil, as growing Microgreens in a soil-less media quickly adds waste to the landfill.  The best soil to use is healthy soil that is full of nutrients.  Microgreens grow in very compact space. So where any one plant may not demand much from the soil, the collection of hundreds of plants requires the soil to be very fertile.  In this case, the better the soil, usually yields better growing result.  Organic soil that is sold for growing vegetables is an excellent place to start.  There are many different brands of soil, so trying different types may result in surprisingly different outcomes.  Soil may seem simple, but you can resolve many of the difficulties with growing Microgreens by having healthy fertile soil.

Seeds

The seeds you use should, themselves, be healthy seeds that are stored in a cool dry, ideally an airtight container.  Beyond that, the seeds that are used for growing Microgreens vary, and actually, increasingly, are available in more varieties all the time.  Microgreens are just small vegetables (with the addition of a few non-vegetables, like sunflowers, which make great Microgreens), that are harvested shortly after their first true leaves appear.  Please note that not all vegetable greens can be eaten, as tomato and potato greens can be poisonous. It is always best to first check that the crop you plan to grow is safe to eat.  

Both Sprouts and Microgreens have specific growing cycles. When growing sprouts, the sprouts reach maturity after their first leaves appear.  The seed has enough energy within itself to grow to this point.  This is why sprouts are grown from seed just in water.  Microgreens grow one stage further, which is why they need soils to grow in, and it is the nutrients taken up from the soil that helps them to grow the extra step.  Seeds can be purchased from any number of seed supplies; however, we recommend that you purchase the seeds in bulk.  This quantity can initially be small to make sure you like the variety and the supplier.  When growing Microgreens, quite a lot of seeds are used, which is why buying in bulk is recommended. It is not economical to by the small seed packets sold at nurseries and grocery stores.

Containers

The typical containers size in which you grow Microgreens is the 10x20-inch black plastic trays available from most nurseries or grower suppliers.  These come in several different formations, with some being divided into two or twenty separate sections or they may just be one open space.  The different style trays have unique pros and cons, identifying which one is best will be an individual decision.   Make sure that the tray has some drainage holes along the bottom.  Microgreens need frequent watering to keep the roots from drying out.  If the trays are unable to freely drain, the frequent watering will flood their roots and potentially lead to a host of problems.

Water

Microgreens grow best if they are kept in a somewhat moist environment which is not allowed to dry out.  This means that you typically water twice a day.  These greens are just little plants and like any other small delicate plant, when you water them, it is important to be gentle.  Instead of using a hose or a watering can that has a full stream, we recommended using  a mister or a can with an attachment that gently showers water out, so that the plants do not get knocked over.  How much water you use will depend upon the temperature and the soil used.  Generally, a self-regulated watering system results, when you monitor that the soil does not dry out and that any excess water drains freely out the bottom.

Light

During the first 2-3 days, while the seeds are germinating, the Microgreens do not need light, because they are not yet able to photosynthesize and use the light.  Microgreen are ready to harvest after about 10-14 days.  Once the seeds germinate and until you harvest them, keep them in a well-lit location.  Direct sun light is often too hot and drying for many young plants.  We recommend that you do not place the trays in the direct sun light.  The growth of plants is related directly to the amount of light energy they are able to convert. Many Microgreen production facilities actually keep the Microgreen in the light for 18 hours a day.  While it is not necessary to use extra artificial lights to grow your Microgreens, it can help increase their growth.  A grow light or special LEDs placed over the growing trays works well to easily accomplish this.  Whatever the lighting schedule that you decided upon, allow the greens to have some time in the dark.  Just keeping the lights on 24 hours a day doesn’t necessarily mean that there will be better results, as everything needs some time to rest.

Harvest

As mentioned above the amount of time until the greens are ready will depend upon the variety of seeds you use, the soil you select, and the water and light fed to the plants.  As your plants grow look for well developed leaves, which for most plants are at the stage where their first true leaves develop.  A true leaf is a leaf that resembles the leaves of the plant when it is mature, as most plants have similar looking oval shaped seed leaves (cotyledons if they are dicots).  The best way to determine if the Microgreens are ready to harvest it to taste one.  They should be crisp and juicy, and full of flavor.  It can be very instructive to try a couple over the course of a few days to see how the flavor changes and choose the time for starting the harvest when it tastes the best.  Most of the time, the harvest can be extended over a week or so, but it should be noted that many Microgreens will begin changing into their more mature adult vegetable forms, and with that, will become increasingly bitter.   When harvesting the Microgreens, it is handy to use a sharp pair of scissors and cut the greens horizontally close to the soil.  If the greens are well rooted, you can hold the tray somewhat vertically, so that as you cut the greens off they will fall into an awaiting bowl beneath the growing tray.  The cut greens will stay for a few days in the fridge, if kept like perishable greens, but they are best eaten fresh so if time allows it is better to just cut only the amount you will eat.