If lock-down has taught me anything, it’s to reconnect to nature and get my hands dirty as often as possible. And with the New Life Microgreens range, I can grow urban superfood in my kitchen windowsill every day of the week!
I’ve always had a green thumb or two. I love lazy weekends pottering in my garden, tending to my veggies and herbs or growing cuttings. I prefer growing edibles rather than ornamentals, so that my time is invested in something which offers a delicious (and tasty!) return.
When Ananda from New Life Microgreens reached out to me a few months back to talk about her super cute (yet endlessly practical and rewarding!) microgreen grow boxes, I simply couldn’t contain myself. The more plants I could bring into my home, the better, and even more so if I could grow and eat them!
Ananda kindly sent me a selection of her New Life Microgreen growing kits. Now, a couple of months later, I can’t even imagine having an empty kitchen windowsill ever again. My kitchen landscape changed forever; it’s greener, healthier, and way more exciting than ever before. Disclaimer: you don’t even need to have green thumbs to join in the microgreen revolution!
Based in Stellenbosch, and living her passion, New Life Microgreens was founded by Ananda van Heerden in 2017. Being a nutritionist by trade, her interests in well-being and wholesomeness led her to this superfood. These baby greens quickly captivated her attention and inspired her to make a difference.
New Life Microgreens wants to make a real difference to:
- the environment – by promoting sustainable living and not wasting food
- every household – by empowering all to grow superfood all year around
- the community – through job creation and upliftment projects
- every hospitality client – by giving a reliable service and quality product
- the restaurant spaces – by bringing life to tables with green living décor.
Growing from an idea
Ananda started her journey by supplying the hospitality trade with microgreens for either cooking purposes (garnishes, salads etc) or for green living décor (tables, restaurant interiors).
During lock-down, Ananda quickly grew her sprouting business to reach into everyday households, including homes like yours and mine. She wanted everyone to be able to join in the absolute joy of growing food that is easy, quick and nutritionally dense. Now offering the wider public a precious opportunity to get involved in their own food production and to take their wellbeing literally into their own hands, her kits are designed to be user-friendly, intuitive and simply practical.
Why grow microgreens?
Let’s look at a few of the facts, and why there’s so much excitement around microgreens. Plants are most nutritionally dense during the microgreen stage (when between four and six leaves are present), meaning microgreens are the fastest way to grow good food.
It’s functional food – not only does it look appetizing and juicy, it’s packed with vitamins, nutrients and most importantly, anti-oxidants. Microgreens contain up to 40 times more micronutrients than an adult plant – did you know that?!
Because they are so full of the good stuff, it means you only have to eat a little bit to maximise your greens-consumption every day. This is great for children and fussy eaters, who might not be so keen on the leafy types of food.
Now more than ever, there is a real need for people to reconnect to things, including their food. Growing microgreens allows you to be part of your own food journey, and to connect to the earth without laying out expansive vegetable gardens or fruit orchards. Perfect for small spaces, you don’t need more than a windowsill or a table to grow microgreens for your whole family.
As easy as peas!
So, you want to grow your own microgreens? I’d recommend you start by enrolling for one of Ananda’s incredibly fun and interesting virtual workshops, where she tells you more about New Life Microgreens, and walks you through planting your first few crops. The cost of the workshop includes a starter kit that will be couriered to you prior to the workshop, ensuring that you have everything you need to embark on your road to growing greens.
Only an hour long, the workshop is packed with information, laughs, and simply loads of feel-good vibes. Ananda’s enthusiasm is just contagious, and you can’t help but want to get involved in her passion project. I can almost guarantee that you will be hooked on New Life Microgreens within the first few minutes!
I can’t reiterate it enough – microgreens are not supposed to be a health-shop exclusive product, or something that falls into a niche category of food. It’s affordable, easy and freely available to all households that want to add a little boost to their well-being.
Planting with New Life Microgreens
Ananda’s range of products are diverse and still expanding. She offers everything, from beautiful little gift sets to value-for-money bio-degradable plant boxes (made with sugarcane fibres) that you can add to your compost heap afterwards. The seeds are not treated, so it’s free from chemicals and other baddies. Even the “soil” (coconut fibres) is 100% organic and degradable.
As I prepared to plant my first box, I couldn’t help but notice the level of attention to detail; Ananda has even added a bio-degradable spoon to mix the soil and fill your pots. It couldn’t have been easier to grow food, because she’s done all of the thinking for you!
Her instructions are clear and straightforward; follow them carefully and you will feel like a grow-master in days. Watching your seeds sprout and turn into little microgreens are incredibly rewarding, and adds that little magic to your kitchen or living room table. I was mesmerized by mine, and found myself happily staring at the boxes as I (somewhat impatiently!) waited for them to sprout.
When they’re fully grown (Ananda talks more about this in her workshop!) you simply snip them off with scissors and add them to your dishes if and when required.
From my images, you’ll see that I sprouted my glass gift jars – these are slightly different from the grow boxes as they include a clear gel packet so that you can see the root growth in the bottom of the jar. Fascinating! I couldn’t help myself and acted like a big kid on Chrismas day! For seconds, you simply order the refills of your favourite greens from Ananda and you can sow your seeds in your own beautiful containers!
What do I do with my microgreens?
I’ll be sharing some microgreen recipes over the course of the next few months. I’m so excited to show you how you can include these super soldiers into your sandwiches, salads, spreads and sweets! You can look forward to pea pesto, green fritters and wild rice salad recipes in the coming weeks, whilst I grow my next few boxes of microgreens!
New Life Microgreens has helped me sprout my love for growing again, and I now know there is no going back to an empty kitchen windowsill. If you have any interest in healthy living, growing food, nutrition or even just plants in general, get growing with New Life Microgreens as soon as you can. The benefits surpass those of only nurturing your body; growing microgreens benefits the mind and soul in many ways, too. These little baby plants make me so happy, and fills me with a childish joy and wonder. In today’s difficult world, I’ll take it all.
Thank you, Ananda, for bringing a bit of green into our spaces with your stunning microgreen grow kits. Thank you for sharing your passion and vision with those who choose to grow with you, and for being such a haven of peace in a world that sometimes seem quite busy and overwhelming.
Disclaimer: I was given this product(s) as part of a press drop in exchange for my honest and truthful opinion and review thereof. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are solely those of The Little Hedonist, given in good faith and in no way influenced by the company or its affiliates. All images, unless otherwise stated/credited, are also my own.