Microgreens and When to to Use a Blackout Dome | Bootstrap Farmer

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  From our How to Grow Microgreens Series

Transcript is below.

 Nick & Nathan from On the Acre in Houston, TX discuss the topic.  For more advanced microgreens business training, visit our Urban Farm Academy Business of Microgreens course. 



Most of our trays, the ones that we do use have selected that product to grow blackout specifically as I don't turn it here to something else we offer it's not a regular part of our germinating or planting process. The trays when they're stacked are mostly blacked out and beyond that, we haven't found it necessary or beneficial to use that method.

I worry about if you're trying to germinate seeds in a blackout dome you know there's no light and there's no air movement and that moisture is just sitting there not going anywhere so you run the risk of mold or fungus issues that you wouldn't encounter otherwise.

Why do you think that that's such a problem prevalent saying like people are always told to do that blackout, why where did that come from? I have no idea, my best guess would be people that are trying to create additional mass would use a blackout dome to lengthen the stems because they're gonna stretch towards the light but there's no light present so they'll continue to grow and grow and then they can cut at the very bottom you know with these really long stems and little leaves on top and they would be able to get more money because they're selling by mass rather than volume.

That would explain all the microgreen pictures you see that people show you it's six inches and then that little leaf at the top in so when we take the microgreen stuff and it's leafy and big if it's different looking so that would definitely account for that. It would create extra space like our domes take up more space to stack we do two-three times as many in the same space without domes, so if we use that regularly then we would need so much more space to do what we're doing and for us space is a premium and I imagine for other people just starting it's going to eat you just don't have food to do stuff.

I was talking to one of our students a couple weeks ago and they're asking how to grow a new variety and they said that they needed like 25 trays a week or something and they were planning on using blackout domes and I was like do you know how much space that's gonna take just to stack or not stack but to arrange 25 trays a week under blackout domes is gonna be a lot of space. Just as an option and the products that you get when you use a blackout dome it's noticeably different like Nathan said the stems are longer they have a different color they have a different taste. We do peas corn and sunflower currently in blackout domes.

We have an experiment with other stuff but amaranth is next. It gives us an option we like to present our chefs with options and so it's just another product that we can offer from something that we're already growing non-black out domes. But the point here is we're growing it in its entirety in a blackout dome yeah we're not growing it for a period of time than moving into the life completely different products that we're creating.