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Can I grow Microgreens out of birdseed?

 
pollinator
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I grew my first "crop" of microgreens in a jar in the window and it was so cool!  My MIL sent me some seeds to start with, but those will only last maybe 2 more batches so I'm looking for a way to get seeds in bulk for growing microgreens on the regular for us.

Would birdseed be a good source?  Is there anything in birdseed that we _can't eat as a microgreen?
 
master steward
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My mum always has a crop of cress growing on her windowsill. They are so nutritious to add to sandwiches year round. I'm not sure whether all bird seeds are from species that grow edible plants, but the idea isn't impossible. From microveggy I found this list:

Sunflower
White Millet
Red Millet
Canary Seed
Peanuts
Safflower
Nyjer
Corn
Milo

Of these only nyjer is not mentioned in pfaf as edible as leaves (although canary seed is basically grass!). They were talking about growing out the mature plants for feeding birds direct, which is a slightly different topic.

I think if I didn't know how the seeds were treated and what species they were, I would be fairly cautious about eating the sprouts personally. It's possible that different bird mixes have different seed content.

Other sources maybe commercial seed sources of leafy greens and brassica (you'll get more for your $) or (IMO) best is to grow out some of your microgreens to harvest your own seed for future greens if you have space (and the birds don't beat you to it!)
 
out to pasture
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I grew out a handful in my garden years and years ago when I lived in Wales.

That amazing looking plant that I'd never seen before turned out to be the highly toxic datura. Not the sort of thing I would like to eat in my microgreens!
 
Riona Abhainn
pollinator
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Well then, to the feed store with me.  I don't want to use something dangerous.  I think I have enough mustard seed for one more batch after what I'm currently growing, but after that we need it for seasoning and I will find some bulk seed that will be relevent.  And use birdseed for birds.  Thanks all.
 
gardener
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Broccoli microgreens have been in the news a lot lately because of a compound found in spades in the early stages of growth: sulforaphane.

It is one of the healthiest things you can eat.

One pound of seeds costs around $20. You put two tablespoons of seeds to soak in a Mason jar for twelve hours and then rinse and drain them through a wire screen a couple times per day for five or six days. It fills one tightly packed jar, which you'd pay around $3 for at the grocery store.

How many jars will you get from a pound of seeds?

23.

That many containers of microgreens at the store would cost you $70, but you only pay $20 for the seeds. And you don't have those pesky plastic trays to deal with from the store.

You saved over $50, and boosted your health in the process!

j

 
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Birdseed comes in a lot of varieties, though those are mostly are milo and millet.

Buying birdseed is a lot cheaper than buying microgreen seeds.

Though microgreen seeds are a different variety of radish, cress, mustard, red cabbage, broccoli, kale, pea and sunflowers.

It might be that folks like the flavor of the microgreen seeds.

I usually do sprouts in winter and I like the different flavors for different purposes.

Here is a thread on the health benefits of millet:

https://permies.com/t/29378/Millet-birdseed
 
pollinator
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Radish seed is $1-2 a pound from my ag seed store I can’t remember
 
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