I am sure it is a dilemma many borage microgreen growers have to deal with constantly: the prospect of seeing (and eating) the edible cornflower blue flowers. But the problem is they can only have this if they let the borage microgreens continue to mature, which could impact the freshness, crispness, and overall quality of borage microgreens, which were meant to be harvested at a very young age.
But if there is any consolation, the borage microgreens you harvested are delicious and nutritious. It offers the body long-lasting rewards, whereas the sight of a beautiful flower is merely temporary.
Species: B. officinalis
Binomial name: Borago officinalis
Borage Microgreen Trivia
- Unlike other microgreens, you will notice the tiny hairs growing on the stem of borage microgreens.
- Borage is also known as starflower.
Borage Microgreen Buying Guide
Borage microgreens are sold in groceries, supermarkets, farmers markets, and other specialty stores. Ask around for local growers so that you can source your borage microgreens locally. When buying borage microgreens, buy just enough that you can eat until the next grocery day, since borage microgreens do not keep for longer than a week even if stored in the refrigerator.
If this is the first time you are buying and eating borage microgreens, try to buy in small quantities first so that you can taste it; should you not like it, you don’t have a lot of borage microgreens to dispose of and you are not being wasteful (you can ask your neighbors if they want it, so someone else can eat it).
When buying, make sure to inspect it thoroughly. See if the leaves and stems are of good quality and appear fresh. It is ok if one or two are wilted, but if most of the bunch are wilted, soggy, and do not appear fresh, do not buy it.
If you are buying seeds so that you can grow your own borage microgreens, this will give you an idea of how many seeds you expect to get from a pack.
- 1-ounce pack contains approximately 8,000 seeds
- 4-ounce pack contains approximately 32,000 seeds
- 1-pound pack or bag contains approximately 128,000 seeds
- 5-pound pack or bag contains approximately 640,000 seeds
- 25-pound pack or bag contains approximately 3,200,000 seeds
Borage Microgreen Production & Farming in Texas
Borage microgreens are easy to grow. Fill your growing tray with potting soil. Make sure your growing tray has drainage holes. Run a ruler or cardboard over the soil, slightly pressing and compacting it to make sure the soil is even and there are no depressions anywhere. Mist the soil and make sure it is evenly spread on the tray. Using a seed shaker bottle, sprinkle the seeds all over the potting soil on the tray. No need to pre-soak the borage microgreen seeds. Do another round of misting but be careful not to overdo it. Cover the tray and let them sit in a dark place for two to three days. On the fourth day, start light exposure. Do not expose them to direct sunlight. Use grow lights or the shade from a window. When they are big enough, harvest by cutting them at the base just above the soil.
Germination of borage microgreen seeds will take 2 to 4 days. Harvest is expected in 12 to 14 days.
- Buy borage microgreen seeds from a reputable seed seller or distributor.
- Water from the side of the tray to make sure the weight of the water will not squash the microgreens. Or water it by filling a tray below the growing tray.
- Rotate crop once it is exposed to light to avoid “bending” microgreens.
There are farmers and growers in Texas who grow and sell borage microgreens. There are also initiatives like the Big Tex Urban Farms that help promote the business as well as the attitude of the public towards microgreens. If you are dining out, there are restaurants in Texas that serve food with borage microgreens.
Microgreens are a fast-growing crop. This means there is very little time for pests to be a problem. If there is a pest problem, it will probably involve aphids and whiteflies. If the problem requires the use of pesticides, make note of the following:
- Aphids – Kill aphids using neem oil, insecticidal soap, or horticultural oil. You can also use the pesticide malathion, which is the most commonly used organophosphate insecticide in the United States, or rotenone, a selective, non-specific insecticide typically used in home gardens for insect control.
- Whiteflies – Malathion or Pyrethrins are effective against whiteflies.
Microgreens began in the US in the 1990s in Southern California and then in San Francisco and its neighboring states in the east. The US, Canada, and Mexico are among the major producers and exporters of microgreens.
Borage is native to southern Europe and the Mediterranean region. It is naturalized in many parts of Europe. The cultivation and growing of borage are seen worldwide. Do not be surprised if you encounter borage microgreens in places like Germany; in Aragorn and Navarre in Spain; in Crete or Liguria in Italy. It is because borage is very popular in these places and it should not come as a surprise if they also embraced borage microgreens.
Borage microgreens are sold in transparent plastic clamshell packaging. Sometimes, you can find broccoli microgreens sold in Styrofoam or plastic tray covered with plastic wrap.
Enjoying Borage Microgreens
Just like any microgreens, borage microgreens can be eaten raw and it is crunchy. Just make sure it is washed and cleaned thoroughly. When you eat borage microgreens, you will notice that it tastes like melon or cucumber.
A word of caution: mature borage leaves are known to contain what doctors describe as liver-toxic alkaloids, which is why eating borage in moderation is encouraged. It remains unclear if this same problem is present in eating borage microgreens. But to be sure, if you have liver-related illnesses in the past or at present, consult your doctor first if eating borage microgreens is advisable for you.
If the borage microgreens you bought came in clamshell packaging, use it to store borage microgreens in the refrigerator. If, for some reason, you need to transfer the borage microgreens to a different container, choose a plastic container with a lid. The least ideal storage is glass because it has the most condensation when in the refrigerator and the condensation contributes to the degradation of the quality of the borage microgreens inside. Avoid putting them near the vent of the refrigerator because if the temperature fluctuates, it will affect the condition of the borage microgreens. Put it on the lower shelf where the temperature is more stable. Remember that different microgreens vary when it comes to how long they keep in the refrigerator.
Like any microgreen, the borage microgreen is an excellent garnish or topping for different foods – pizzas, or soups, stews, and curries, for example. Mix this with other fresh greens to make a salad. If you are making a sandwich, replace lettuce with borage microgreens. If you are making scrambled eggs, toss a few borage microgreens in there and make it healthier and more flavorful.
You can also use borage microgreens to make a healthy green smoothie. This is good especially for those who are having difficulties eating solid food. Many bartenders and mixologists are using borage microgreens for their alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktail drinks.
Borage microgreens contain vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin K, and folic acid.