the tiny green shoot didn’t look like much.

Plucked from a tray of growing broccoli seeds, it was only about an inch long. Two delicate leaves branched out from either side of the stem.

Every instinct would be to protect the growing plant until it was stronger, more robust and fully grown.

But what the minuscule sprout lacked in size, it made up for with intense taste and a dense collection of nutrients.

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“I like to refer to microgreens as the ‘veal of vegetables,’” farmer David Rose said.

“At the stage of growing that I harvest them at is where they have their most intense flavor and their most intense nutrition of their entire life.”

With growing nationwide emphasis being placed on fresh and nutritious foods, microgreens have emerged as an efficient way to deliver both. The plants are harvested at the stage between sprouting and presenting baby vegetables.

Researchers have found that microgreens have between four and 40 times the nutrients of their fully grown counterparts. At the same time, chefs and foodies love them because of the fierce, vivid flavors in each shoot.

At a glance

Southern Indiana Microgreens

Who: David Rose, owner

Where: Taylorsville

What: A grower and distributor of fresh microgreens, featuring vegetables such as broccoli, radishes, peas, salad greens, arugula and kohlrabi.

What are microgreens? Immature versions of vegetables, herbs and other plants that are harvested anywhere from a week to two weeks after germination. The plants tend to be about one to two inches long with the stem and leaves still attached. Research from the University of Maryland and the U.S. Department of Agriculture has shown microgreens to be more nutritious than their full-grown counterparts.

Where to find them?

  • Through April 30: 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturdays, 1125 E. Brookside Ave., Indianapolis
  • Through March 26: 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturdays, Harmony School gymnasium, 909 E. 2nd St., Bloomington