Buckwheat Shoots

buckwheatshootsBuckwheat is not actually related to wheat at all, it’s in the same family as rhubarb.  We use certified organic buckwheat seed from DeRuyck’s Top of the Hill Farm and our main use for the seed is for cover cropping in our fields.  But we heard you can grow it as a microgreen so we tried it!  We are especially interested in shoots where we can source the seed locally, like buckwheat, peas, sunflowers, and wheatgrass.

They are less common as a microgreen because they are very tender and have a short shelf life.  They also contain phototoxic fagopyrins which can cause sun skin sensitivities when eaten in large amounts.  I’ve only found reports of this happening when people were juicing large amounts of them daily, (like, a pound… The little bag you get is 1/10th of a lb) and I have eaten lots of them already with no ill effects.  As always, everything in moderation and Eat Real Food!

Season: We will probably keep this as a special production for our Spring Shoots CSA Program and future winter growing projects, but we may produce some for the early spring markets as well.

Storage Tips:  They should be rinsed just before use. We don’t wash any shoots at the farm as they degrade quickly when wet. If you get them home and there is condensation (wetness) in the bag, make sure to insert a piece of towel or switch them to a dry bag so they will keep well. They will store well covered (in a bag or container) in your fridge for a long time, but are best enjoyed within a week of when you buy them.

Preparation Tips: Buckwheat Shoots are very tender and kinda taste like lettuce, which means they make an excellent Shoot for creating salads with!  Make it just before you serve it as they are so tender they don’t hold up to much handling.

I like to mix other winter veggies into my shoots salads to give them substance: try grated beets, carrots, and apple, or cabbage sliced thinly on a mandoline slicer.

Just like any other shoots, Buckwheat Shoots lend themselves well to being a topping on everything, like soups, salads, stir-fry, pizza, & whatever you’re makin’ for dinner tonight!

This is a very mild-flavoured and tender shoot, we hope you enjoy it!