Cumin is grown for its seeds that are used whole or ground. This pungent herb is commonly used to spice Mexican, Asian, Indian and Middle Eastern foods. Cumin has medicinal and culinary uses.
To harvest seeds, allow pod to ripen and turn brown. Remove from the plant and dry. Rub pods to remove the seeds. The whole stem can be cut and hung upside down in a bag to collect the seeds. Use fresh or store in an airtight container.
Growing: Start seeds inside 6 to 8 weeks before average last frost. Start outside 1 to 2 weeks after average last frost and when the temperatures are warm. Plant a group of 4 seeds at a depth of ¼ inch every 4 to 8 inches. When seedlings are 2 inches tall, thin to 1 plant every 4 to 8 inches. Seed should germinate in 7 to 14 days.
Microgreens growing instructions: Cover the bottom of the container with an inch or two of moistened potting soil/mix or coir. Flatten and level it with your hand or a small piece of cardboard, taking care not to over-compress the soil. Scatter seeds evenly on top of the soil. Press gently into the soil using your hand or the cardboard. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil. Dampen the surface with a mister. If you prefer, you can skip this step and instead cover the container with a clear lid or plastic wrap until the seeds are sprouted. While waiting for sprouts to appear, usually within three to seven days, use the mister once or twice daily to keep the soil moist but not wet. Once seeds have sprouted, remove the cover (if you've used one) and continue to mist once or twice a day. Microgreens need about four hours daily of direct sunlight to thrive (south facing window). In winter months, some may need even more. Leggy, pale greens are a sign of not enough sunlight. Light needs can also be satisfied with a grow light that has a low heat output — you don't want to scorch your delicate greens. Microgreens will be ready to harvest about two to three weeks after planting. Look for the first set of "true leaves" as a sign of readiness. Then grab your scissors and snip the greens just above the soil line. To serve, wash the microgreens with water and dry with paper towels or a salad spinner. Harvest and serve them immediately for the freshest flavor, and add to soups, salads, sandwiches or main dishes. Store remaining cut microgreens in a plastic bag in your refrigerator.