Can Tiny Tots Grow Microgreens?

Project: Growing & Producing

Can three and four-year-olds grow microgreens for one of Winnipeg’s most celebrated Executive Chefs? At Kookum’s Place Daycare they can!
Named after the Cree word for Grandmother, Kookum’s Place is a daycare in Winnipeg’s North End. Infants and preschoolers attend Kookum’s while their parents take classes at Winnipeg’s Aboriginal Community Campus, part of the Centre for Aboriginal Human Resource Development (CAHRD).


These tiny tots are already active gardeners, helping out at CAHRD’s Learning Garden with activities like harvesting fresh lettuce and feeding fish in the aquaponic systems. So, when the opportunity arose to attend a reception at the Assiniboine Park Conservancy, CAHRD’s Executive Director, Marileen Bartlett’s ‘seeds’ started spinning.

Marileen wanted to do more than just attend the reception, she wanted to give back by contributing some of the fresh, organic produce and herbs grown at the Learning Garden.

Executive Chef Heiko Duehrsen, of the Park Café, was delighted to accept her offer of microgreens to enhance the hors d’oeuvres he would serve at the reception. So, with their trademark excitement, intensity and focus, the children of Kookum’s Place eagerly began the task of planting and watering trays of seeds for Chef Heiko.

What are microgreens?

sprouts-763457_1920Microgreens are the tiny shoots grown from the seeds of vegetables and herbs. They’re smaller than baby greens but bigger than sprouts. Unlike sprouts, which are soaked in water before they grow, microgreens are planted in soil. They need plenty of sunlight and are harvested when they’re just one to two weeks old and only one to three inches tall. Their flavour is much more intense than mature greens and they have nearly five times the nutrients!

Planting the seeds of change



All their hard work paid off when the microgreens were ready just in time for the reception. The team at the Park Café did an incredible job of incorporating them into the hors d’oeuvres!

Marileen and the staff at the CAHRD couldn’t be prouder of their incredible daycare children and they hope activities at the Learning Garden are planting the seeds of change that will help future generations live healthy, sustainable lifestyles.



This good food story was shared by Centre for Aboriginal Human Resource Development (CAHRD).

CAHRD’s Learning Garden provides hundreds of Aboriginal students, ranging from young children to elders, the chance to have first-hand learning experiences that follow traditional Aboriginal teachings. 

For more information on the Learning Garden, contact Rachel Sansregret at, or by phone at 204-799-1149.


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