History says that Romans introduced Rapeseed to the UK, but its popularity dwindled over time. It wasn’t until the Middle Ages that it started to become popular again. It was grown in order to be dug back into the soil – helping to keep the weeds down and improve the soil. Rapeseed has been cultivated in Asia, Europe, and Northwestern Africa since ancient times as a source of oil for food, lamps, soap and later for industrial purposes.
In Canada, rapeseed has been commercially grown in the western provinces since the middle of the 20th century. It used to be served as a supply of lubricant for steam engines. The cultivation of rapeseed in Canada increased dramatically during World War II. Canadians needed to secure a steady supply of industrial lubricants. The war also disrupted the Canadian supply of edible oil and as a result, Canadian plant breeders began to focus on developing edible oil alternatives. By the mid-1950s, rapeseed oil was fully recognized in the Western hemisphere as edible oil and breeding programs began to focus on the development of low-erucic acid and low-glucosinolate varieties for human and animal consumption.
It is very easy to grow rapeseed microgreens. You do not need to soak or rinse and drain seeds. Prepare your soil by getting it sufficiently moist. Spread seeds evenly across the surface of the soil. After seeds are sown, cover for two to three days to allow seeds to germinate. Then uncover seeds and place under a grow light. Continue to water when need. Harvest when the look and the flavor are to your liking. So, begin sampling the greens when the first set of leaves form to determine when to cut! Harvest should be ready in 10-15 days.
Rape sprouts have a taste that is very reminiscent of rocket (arugula) salad, but the taste is milder. They go well with most other flavors, so pile them onto all your favorite sandwiches, salads, wraps, and bowls.