Big Profits From Small Plants
For many years, microgreens were grown primarily for sale to upscale restaurants. These tiny plants are used as a garnish for main dishes like fish or pork to add color and taste, served as a mini-salad, or added to a salad of larger leaves such as spinach or arugula. Today, that has all changed, and microgreens have become widely known and used, not just by trendy chefs and “foodies,” but by anyone who appreciates fresh, tasty food. One food writer called it the “microgreening of America.” National Public Radio recently named microgreens one of the new “culinary buzzwords,” and the National Restaurant Association calls microgreens one of the top five food trends.
When a food goes from unknown to a hot food trend, there is money to be made. Unlike most other specialty food crops, microgreens are easy to grow, and can be ready to sell in just ten to twenty days. They can be grown indoors or outdoors, so microgreens are a perfect crop for urban farmers who may not have access to a patch of dirt. In fact, many small growers prefer indoor growing, as it allows more control over light and temperature, so crops can be grown more quickly, and harvests are more predictable. Because microgreens are expensive, selling for $20 to $50 a pound, growers can produce a solid income in a very small space compared to traditional farming. For example, growing microgreens on a rack or shelving system that uses vertical space more efficiently can produce several pounds per square foot per month.
What Are Microgreens?
Microgreens are tiny, edible greens that are older than a sprout and younger than a full-grown plant. Microgreens are harvested after their first true leaves have developed, before they develop into larger plants. They are the smallest of the salad greens and herbs, smaller than the “baby greens,” and can be grown from almost any plant variety that would produce a mature plant, such as arugula, spinach, radish or basil.
What’s The Difference Between Microgreens and Sprouts?
Microgreens are not sprouts. Sprouts are just germinated seeds, grown in water, that are eaten whole, with the seed, root and stem still attached. Microgreens are not grown in water. They are produced in soil or a sterile medium such as a fiber mat. They require plenty of light, low humidity and good air circulation. The seed density is low compared to sprouting, which allows plenty of room for each tiny plant to grow and develop. At harvest, they are cut and packed without any roots.
When microgreens are harvested, their flavor is often more intense than the mature plant, like the spicy micro-radish or micro-mizuna. This intense flavor is part of their culinary appeal. The most common microgreens come from the crucifer, or cabbage, family of plants, and are packed with vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. So not only do microgreens supply flavor, texture and color to a salad or main dish, they’re also nutritious! Some of the most common microgreens are amaranth, arugula, beets, basil, cabbage, celery, chard, cilantro, cress, kale, mustard, parsley, radish and sorrel. Most commercial growers also offer microgreen mixes for a blend of tastes and colors.
Microgreens: A High-Growth Business!
You can start a microgreen business with just a small amount of money – as little as a few hundred dollars for seeds and supplies. Microgreens mature quickly, so it is not uncommon for growers to earn back their investment quickly, or use their profits to expand their growing business. It doesn’t matter how much growing space you have, or gardening experience. If you can spare as little as an hour a day, you can start growing micro greens for profit.
One successful grower, Kate Brun, profiled in chapter 1 of Growing Microgreens For Profit, went from growing in the sunroom of her home to a 400 square foot greenhouse, then a 1,600 square foot greenhouse in about a year. Kate grows 40 varieties of organic microgreens, from broccoli and arugula to sunflower and popcorn. In addition to her regular restaurant and grocery customers, she sells her greens at several local farmer’s markets.
She says, “As far as a chef is concerned, microgreens are like a bow on a present. You can wrap it in paper, and it’ll still be good, but if you put a fancy bow on top, it becomes gorgeous.” One of her chefs loves her microgreens because, “ I can utilize every pound or ounce I buy. It makes for a way prettier plate, and makes everything a little more polished and refined.”
When asked about how she felt about starting out, Brun said, “It’s having faith in what you’ve got and having the courage to go do it. I never enjoyed going to work until now!” She encourages new growers to give microgreens a try, as it appeals to those who are seeking locally grown food and “foodies,” who love the taste and texture of microgreens. Another plus: it’s a novelty crop, making it easier to land a spot at local farmer’s markets, as opposed to traditional crops like tomatoes or lettuce.
Here are a few of the growing secrets you’ll find in Growing Microgreens For Profit:
- Best micro greens to grow – 15 varieties that are easy for beginners.Each plant listing includes growing tips and the most popular varieties.
- Microgreen mixes – 4 popular blends, from a basic salad mix to a spicy Asian mix that are perfect for retail customers and even many restaurant chefs.
- Seed selection – A 10 point checklist for choosing the best seed.
- Growing equipment – From growing trays to lighting to soil, even germinating aids and harvesting tools, so you can learn what you need and why.
- 3 steps to a perfect micro green crop – Even if you’ve never grown micro greens before, chapter 4 takes you by the hand and walks you through the process of planting, growing and harvesting micro greens. There’s even a section on common production problems and solutions.
- Once you’ve got a crop of micro greens, how do you sell them? Chapter 5 covers the 3 main markets for micro greens, who to see and what to expect. You’ll learn the “Proctor & Gamble Secret” to gaining new customers, and the 3 secrets to successfully selling to restaurants, directly from Dean Okimoto, a greens grower in Hawaii.
- Chapter 6 covers all the resources you’ll need to succeed as a microgreens grower, from videos to seeds to grow lights. Here, you’ll find the 8 best videos for new growers, 7 wholesale suppliers of microgreen seeds, wholesale sources for trays, growing pads, lights, propagation mats, fertilizer, biodegradable containers to package your greens and label sources.
- Chapter 7 shows you how to build the “Microbox,” designed for growers who are just getting started. Perhaps you’re not sure if growing micro greens is right for you, or just want to start out small. The micro box takes just 4 square feet of floor space, costs around $200 for materials and takes about 4 hours to build.
- Using the micro box, you can grow up to 20 pounds of micro greens a month. With micro green prices over $20 a pound, the micro box should pay for itself quite quickly. It can be used in a basement, garage or spare room – anywhere you can find a 2′x2′ space.
Order Now and Start Growing!
Growing Microgreens For Profit covers all the essentials you need to take your micro green business from startup to profitable. If you’re ready to get started, get your copy today. To make it affordable for you to get started in your own micro green business, I’m offering you Growing Microgreens For Profit for only $19, a $10 savings off the $29 cover price. But I urge you to hurry: this special low price of only $19 is for a limited time only. If you decide Growing Microgreens For Profit is not right for you, just let us know within 30 days, and you’ll get a full, prompt refund. The micro green business is thriving, and there has never been a better time to get started. Best of all, you can get started with a Microbox for just a couple hundred dollars.
Growing Microgreens For Profit is an 80 page eBook, delivered to you as an instant download to your computer so you can read it within minutes of placing your order. If you prefer a printed copy, you can print the book. No printer? No problem. Just email the book to your local copy shop and they can print it for you.
Special Offer: Learn How to Market Your Harvest with a Free Bonus Book
Order today, and also you’ll get a free copy of Sell Your Harvest. In this 78-page eBook (which normally sells for $19!), you’ll discover the 50 best free and low-cost ways to market your specialty crops and value-added plant products on a shoestring budget.