It is not usually easy to start your own microgreens business as you normally need to undertake months of research and have an impressive amount of capital but as you will see, these two major drawbacks do not apply when starting your own microgreens business.
What are Microgreens?
Microgreens are the most nutritious stage of a plant’s life and some say the tastiest. Regardless of whether they are tastier or not it is certain that they are nutritious with many considering them to be the new superfood.
Once only used in expensive restaurants as garnish or to add flavor to vinaigrette, microgreens have now become a popular form of nutrition and additive to a meal in their own right. As freshness is imperative for microgreens to provide their maximum nutritional value, chefs and healthy eaters are always looking for a local supplier so as to better ensure their full value.
Although any seed from a plant, even flowers, can produce microgreens some are more popular than others and so you should grow the ones you like or, if starting a business, grow what you know will be popular in your area.
Unlike sprouts, microgreens are grown in soil, usually placed in trays. As the seeds grow, after 2 – 3 weeks their stems will produce leaves. It is at this time, before they grow their second set of leaves, that they become ready to harvest. This of course can provide a fairly quick and easy source of income.
Research and Capital Needed to Start Your Own Microgreens Business
Todd’s seeds can provide you with planting instructions as well as answer any questions you may have, all the research you really need to do prior to starting your business is discover which microgreens have the potential to sell in your area. This may entail talking with any vegetable sellers at your local market and also learning which microgreens the chefs in nearby restaurants would be interested in. Once you have learned what the potentials are, decide on a suitably sized growing area.
Growing Area Needed to Start Your Own Microgreens Business
Although some people that grow microgreens only for their own requirements may use windowsills to place their trays of seeds on, if you are starting a business you will probably need a larger area. This area can either be inside or outside but the requirements are that the trays receive a minimum of 4 hours of light per day, either by growing lamp or sunlight. Secondly they must be protected from extremes of weather and of course animals or pests.
Capital Needed to Start Your Own Microgreens Business
Many people have been able to set up an appropriate growing area for less than $600 and the only additions to that cost is the cost of potting soil, trays and seeds. The average cost of trays, soil and seeds is between $3 and $5 per tray depending on the type of microgreens you intend to grow.
Once you have prepared your growing area you will have to buy sufficient trays. The usual size for trays is 10cm x 20cm but take out meal trays or see through vegetable trays with holes made in the bottom will suffice. You will need enough potting soil to set 1cm – 2cm at the bottom of all your trays and then provide a thin cover over the seeds. Although the soil will have to be kept moist, sprinkling water on it twice a day, it should not be too wet.
Although it is perhaps best to start with just one or two types of microgreens you can increase and diversify once you are more experienced. It is possible to buy starter kits and these often have a mix of vegetable seeds, all of which need the same conditions and growing time.
In 14 to 21 days the seeds should have produced stems and their first leaves and this means they are ready to harvest. In order to harvest you should have a new pair of scissors which you keep especially for this task and cut the microgreens at the stems, close to the soil. As freshness is a key to increased sales, some customers may prefer to buy a tray and cut them as they need them so check with your client base before harvesting.
If you do start a microgreens business it will of course mean you wish to make a profit and that should be easily possible. As mentioned, the cost of growing each average size tray is between $3 and $5 which often produce 12oz of microgreens each. Depending on the type of microgreens, they sell for between $25 and $30 per pound which works out to about $18.75 per tray.
Obviously the more diverse the types of microgreens you can provide, the more potential you have for sales and profit. Most microgreen seeds will cost about $15 per pound but if you start to specialize some microgreen seeds are expensive, such as Parsley seeds at $45 per pound or Marigold seeds at $350 per pound but adjust the microgreens selling price per tray to reflect that added cost.
As you can see, starting a microgreens business is not too difficult and is certainly much easier than most other businesses. The initial cost to set up the business is not high and once you have your growing area, overheads will be low.
Although you may soon become an expert in growing microgreens, in the meantime with Todd’s Seeds providing you with initial instructions, your first results should be the same as those of an expert. To keep costs low, we can also provide you with microgreen seeds at wholesale prices, assisting you in profiting from your efforts.
Not only will having your own microgreens business help you financially but it will also ensure that you, your family and your local community have a handy source of nutrition readily available and give you confidence that you are doing your part to keep humanity healthy.
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