Let’s get this on the table right away. Micro-greens are not spouts. What they really are, are the starts of vegetables. That is to say, the immature growth of plants with leaves and a root system. The key to micro-greens is that the tiny plants are harvested after they have grown for some time but have not reached full growth. This is usually in the range of just a few weeks and micro-green farming is growing just as fast as those tiny shoots that get snipped and tossed into salads.
What Micro-Greens Are Used For
As micro-greens are the ‘non-grown-up” versions of vegetables and other greens, they often offer a slightly different taste than their full-grown counterparts. This makes micro-greens a favorite in many restaurants where such choices as chard or cabbage shoots, provide all the nutrition but will pack a sometimes sweeter and crunchy punch. These qualities make micro-greens extremely popular for flavoring various dishes.
Micro-green farming is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to grow a crop, but doesn’t have a lot of space.. The same growth and harvest elements exist only the main difference is that you don’t need a large acreage or heavy farm equipment to produce a profit with micro-greens, In fact, you can start micro-green farming in as little as 100 square feet.
How To Start Micro-Green Farming
It is very easy to start your own micro-greens farm simply because the plants only require a half-inch of soil. The idea is that the root system creates a strong mat in the shallow soil allowing for the shoots to develop completely. Growing trays are used for this and in a greenhouse setting you can farm micro-greens all year. A standard 10“ x 20” tray can hold around hundreds of plants which mean a lot can be made in a small space.
Good quality potting soil is what gives your plants their punch and life. The seeds are sprinkled on top of a thin layer ( about 1/2”) of potting soil, then covered with a moist paper towel. Watering every day produces sprouts very quickly. After the seeds have sprouted, the paper towels are removed, and the watering continues, until the micro-greens are ready to harvest at about 3” in height. The micro greens are cut, washed and bagged for sale, and the whole process takes about 2-3 weeks.
After a tray is harvested, it is emptied of remaining potting soil, washed and sterilized. Once this process is complete, it gets filled again with fresh potting soil and another layer of seeds is spread over the soil. This process is repeated over and over and if timed correctly, a harvest can result daily or weekly, increasing the amount of profit your micro-greens farming can produce.
How To Sell Your Micro-Greens
Probably the best way to sell your harvest is to package the micro-greens in two or three different mini-bag sizes. Because of their size, a lot of shoots will end up in a 5-ounce bag. These can be sold at markets or if you are set up to provide storefront sales at a local business or in a grocery store, the pre-packaged bags will be your best marketing tool. If you are selling to restaurants, chefs or other commercial entities, selling in bulk will be the logical solution. Either way, you will see profits from growing micro-greens, as they sell for over $16.00 a pound. To learn more about this profitable and easy-to-grow crop, visit www.profitableplantsdigest.com