Eating healthy should be one of your resolutions this year. Demand for microgreens has become increasingly high courtesy of its nutritional benefits. Microgreens are seedlings of edible plants, that have very high concentration of nutrients compared to mature plants.
They can be consumes as edible plants or used to garnishing and flavor to meals.
Most common varieties of microgreens include arugula, beet greens, basil, chard, carrot, cress, amaranth, spinach, and mustard sunflower, radish, cabbage, mustard, parsley, broccoli among others.
Not only are they tender and spicy, but nutritional researchers have found they are loaded with “phytonutrients,” or natural chemicals found in foods that provide health benefits. One study examined 25 different varieties of microgreens and found that red cabbage had the most vitamin C, garnet amaranth had the most vitamin K1, and green daikon radish microgreens had the most vitamin D.
How to Grow Microgreens
Microgreens don’t take up much space. All your require is potting soil, growing trays, seedlings, and water. Plant the seeds a little more densely than you would for full-growing plants and mist the soil to keep it s damp.
The seeds are germinated in the dark and are moved to a sunny spot or under lights after sprouting. Most small microgreen growers use a potting soil blend in the trays.
You can put them in a backyard or in the house with lighting meant for growing the plants. In two to four week, the little plants are ready to harvest as soon as they produce little true leaves. To harvest, microgreens can either be pulled from the soil and rinsed or the stems are cut just above the soil.
Startup costs are very low compared to most field crops, as the basic equipment, such as growing trays and fluorescent lights, are not expensive. Many growers have started a micro green business with very little cash.
Market for Microgreens
The plants are freshly packaged and delivered to restaurants and a few specialty grocery stores. Commercial growers find their best repeat customers are high-end restaurant chefs, upscale grocers and retail buyers at the local markets. The price per package ranges from Ksh 150 to Ksh 300.
If a microgreen grower has 10 growing plots for the little plants each with the capacity to generate 10 packages, He is able to makeKsh 15,000 to Ksh 30,000 in two weeks.
Growing microgreens is very easy to start, paying attention to the basic requirements, and meeting the demands of your clients.