Rewind a year ago (2012). I, just like you, had no idea what microgreens were. My friend, Curtis Stone, an urban farmer in British Columbia, told me that I should try growing microgreens.
I said “You mean... pot?!”
He quickly answered: “No man! Microgreens, they’re the ‘veal of vegetables, eh! You can make some serious cash growing those little green things for farmer’s markets and restaurants. I bet Portland would be a great place to sell them. You should give it a try!”
It was great timing because I wanted to get away from working my meaningless 9-5 job. I dreamt of connecting with the community in a way that would reward me emotionally and financially, yet never knew where to start.
With a bit of fear and excitement, I threw caution to the wind and said: “Sure, let’s give it a shot.”
That day I headed down to the local nursery and purchased some trays, some soil, and a couple packs of seeds.
I had no idea what I was doing. In fact, at that point, I had never grown a single plant!
But, I knew I could learn.
When I got home I planted the seeds and sure enough, 4 days later, they sprouted! It was so exciting to see them grow. Now, it was time to give them light. I visited my local Home Depot and bought a $20 fluorescent grow light. When I got home, I hung it above my trays and watched my crop get really, really tall and leggy. Whoops!
As it turned out, the light was way too far above the greens. Not letting this stop me, I immediately planted another tray of seeds (much more densely too), and brought the light down to 1 foot above the trays.
A week later, this second crop turned out much much better (see the picture below). In fact, my crop turned out so well, that I decided to take my greens to a few local restaurants.
I had absolutely no idea how to sell to restaurants! So I improvised.
I packaged up my greens, printed some business cards, printed a sheet with prices, and hit the town! The process of trying to sell my product to well-known chefs around town, was quite an intimidating experience. But, by the end of the day,a local chef put in an order for my microgreens.
Facing my fear of rejection was incredibly rewarding.
Fast-forward 10 days later and I was making my first delivery! I couldn't believe it!
I'll never forget how excited and proud of myself I was that day.
Here's a picture of the greens being used at Besaw's in Portland, Nightlight Farms' first client!
After getting that initial restaurant client, everything really started to fall into place. Within a few weeks I was selling at a local farmer's market too! Needing more space to produce the microgreens, I built a simple shelf so I could increase production and satisfy demand.
Nightlight Farms is in its second season, selling to three Portland Farmer’s markets and delivering to 10 local restaurants. Nightlight Farms is thriving. The best part is that there is still a lot of room to expand. We have the ability to grow high value crops like salad greens and accomodate special requests from bigger restaurants.
So, the million dollar question... Why?
Why should I help you start your own microgreens business?
This business will allow you to grow food for your community and make great money while doing it! That’s awesome. Never has there been a better time to make money growing food. Microgreens are the best crops to start with because they sell for more per pound than any other vegetable, and can be grown in a small space.
Reason #2: Community
It is an incredible feeling knowing that you are providing a high quality food to the people in your community. There are few things more satisfying than seeing new friends and customers return each week with a smile on their face, excited to see you and your microgreens! Famers' Market day will quickly become your favorite day of the week.
Reason#3: I want to help you live a life of purpose and value. Owning a local, sustainable business is an incredibly rewarding experience.
Growing microgreens certainly isn’t for everyone. I know my story sounds like fun and games, but the fact is, building a business is a lot of work.
It is far better to be realistic about this point and say no, than to force it and fail at starting your business.
#1: You can't commit the time and energy needed to start a business
Starting a business takes a lot of work. If you aren't ready to commit your time and energy to the business, don't rush into it. Building a business isn't for everyone, and that's just fine.
Before you go on any further, take a minute now to ask yourself this question.
If you're answer is anything less than "YES!!!!", this might not be the right fit.
If you are truly ready to commit to a life-changing experience full of growth and abundance, let's get started together.
Click on the 'Get Started Now' button below and I'll see you on the next page where we'll determine if your city is a good place to start a microgreens business.