If you are considering getting into the microgreens business, then there is certainly money to be made. Selling microgreens is a very profitable business for many people. if you research well, thoroughly plan and prepare beforehand, then you too can be earning yourself some extra money.
It might be a small-scale side-hustle or a larger-scale enterprise you’re pondering. Either way, this article will point you in the right direction and help you take into account all of the important things you need to think about before you begin selling your microgreens.
What Is the First Thing I Need to Do when Establishing a Microgreens Business?
Research the market! There is no point in growing radishes if people only want broccoli. With some simple research you can find out where the demand is and then cater to it. Go online, call people and approach local businesses to determine what they are looking for. There is a huge variety of microgreens to choose from so you want to select wisely.
Why Do People Want to Buy Microgreens?
Most people will flock to anything that is promoted as being beneficial for their health. Microgreens, with their super nutrient dense rich foliage, have become increasingly popular amongst the health conscious over the last few years. The microgreen is also a staple amongst top restaurants that use it to add a decorative flair to many of their dishes.
Who Will Buy My Produce?
Probably the largest requests for microgreens will come from chefs and restaurants. Other places of sale could include grocery stores and farmer markets. One less well-known market would be the cosmetics industry. Due to their high concentration of certain minerals and vitamins, some microgreens are being processed into oil and used in beauty products.
How Can I Sell to Restaurants?
Firstly, you will want to have contact with the head chef, not just the manager. Secondly, take them samples of your best product. There is no way you are a going to get the attention (or sales) from a top-quality chef with sub-par produce. Considering that a lot of microgreens are used for decorative purposes you will want to ensure that they look as fresh as possible.
Can I Sell Online?
Selling your microgreens online is possible and may be something you want to consider. “Local Line” is a website catering to farmers all over North America. It can help you to reach more customers and sell your product locally. You could also set up your own online business and include home delivery as one of your selling points.
Are Farmers Markets a Good Option?
Farmers markets are often a great place to start for many small businesses. You can start with just a small amount of produce and increase later if you wish. It’s also a great place to meet people and make connections with like minded people. The outlay costs are also relatively small.
How Long Will It Take for Me to Start Making Money?
Considering it only takes 7-14 days until you can harvest your microgreens, you can start earning money relatively quickly. If you are going for speed, then plant some radish microgreens. These little guys will be ready in as little as a week. If you are after some financial motivation, then there are stories of people making $1,000 or more per week.
How Much Money Can I Make?
Microgreens vary in how much they sell for, but most of them are quite expensive to buy when compared with your more traditional vegetables. $25 – $40 per pound is a fair price guide. Now of course not all of this will be profit, so let’s look at some costs involved in the production of your microgreens.
Do I Need to Invest a Lot of Money to Start Selling Microgreens?
Like any business, you can start operations very small. As little as $20 could get you started. Much of the cost factor will be determined by what you already have on hand, and also which ‘farming’ method you choose. Growing hydroponically versus growing in soil are your two main options. A hydroponic system will be more costly initially.
What Are the Main Start-Up Costs Involved in Selling Microgreens?
Let’s start with the obvious – seeds! One of the cheaper variety of seeds to buy is parsley, for around $12 per pound. Then at the other end of the scale are marigold seeds which can retail for over $400 per pound. Obviously buying in bulk can save money. Many gardening websites sprout (pun intended) the virtues of buying quality organic seeds.
What Are Some Other Costs of Growing Microgreens?
So, you have your seeds. Now you need something to grow them in. Shallow trays are used for growing microgreens and retail for around $20 for a pack of 10. If you have chosen the hydroponic method you will need to purchase growing mats for your seeds. These can be a little costly but are known for producing good results.
How Can I Reduce My Production Costs?
We previously mentioned purchasing growing trays for your microgreens. To cut costs however, you could improvise and use any flat trays you may have around the house, such as a baking tray. Many other items that are often promoted for microgreen farming, such as special lighting systems, can be replaced or modified to a cheaper option.
Can I Produce and Sell All Year Round?
You shouldn’t have any difficulties with producing and selling your microgreens year-round. This is due to the fact that you can grow your plants indoors and control most, if not all, of the variables required for producing a plentiful harvest. If a lack of indoor space is a concern, try the increasingly popular trend of vertical gardening.
What Are Some Challenges I May Face when Selling Microgreens?
Microgreens don’t have a very long shelf life, and once cut they deteriorate quite rapidly. Therefore, you will need to ensure that you can move your produce quickly. Growing microgreens can also be labour intensive. Due to their quick growth rate, it may feel like you’ve just planted your little babies yesterday and already they’re demanding to be picked.
Hi, I’m John Stephens, chief editor and writer for Totalgardener.com. I’ve been gardening and raising animals for over 15 years starting with a small backyard plot in Northern Virginia where I grew corn, potatoes, squash, and using a high mulch technique called the Ruth Stout Method. I also raised ducks and small mammals for meat and eggs in a movable pen similar to the ones used by Joel Salatin. I later moved to Colorado where I experimented with growing greens using aquaponics inside. I eventually added a microgreens setup and home sprouting operation. I’m excited to share everything I’ve learned plus more from the other local gardening and animal raising experts I know.