In modern times, more and more people have started to grow their own foods. It often proves to be a cheaper and safer alternative to buying your produce from a supermarket.
But before you venture out into the world of plants, there are a few things you need to know. And if you’re considering getting familiar with microgreens, in particular, this guide is just right for you.
In this guide, we’ll cover buying and pricing microgreens, and which plant seeds can actually be used to grow microgreens, to begin with.
What Are Microgreens?
Microgreens can be referred to as baby plants. They are young vegetable greens that are around one to three inches tall.
Microgreen stems and leaves are edible and can be sold before being harvested. This enables the buyer to obtain them whole and cut them up at home. Doing this keeps them alive until consumption which often betters the taste as the microgreens are still fresh.
Microgreens are often confused with sprouts or baby greens. The main difference between microgreens and sprouts is that the root of microgreen is left in the soil while the root of the sprout can be eaten.
Taste, Aroma, and Texture
Microgreens are known to be aromatic. They also come in a wide variety of textures and colors, depending on the seeds used to plant them.
Microgreens offer different flavors as well. These include spicy, bitter, sour, and neutral. Regardless of taste, a microgreen will offer lots of it, as they are known to have concentrated flavors.
Plants to Use
Different types of vegetables can be used to grow microgreens. Here’s a list of some plants that will help you start growing microgreens:
Tips On Growing Your Own
To grow your own microgreens, you need to start with high-quality seeds. These can be obtained from a holistic nutrition shop, a gardener or flower shop.
You also need a container or pot. These can be any size you want depending on where you decide to grow your microgreens.
Finally, you need good lighting. Ultraviolet lights are easy to find online or at a hardware store. An adequate amount of time in artificial lighting would range from 12 to 16 hours per day.
Buying, Selling, and Pricing
The prices of microgreens depend on various factors, from point of purchase to quality and type, but you can consider it a fair assumption that a pound of microgreens could cost from $20 to $50.
It’s true that microgreens come with a reputation of being expensive. To clarify, here’s what either selling or buying microgreens calls for.
Buying is the more popular option of the two, possibly because it’s the easiest and comes with the least amount of fuss and research. Microgreens can be bought and paid for per pound or in bulk.
If you’re new to the world of microgreens, buying small amounts can help you experiment before making a big investment. You can also try buying various types at once to see which type you prefer.
On the other hand, if you want to purchase microgreens to include them in your restaurant’s menu, buying in bulk is the best way to go.
Wholesale options vary depending on the seller. It’s usually the best option to refer to a store instead of an independent seller if you want to buy in bulk.
Organic Stores vs. Online Stores
Microgreens can be purchased from organic stores such as supermarkets and holistic nutrition shops, or from online stores such as Amazon.
Both online and organic stores sell microgreens and microgreen seeds, and both offer wholesale and retail options. However, it’s best to shop for microgreens in organic stores to ensure the quality is the best it can be before making a purchase.
Any business, no matter big or small, needs planning and equipment. The good thing about selling microgreens is that the equipment you need is few and the location can be anywhere in your home or surrounding garden.
The first item on your equipment shopping list should be a tray or a container. A container or tray is where you place the compost for the seeds. They are affordable as they usually cost a dollar or two.
The seeds come in second, and you have to make sure you’re getting good-quality ones. This can be done through online reviews or a simple, old-fashioned trial and error method.
Prices of seed vary depending on what you’re looking to grow, so you can find yourself spending anything from $50 for a pound of parsley seeds to $450 for a pound of marigold seeds.
As for the soil, it can be made or purchased. Of course, making your own is the cheapest option, but don’t worry if you find that you need to buy ready-made soil.
The soil is not that expensive and usually costs about one dollar to fit a tray. It can also be reused.
The soil in the microgreen container needs to be moist and damp, not wet. You also want to be gentle when watering your microgreens because doing otherwise would disturb the seeds.
You could use a watering pot to water your microgreens, but the simplest way is to use a regular spray bottle. The water should be cold and fresh.
Lighting is very important because, without it, your microgreens will be unhealthy and grow to be weak. Microgreens, like all other plants, need sufficient light for photosynthesis. It’s best to grow them in sunlight for 5 to 8 hours a day.
However, if you’re growing microgreens indoors, then you’ll have to invest in compact fluorescent lights or LED growth lights. Both can be purchased online or at organic shops such as hardware stores.
Growing your microgreens outdoors is the gentlest option on your bank account. However, if it’s not a possibility for you, you can still have an indoor garden. You’d need to invest in the right equipment such as a dehumidifier, fans, etc. But the results are often satisfactory.
How much profit you make from planting and selling microgreens depends on how much you’ve invested in the process, to begin with.
For example, will you be using one tray or more? What’s the turnaround time for your batch of microgreens to grow? Knowing how short their cycle is will help you calculate how often you can sell and for how much.
Doing some local research will also prove helpful. Will you be selling your microgreens at the grocery store, online, or at a farmer’s market?
Take some time to look into how these places price their own microgreens and then if you want to sell with them or sell independently for a competing price.
The breakdown of setting a price should be like this: How many trays do you have? How much profit does one tray make?
Once you have the answers to these questions, deduct the cost of how much each tray is costing you and the remaining amount is your profit.
Keep in mind that the total cost of the production of a 1020 tray of microgreens is about four to six dollars. This amount takes into consideration the average costs of equipment such as soil, seeds, water, and packaging.
The reason selling microgreens is a smart way to make a good income is because of their short crop cycle. A microgreen is ready to harvest in around two weeks, which means you can produce 20-25 crops per year.
By using stackable trays, you can also double, triple, or even quadruple the amount of microgreens you’re growing at a time. This means you can increase your annual profit by simply investing in trays that can be placed above one another.
Microgreens are healthy plants that are filled to the brim with nutrients and are easily accessible. If not by making a purchase at a local or online store, then by growing your own.
However, microgreens come in a wide variety and can be pricey to buy. This is especially the case if you’re only purchasing them for food consumption.
The good news is you can grow your own at home, and you don’t need a garden or a large backyard to get a decent crop.
Unlike other small-sized business ventures or cash opportunities, growing and selling your own microgreens doesn’t require much effort or funding. Quite the opposite, it can serve as a relaxing way to unwind and make some extra money on the side.
The most important things to take note of are competing prices in your area, the seeds that are in the highest demand, and caring for the microgreens to ensure you’re growing a quality product.
Good luck and happy growing!