how much to charge for pea shoots?

greendot(6)March 19, 2013

I will be selling pea shoots and sunflower shoots at the farmers market this year in addition to microgreens. I am inclined to sell the the peas and sunflowers pre bagged. What would be a good weight to put in the bags and how much are others charging for these? Anyone have a better idea of the best way to sell. I've seen some others bring trays to the market and cut to order, but that seems like too much transporting and work at the market. Though the ice I will need will need to be transported.

Any advice is welcome.

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Maybe you should just mix them in with salad greens? Not necessarily lettuce, but an "exotic mix" people can add to their lettuce, like some arugula, mustard, beet greens, baby kale, chard, Asian greens (vary the mixes)?

Or if people are using them in stir fry, again package as a mix with greens having similar cooking time.

I don't know if people really eat pea shoots by themselves?

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 2:12PM
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How does the grocery store or health food stores do it? I'd package in the same amount as they do. Pricing similar, but higher.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 3:23PM
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I've never noticed them in stores, but I guess they don't keep long (maybe that's why). I'd say no more than a pint package, that might be too much to add to salads (except for a crowd) before they wilt, but just enough for stirfry? The customers will tell you how much/little they use.

As far as pricing, wild guess is $3/pint. Adjust up or down from there.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 4:32PM
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I sold some last year. I put about 3-4 ounces in a bag for about $3. I only had a few bags at a time but people grabbed them and wanted more.

This year I plan to grow them in more quantity and have some varieties with colored flowers (NOT sweet peas which are poisonous!) I will either clip 4" early shoots to sell alone, mix some into my salad mix and/or wait until there are flowers/tendrils or small pods on them for a garnish, which I sell to a local restaurant.

Frankly, I think a lot more money can be made selling shoots than peas. The shoots are much faster and if you leave a few leaves on them, you can get multiple cuts.

Another vendor has sunflower shoots at our market. I am doing those this year as well, but will probably sell them only at my stand since our market is small and I'd rather not compete. They are amazing--nutty and delicious! I think they get $4 for a small baggie full.

Frankly, the sunflower and pea shoots are really tasty too. While other microgreens are pretty, a lot of them just taste grassy or bland.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 5:01PM
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little_minnie(zone 4a)

I think pea shoots are delicious! I didn't sell any at market last year but did give some to the CSAs.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2013 at 11:50AM
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After hearing about sunflower shoots here for the first time last month and running across this NYT article I've decided to jump on the sunflower shoot bandwagon. I haven't seen them at market yet. I've ordered my seeds and I'm thinking the flats I start onions in will be perfect. I'm excited to try it!

Here is a link that might be useful: NYT article

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 3:12PM
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ghouliegrrrl(z9b CA)

I just harvested a "test" flat of pea shoots to see how they'd do and they're fantastic. Delicious and *so* easy to grow!

I'm wondering, though, how long you would let them get before you cut them? I let this group go to about 12" and they're just fine, but what is your standard?

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 6:25PM
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Length depends on their tenderness. Eat one, starting at the tip. As you go down the shoot, are the bottom leaves/stem stringy or tough to chew? If you wouldn't want it in your salad, then it's too long.

I generally cut about a 4-6" shoot. If you leave a few pairs of leaves at the bottom on the plant, you'll get additional harvests as they re-grow. In the spring I found that the later shoots were best as tips only, as the parts farther down the stem were tough. Peas in the ground gave more harvests than the ones in flats. I'm sure it depends on variety and time of year/temperature too.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 9:03PM
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Anyone have updated info on what they charge for shoots? I sold some organic pea shoots for the first time last week, did small bags at around 3 ounces for $2.50 and larger bags of 6 ounces for $4. The market wasn 't very busy but the shoots sold fast. I had a little more than 2 pounds and poof, they were gone.

I was at our local organic grocery store today and saw that they sell pea shoots 3.5 ounces for $5. They looked good but clearly not as fresh as mine, which i washed and bagged the night before my market. I was apparently way off on my pricing. Going to raise my prices next time, had no idea if people would buy pea shoots at all, much less pay $5 for 3.5 ounces.

Pea shoots have grown well for me, but not sunflower shoots. They don't germinate well even after soaking for a few days. I do get some shoots but it's spotty, not a nice thick tray like i get with the peas. My seed came from Johnnys, it's a large sunflower seed - and very expensive, $10/lb, plus $10 to ship. I'm thinking a smaller seed might work better so i ordered new seed from a sprouting company. It's the smaller black oil seed, and it's still organic, which was hard to find.

Any advice on sunflower shoots? I hope it's just the seed i've been using.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 2:42PM
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At our market, an ounce of shoots sells for $3.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 3:12PM
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One ounce of shoots for $3? A week ago i would have thought that was crazy, but i think our market might support that price. And people asked for small sample sizes so they could just try the shoots, so i was thinking about bagging smaller amounts.

It's certainly easier than toiling away in the field, and so far anyway i'm the only vendor with shoots.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 5:52PM
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Wow ... I live in a climate that makes growing peas extremely difficult.

But I think we could do pea shoots.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 10:19AM
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Lazygardens, I've been using field peas, which might grow better in a warmer climate than regular garden or snow peas. I've been growing in trays that are indoors, so it doesn't matter so much, I just had a 50lb bag of field peas so that's what I started with.

Sunflower shoots also might grow well for you in the heat. I've had some issues with mine, but it seems that they just take longer to grow than the peas. And I need to keep the sunflower trays covered until the shoots get nice and tall, otherwise they start producing true leaves.

Checking around a bit more, it seems that the going rate for shoots around here is about $1.50/ounce. So I think I'm going to stick with that for now, and I'll just do small amounts, maybe 2-4 ounces per bag.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 3:47PM
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I got $3 for pre-packed 2oz bags last weekend at our market.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 4:30PM
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To mdfarmer

Try High Mowing Seeds for your sunflower shoots. They are certified organic and gmo free as well. They have a section for shoots and microgreens and some good growing information for same. I am just starting mine and hope to sell them at market as well. Microgreens here in NY sell for $9.99 for a snack size zip lock bag and shoots about the same. So at least in our area they can be a good money maker. Good luck!

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 8:12AM
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Wow Mossflower, if I could get $10 for a snack bag of sunflower shoots I'd grow them too! At my market I was selling them for $1.50 an ounce, and there was definitely some interest, but I don't think it's worth the hassle for me. My problem is that many of the shoots don't shed the seed hull and I was spending way too much time removing those by hand. And I had trouble getting the seeds to grow at the same rate. It helps to cover for the first few days to keep the seeds in the dark, but too long and the whole tray would go moldy. Uncover it and some of the shoots begin to get their first true leaves (and become tough) before others have sprouted at all. It worked best for me to leave the trays uncovered for air flow, but in a dark area.

Another problem I had is that when I removed the seed hulls as I was processing the shoots, the leaves in these areas were yellow, because they hadn't been exposed to light yet. Some customers thought that these parts of the shoots were old or rotten. Maybe other sellers just leave the hulls on?

I bought 5 pounds of organic seed from Sprout People, which is a bit cheaper than High Mowing, but with shipping I think the price is about the same, around $50.

Pea shoots are much easier for me, growing them is like falling off a log, and the seed is a lot cheaper. I disappointed a few people when I stopped growing sunflower shoots, but I think I need to stick with pea shoots for now.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 8:51AM
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mocc625(MO zone 5)

we charge $3 for 2 ounces -- do sunflowers, peas and corn

on the sunflower shoots (hulls staying on) I just run my hand over them whenever I am in there, (before watering) and a lot of them will fall off then - and yes then hand pick the ones left when we harvest

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 6:08PM
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