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Micro Greens -- Profitable?

Posted by Heirloom_Lady z5 OH (My Page) on
Mon, Jan 24, 05 at 20:41

I would like to hear from anyone growing and selling micro greens. I've read several articles about it including Johnny's handouts, and it sounds very appealing since there isn't much else I can grow and sell until spring. I started a couple flats under lights as an experiment, and they look good--taste good in salads too.

What is a fair price if selling to resataurants? Since it takes such a quantity of seeds is it really worthwhile? How do you package them for sale?

Thanks for any advice,
Sherry


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Micro Greens -- Profitable?

Hi Sherry,
Would you mind sharing your current growing method? I was thinking about experitmenting with micro greens as well.
Thanks,
David


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RE: Micro Greens -- Profitable?

I have the flats under lights in the basement. I already had shelves and lights set up for seed starting. This will work fine until I need to start my vegetable and flower seeds.
I used a couple inches of seed starting mix and sowed the seeds fairly thickly. Water and keep from them from drying out. I used a mix of radishes, bulls blood beets, Swiss chard, mustard and pak choy. They were ready to harvest in about 14 days when they were 1 l/2" to 2" tall. Just check the germination time and plant slower germinating seeds together. My radishes have outgrown the beets. If I were doing this on a large scale it might be good to plant each variety in individual flats -- then I could mix them to order.
Sherry


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RE: Micro Greens -- Profitable?

Give us a follow-up on your experience, Sherry.
What has been most successful ?? What would you avoid ??


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RE: Micro Greens -- Profitable?

Quite honestly I haven't had much success with the micro greens. They take an awfully lot of seed and they are pretty time consuming to harvest. It's a nice touch, but lettuce and other greens mixes are simpler and easier to sell. I just started adding beets and radishes as part of my baby lettuce mix. Has anyone had better luck.
Sherry


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RE: Micro Greens -- Profitable?

The latest issue of Growing For Market sez there is really no market for microgreens any longer.

but perhaps you do have a chef in your area who wants them. If so charge about $30 a pound for 'em (really...It takes a lot of space and a lot of seed to grow a whole pound of them)


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RE: Micro Greens -- Profitable?

It only takes one....
A restaurant grower over here has slashed the price of microgreens by 60%. He has stated that he will make it unprofitable for anyone to sell to "his" restaurants.
Growing only the weightier greens he has conned the chefs who use micros and they have gone to him. He doesn't produce Amaranthus, coriander, dill, basil but does produce mustard,arugula, red cabbage, radish,cress etc. He markets nationwide through a wholesaler.
The restaurants attitude is "micros are micros..who cares?".
Besides that after 3 years over here they now consider them old fashioned.
We have standing orders but it does get harder.
The restaurants here have taken a big hit with consumers using their disposable income on fuel not meals out.
A big trend over here is now no garnish. Many of the restaurants are proud of the fact that they have no garnish at all...not even a sprig of basil.
Which certainly doesn't help.
I think microgreens will just slowly stabilize with no growth in the market.
BTW what ever happenned to Walton Creek?


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RE: Micro Greens -- Profitable?

Growing under lights is terribly expensive. the cost of lighting and the electricity are almost impossible to get back in the selling price.


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RE: Micro Greens -- Profitable?

hi

i am doing microgreens now and not all varieties are profitable. for me, profitability is dependent on the multiplyer effect of 1 gram of seed within 10 days.

if you get more than x 7 in no more than 10 days, that is what i call ok.

but i am surprise to read above post saying microgreen is on its way out. maybe too many growers in your area and mass distribution of these microgreens. me, i select my customers for microgreens and make it pricy so only a few can afford it and maintain its novelty.

i produce around 7 kilograms of micro each month for just a handfull of clients. price been at $40/kilogram for the past 3 years.


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RE: Micro Greens -- Profitable?

Sherry and Freshfield,

I was wondering if you both mind sharing your methods and experiences? I am gathering info to start a micro green trial. Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Veggiking


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RE: Micro Greens -- Profitable?

I have been a very successful micro grower in colorado. I grew under lights and in green houses. I sold my business in october 2005 for one years net, (35k) The new owner is doing well. The trick is to have a very high end market and get 3-4 very good customers, ones that use about 20 or more pints a week and several small customers. I don't believe for one minute this product will fizz out. They just add too much to a dish and if used properly do not add that much cost. I charged 12-16 dollars a pint for micros and packed them alone very similar to alfalfa sprouts. I will be helping a grower in Denver get started this spring, showing him everything there is to learn. The seed costs, electricity are just minor costs when done correctly. I have learned many tricks on how to grow product without any dirt residue and how to pack them so they last 7-10 days. I charge for my services to get a grower started but I may be willing to answer a few specific questions. I am presently travelling around the country in a RV having been semi retired. I would love to see other peoples set ups in my travels. I am presently in Florida.


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RE: Micro Greens -- Profitable?

Hey Zuch, if you're ever in the Harper's Ferry, WV area, stop by for a visit. I actually live in Maryland but I'm just up the Potomac river from the historic town of Harper's Ferry.

I'd sure be curious to know how you can pack them to last so long. Also, what kind of mix do you use and do you mix it yourself?

I want to sell salad mixes to some of my friends and neighbors. I plan to include baby bell peppers, radishes, cukes and green onions.

Share some tips, please:)


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Oops!

Doh, and tomatoes.....ummm, how could I forget tomatoes?


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RE: Micro Greens -- Profitable?

As far as getting your salad mix to last longer, I have no experience with that. I was only into the microgreens. The way I would get the micros to last longer was to not make a mix, but pack each item alone in a pint container the same size as you see in the grocery store for alfalfa sprouts. Put a paper towel, the blue shop towel works well, in the bottom of the container. The container needs to have holes in the bottom. Spray the inside of the container until towel is nice and wet. Pour out excess water. Cut micros and place stem down and pack that way until the container is nicely packed, about 2 or more ounces. Place a damp paper towel on top and put a lid on. It takes a little practice to pack micros this way. But doing it this way it comes out to over $100 a pound. I sold Arugula for $12 and anything red, garnet amaranth or purple basil for $14 and bulls blood beet for $15. AS i said before, you need a very high end market, but chefs garden in ohio charges even more and they add on the fed ex shipping charge.


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RE: Micro Greens -- Profitable?

greetings:

zuch, i am really interested in growing micro greens, i only know of one woman doing it big time here... i'm currently living near tampa, fl.. if you're still in the area and looking for something to do, it'd be great to meet up and maybe i could pick your brain a little.. or anyone from FL for that matter! email me no problem..


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Micro Greens -- Profitable?

I am very interested in starting an experimental, then eventually Commercial organic hydroponic (CropKing) micro-green, lettuce and sprouts business.
It appears from all the comments that the most expensive cost is electricity/lights/heat.
I am erecting solar panels, black rubberized solar heated 'water-walls' and wind energy for air-conditioning and air circulation.
I believe this will increase the bottom line substantially.
I have also approached the SBA for a energy saving loan and this might be covered by the present Energy Act 2009, promoting energy saving small businesses.
I will also be concentrating on the 'money-making' micro-greens and not get too carried away with the unusual.

Walton Creek seems still to be in business but diversifying, as the economy hurts the 'gourmet' anything and they are apparently also hurt by competition Nationally.

Any comments,

Ray

Here is a link that might be useful: Where no Eagles Dare


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RE: Micro Greens -- Profitable?

I have a hydroponic farm, mostly specializing in lettuce and exotic greens, and have been trying to utilize some extra space in my greenhouses by doing Micro Greens ( primarily diakon radish, mizuna). From my experience so far, they are only worth what a restaurant is willing to pay for them. Market value could very well be $30 a pound or so, but if no-one is willing to pay that, they won't be worth the price of the seeds. I usually get around $12 for a couple of bagged ounces, which turns out to be a pretty good profit (especially since the space I am using to grow them would be going to waste otherwise). The seed cost is typically $12 to $20 a pound, and that spreads out to around 18 full trays. Each tray yields one of those bags of greens. Therefore, I am usually making around $200 from each pound of seed. As far as dirt or harvesting problems go, I would suggest buying Micro Green mats ( I get them from Amhydro). These eliminate the dirt and harvesting is much easier because you can simply pull up bunches by the handful directly out of the mat. The other costs on my end are nothing, because I am using lighting, nutrient, and heat mats that are used already for lettuce seedlings on empty space on my propagation tables.
Paul


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RE: Micro Greens -- Profitable?

Ray (thecondor),

I am currently very close to purchasing Crop King's microgreen system and would like to know if you have been satisfied with your results...?

Matt


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RE: Micro Greens -- Profitable?

to Zuch: I'm just curious about the prices you charged for your greens. Here in Utah, they are selling for $4 per pint in the Health Food stores. Why would a restaurant pay $12-$16?


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RE: Micro Greens -- Profitable?

$12 - $16 per pound


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RE: Micro Greens -- Profitable?

Well I would check out the following site if I were you. This site sells microgreens seeds as well as other sprouting items that you might be interested in learning about and it can give you the information that you need.

Here is a link that might be useful: Microgreens Seeds


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RE: Micro Greens -- Profitable?

I am currently using the channels from cropkings micro green system. They are 10 inch wide channels and i use burlap as the planting material. I did not buy there complete setup, i built my own frame. With Johnnys Seeds spicy and mild mix i get about 2lbs per 6ft channel. Its a cool system in the fact that it is multi level and doesnt take up a lot of space. If you can find a market i believe there is plenty of money to be made and it was something different for me to try besides hydro lettuce.


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