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.
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 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.
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.
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…