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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm thinking about branching out into microgreens as I've been asked countless times by the restaurants I supply,so i have a solid market should I decide.
Anyone here, grow them?? I'm talking underlights in trays in the greenhouse??? I'm considering a smaller operation of maybe 50lbs a week to start as we have the rest of the farm to tend to....
Just looking for some input, and stories.
thanks a bunch!!
corry
 

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So this is like growing sprouts?? I've read up on it..but like you MaineFarmMom..I don't have a market for it,,,of course I haven't yet to any of our resturants either,,I'll also be looking for any and all advise on this subject...
Judi
 

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What do you mean by "microgreens"? Like the little baby lettuces etc? If that is what you are talking about 50#/week is not a small operation. For resturants they have to be almost hand cut leaf by leaf and it take a lot to make up a pound. A fellow across the street from my MIL does it and it is very labor intensive.
 

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Flying Z
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Watch this video, pay close attention to the basics of how they are doing this. You can easily adapt this method to home use. I have grown lettuce in floating stryrofoam rafts in solo cups filled with perlite with some holes punched in the bottom. The perlite soaks up the nutrient mix and keeps just the right moisture. Also check out website and see how i did some things.
Good luck.

Here is another site that shows in more detail how to do what i am talking about.
http://baker.ifas.ufl.edu/old/view/water_garden.htm

Youtube video
[ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHBhyqowSEc[/ame]

My website
www.zrubeks.com/hydro
 

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What do you mean by "microgreens"? Like the little baby lettuces etc? If that is what you are talking about 50#/week is not a small operation. For resturants they have to be almost hand cut leaf by leaf and it take a lot to make up a pound. A fellow across the street from my MIL does it and it is very labor intensive.
Smaller than baby. They're are almost sprouts. When you cut them they're done and that's what makes them labor intensive and expensive. I wanted to link to Johnny's info but their site has been down for a while. If you already have their catalog, you can go to page 62 for more info on what greens can be used. The last time I looked into prices, micro greens were going for $20+ a pound.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for those links, they were really interesting to watch!!!
The microgreens are smaller then the regular salad mix and I think with the proper set up could be less labour intensive then the greens. We grow salad blends for restaurants and average about 60lbs a week, we don't grow them in the winter though as we live on the coast and while the weather is mild, we don't get enough sunlight as it rains all the time...... I'm looking to bring in income year round and this could be the way to do it. Picky work is not an issue for me as I oddly enjoy it.
Heres a link to an interesting site that obviously is out of our price range at this point but neat to look athttp://www.ext.vt.edu/pubs/poultry/factsheets/31.html.
We have the greenhouses, we have the lights, trays,intent......but just looking for some experienced advice. I have a test batch under lights right now and am growing those in a soiless medium, I'm pretty enamoured with those mats though, thoughts?? Also figuring out the planting scedule for a weekly harvest is going to be a nightmare. I do have the Johnnys seeds catalogue and am wailting on the william dam catalogue before I do any seed ordering.....I'm just practicing with the mismash of seeds i have left over from last year right now. The going rate here is $20-$22/lb.
thanks a bunch
corry
 

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Thanks for all the links........fascinating!! I too enjoy picky work. I live so far away from any decent restaurant that it has never been an option for me to market for them. I wonder how those little greens would hold up at a farmer's market.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
well, I stated 10 flats of various types of greens in our seed starting room under lights. The room is insulated with styro ceilings, walls and floors covered with reflective plastic so there is no need for any heat as the lights do that sufficiently. i used a soiless medium from our greenhouse supplier and can already see that the soil is going to be a pain. The trays are germanating well and it being day 8, I can already see afew of them such as the peppergrass will be ready to go in a few days, the mizuna, pac choi, mustard and radish are also doing well. The parsley is just up and the chard has yet to even sprout.....
we've decided to order some of the sure to grow mats as all the research i've done is quite favorable in regards to them. we also are going to build tables from 2x4's and pallets for the tops so there is drainage going through and pallets are free which helps take down the cost. We will have 4 24ft tables and 2 12 ft tables. That should handle alot of flats. We will also have to re-poly the greenhouse in double poly and get a fan to force air between the layers for better insulation. I'm also looking at shade cloth for the summer.
The sprouting seeds are rather expensive, so we are working on a nice blend of some of the less expensive seeds such as radish and mizuna, and throwing in a few of the more expensive and colorful ones as well as fennel, cillantro and basil (chefs request). i don't want to start wasting to much cash on seeds until we get a system down.
We are starting to build the tables this week...yipee!!!
This is going to be a gong show at first which i can already see....If anyone is familiar withany info on growing ,or books available i'd really appreciate the info!!
Will keep ya posted.
corry
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
No no pics as of yet. To be completely honest, I'm not that computer savy to post pics......
I notice you from the pacific NW, just like me, where abouts?

Update so far. All but the parsley germanated well, and we've eaten the first batch. I have to work at seeding a denser flat as they were a bit patchy. Took 12 -14 days for harvest. Tables are built and we are building a 13ft by 4ft wide 4 teer shelf to buy us some more space. They dont need light to germanate so the shelfs may work out great. The tables we built can be converted into shelfs if they work out well. We are working on the double poly set up and are researching different growing mediums. I'm going to try burlap out on this next batch.
corry
 

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WA state somewhat near Portland, OR. We have several friends that live on Vanc.Island and try to visit at least once a year.

We also like microgreens! I have purchased my seed packets from botanical interests and they have two pre-sorted blends: mild mix (This mix includes: Beet Bulls Blood – 20%, Pak Choy – 20%, Cabbage Red Ace – 20%, Kohlrabi – 20%, and Swiss Chard Lucullus – 20%) and spicy mix (Sawtooth Mustard – 30%, Peppergrass Cress – 30%, Cabbage Red Ace – 15%, Mustard Red Giant – 15%, and Radish China Rose – 10%). I just have a few pots going at a time. At least I did until our puppy decided they were too good to resist - hahaha - and haven't replanted since.

Did you get the sure grow mats yet? I've looked at those online but don't know anyone that has used them yet to get feedback.

Someone told me to put the seeds in a spice shaker bottle and use that to sprinkle the seeds on the flats. It's certainly easier than sprinkling by fingers!
 

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Flying Z
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Watch this video, pay close attention to the basics of how they are doing this. You can easily adapt this method to home use. I have grown lettuce in floating stryrofoam rafts in solo cups filled with perlite with some holes punched in the bottom. The perlite soaks up the nutrient mix and keeps just the right moisture. Also check out website and see how i did some things.
Good luck.

Here is another site that shows in more detail how to do what i am talking about.
http://baker.ifas.ufl.edu/old/view/water_garden.htm

Youtube video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHBhyqowSEc

My website
www.zrubeks.com/hydro
Sorry my website is at Randys Hydropoincs
 
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