Microgreens are one of the most profitable crops, a business idea with a high investment attractiveness. The low start-up cost of the business and the fast cycle of growing microgreens guarantee the first profit after a couple of weeks. We understand all aspects of a new small business business.
Benefits of growing microgreens
Below are a few points to explain why growing microgreens is a great idea for a small business (or home business).
Low startup cost
You can start your business with one or two trays of microgreens and then scale up. As the first implementation, you can choose to sell greens at farmers’ markets, supply a restaurant or cafe, and increase production as demand for the product grows.
Short production cycle
Unlike crops such as corn or wheat, microgreens do not have to wait for the season to ripen. The first crop can be harvested after a week. For some varieties – after a month. This allows you to quickly place an order, experiment and maximize work efficiency. It is possible to quickly increase or decrease production depending on demand.
Microgreens do not require expensive equipment and are not tied to the principle of seasonality. All year round it is possible to grow sprouts of vegetables and green crops and supply the consumer with fresh products.
Microgreens are superfoods. Saturation with vitamins, minerals and nutrients makes it indispensable in any household.
Fresh greens are a niche product and are sold at fairly high prices in top restaurants and grocery stores. Local manufacturers may also charge a surcharge for these.
How to organize indoor work?
It doesn’t take much space to grow microgreens. If the house has a spare room, this is more than enough for a start. Most manufacturers use racks to make the most of their vertical space.
Racks with four shelves allow the production of 20 kilograms of microgreens every 2 weeks on 5 square meters. Potential earnings can be increased at times if you make additional investments in equipment and create a permanent customer base.
How long does it take to run a business?
The amount of time you spend doing business depends on the size of your business. At the start, with small volumes, it can take 15-30 minutes every couple of days, plus a certain amount of time will be spent on harvesting and selling. Expanding workspaces can take an entire day to run a business and additional hiring is required.
What materials will be required?
To start a business and organize a workspace for growing microgreens, you will need the following tools and components:
• Fluorescent lamp with 2 lamps;
• 16 trays with drain holes.
• Paper towels for seeds.
• Container with aerosol valve for constant humidification.
• Kitchen scale for determining the correct weight of the finished product.
• Knife or scissors for collecting microgreens.
• High quality organic potting soil.
• Timer to automatically turn on / off the light.
• Fan for micro-circulation of air (to prevent the appearance of fungus).
• Watering can for watering.
As the business develops, the first profit should be reinvested in expanding production and customer base.
Refrigerator as a factor of freshness
As your business expands, you will need to keep the product fresh before you can deliver it to your customers. Leaving fresh microgreens at room temperature is a recipe for disaster, especially in summer.
Plants won’t last more than one day before they start to wilt. The best option is room air conditioning. Maintain the optimum temperature to keep young shoots fresh for as long as possible.
Finding clients and implementing microgreens
When implementing microgreening, you can use several sales channels:
Cafes and restaurants
Food service chefs order greens on a regular basis. At the start of sales, you can print a commercial offer or launch targeted advertising online and find the first buyers.
It’s a good idea to deliver greenery to your door. You can create a page on social networks, where you can post not only photos of products and prices, but also recipe ideas, and thus attract new customers.
Selling greens on the market is a great way to make a profit, especially when there is little competition.
At the start of sales, it is very difficult to enter chain stores, but retail is more open to new suppliers.
If we can establish wholesale distribution channels, this will increase production and profit margins.
Rot and mold
Usually occurs due to excessive temperature or humidity. The ideal temperature for most plants is 19 C. The ideal humidity is 50%.
Some varieties require a dormant period at first harvest before they germinate. Individual seeds should not be soaked for more than 2 hours. Insufficient and over-watering can also make the situation worse.
The reason may be uneven seeding, lighting and watering, as well as poor-quality soil.
Too thin and tall shoots
If there is not enough light for the plants, they stretch upward. To prevent this from happening, you need to make sure the sprouts are getting 4 to 8 hours of light each day.
A microgreen business starts very quickly and does not require a lot of start-up capital. The first investment can be received within two to three weeks after starting work. A high-quality product and expansion of sales channels will allow you to reach a good payback in a short time.
Review author: Samelyuk Alexandra