Growing microgreens is an enjoyable yet rewarding hobby that one can go for these days. Imagine transforming this hobby into a profitable business. While growing microgreens for profit may sound quite an easy task, one needs to consider several parameters, such as the profit one would earn from the specific cultivation, benefits, requirements, etc.
What are Microgreens?
Microgreens are green, small vegetables generally harvested within 10-20 days of cultivation. A microgreen is cut during the cotyledon stage or when the first leaf appears. During the cotyledon stage, the plant holds all the nutrients required for future growth.
People use microgreens in salads, pizza, sandwiches, wraps, soups, snacks, etc. There are various varieties, each special for the unique and authentic flavor. One can cultivate them in small areas or over trays without worrying about the large area required for other plants.
Essential Requirements for Growing Microgreens
No matter how much you invest in microgreens farming, minute details like the soil, light, harvesting, and water are essential. Keen observation and maintenance and proper tuning of the resources will help optimize the results. Here are the materials one needs for microgreens farming:
- Container or tray
- Organic seeds
- Spray bottles. Use them to keep the seeds and soil moist and prevent them from drying during the germination process.
- Organic soil beds rich in nitrogen
- Chux cloth or paper towel for covering the tray
- Plant labels and markers to label the variety and date
- Scale. One can use a regular kitchen scale to measure microgreens while packaging.
- Pair of scissors and a large sharp knife. Invest a bit extra on quality scissors to ensure efficient harvesting of the microgreens. Dull blades might make the harvesting session a tedious task.
- Small fan. It helps keep the crops properly ventilated, preventing mold and other issues.
If you want to grow microgreens on a large scale, a hoop house provides the opportunity for production throughout the year. One can construct the hoop house at a low cost using recycled materials.
Key Reasons for Growing Microgreens for Profit
Here are the reasons why one can prefer microgreens as a profitable business:
- The startup cost is less
One can start the microgreens business with just two or three 10″ x 20″ trays. It generally costs $2 per tray when considering the soil and seeds.
- Year-round production
Microgreens are the better crop option if one does not have greenhouse facilities for cultivation. As a small or hobby farmer, one can grow them throughout the year. Moreover, year-round production ensures consistent income. If you are a farmer, it can be an extra source of income, helping diversify the business.
- Higher crop value
Choosing the right market plays a vital role in boosting the profit margin of microgreens. In other words, selling them at food stores or top restaurants at a high price would enhance the profit. They are more in demand when fresh, providing local croppers a chance to charge a premium.
- Rich in nutrients
Microgreens are one of the superfoods, rich in essential vitamins and nutrients. The nutrient-packed microgreens appear appealing to top restaurants as a garnish, particularly to health-conscious consumers. These USPs automatically raise their demand, especially in urban areas where foods are typically laden with fertilizers and pesticides.
- Short harvesting time
One does not need to wait for the whole season to harvest microgreens, like wheat or corn. The duration of sowing seeds to harvesting a microgreen ranges from 7 days to 4 weeks.
Such a fast turnaround helps one experiment and enhances operational efficiency. One can scale up or down the production according to the market demand and sales.
Tips for Growing Microgreens for Profit
The successful growth of microgreens depends on your potential customer base. Here are some tips to enhance the profit of a microgreens business:
- Research is essential
One needs to research a bit to find whether cultivating and selling microgreens in an area is profitable or not. It is a bit difficult for everyone to create and foster a business. One should analyze the market conditions and whether it’s possible to prosper and succeed in the microgreens business.
- Find and know your potential customers
A strong network and ability to find customers beforehand reduces the stress of selling microgreens after they are ready. One can consider a combination of channels for boosting sales:
- Residential customers: One can deliver microgreens directly to people’s doors through individual orders or with the help of CSA. CSA or Community Supported Agriculture is a group of members who receive microgreens for a stipulated fee. A farmer can inspire them and promote customer relations through unique microgreen recipe ideas.
- Chefs and reputed restaurants: To these customers, provide a sheet of paper or a small card to promote the product and repeat sales. It must give the business information, products, and cost per bag at a glance.
- Experiment with new varieties and techniques
When starting a microgreens business, find the best technique that works for you after various trials and errors. Check out varieties, temperature and lighting, seed density, and other variables that harm the crops.
- Keep records
Keeping records is a vital aspect of a business. There are varieties of crops and a range of variables to consider in microgreens cultivation, as mentioned above. Keeping a record of every minute detail would prevent mistakes and help track your profit margin.
- Focus on sales
Although the growth part is crucial for the microgreens business, the harvest proves fruitful only when you get the right price and place for selling. Schedule an appointment, advertise your business, and provide door-to-door service to boost sales.
- Pricing is important
Check the present market rate for microgreens and quote a price that is affordable for customers and profitable for your business. Consider the cost of production and the total value you receive after selling the microgreens.
A microgreens business can be profitable when you conduct thorough research about the market demands and supply them accordingly. The combination of an efficient technique of cultivation and smart marketing of the products will help you boost your microgreens business.