Grow Microgreens for Profit
By Cynthia Drachenberg
Are you looking for a profitable and sustainable farming venture? Look no further than microgreen farming for profit! Microgreens are young vegetable greens harvested just after the cotyledon leaves have developed, usually between 7 to 14 days after germination. These tiny greens packs are becoming increasingly popular in restaurants and households, the key reasons being that they pack a nutritional punch and are the perfect additions to garnishes. Not only are they good for you, but they can also be good for your wallet.
With a small space and minimal investment, you can start a microgreens business that can bring in a steady income with a significant profit margin. Learn how to grow microgreens for profit with the steps below.
How to Grow Microgreens For Profit
Starting a microgreens business can be exciting and rewarding, but potential profits can quickly dwindle without the proper business strategy. A sound business plan should include details on your target market, budgeting, marketing efforts, and labor cost to produce the microgreens. Additionally, you’ll want to look at opportunities for setting up distribution channels that fit your growing operation and research ways to create the highest quality product to stand out from competitors.
It’s essential to identify short-term solutions for making money and long-term objectives to help ensure growth by meeting the consistent demand in your microgreens business. Taking the necessary steps to set up a strong foundation of resources now will benefit you significantly in the later stages of your microgreen enterprise.
1 Educate Yourself
Find courses, workshops, and websites dedicated to microgreen growers and sustainable farming. You will need to determine how much space you need and what type of containers, soil, and seeds are ideal for your growing environment.
2 Find Customers
You need to sell microgreens to have a microgreens business. Start finding customers by exploring your local market—research local retail customers in the area, such as local grocery stores. Get connected with local customer bases by checking out farmers’ markets and reaching out to local farmers.
Consider tapping into the online market by joining local food forums or participating in special events like farm-to-table dinners or community-supported agriculture programs. With a bit of networking and outreach, you’ll be well on your way toward cultivating reoccurring orders from both local shops and residential customers and accomplishing your goal: growing microgreens for profit.
3 Test & Grow Your Own Batch of Microgreen
Start growing microgreens to test how light, water, and different environments can affect them. Seed density is the key! The seed density can vary depending on the seed type you’re using. Small seeds crops such as pea shoots need to be spaced more closely than larger seeds like buckwheat – meaning you’ll need more seeds for every ¼ inch of soil. Organic seeds appeal to the consumer base. With some planning and the right seed selection, you will perfect your batch in no time.
Finding the Right Greenhouse Conditions
It is possible to grow microgreens year-round, although the conditions for growing microgreens will vary depending on your location and the season. Many use greenhouses or indoor growing setups to maintain consistent growing conditions throughout the year.
Greenhouses are an excellent option for microgreen farming, as they allow you to control the growing environment. Finding the right balance of light, temperature, and humidity ensures your crops thrive. This enables many growers to achieve excellent microgreen yields even in the middle of winter.
Technology can play a huge role in increasing the profitability of your microgreen business. From automating your watering to monitoring the growing environment, technology can help optimize your operation and increase your yields. To make a profit, you should sell 90% of your harvest.
When you start selling, use software to keep track of your inventory, orders, and customer data. This way, you can easily see which crops are selling well and which aren’t. It also helps you make informed decisions about what to grow next and how to optimize your operation.
Startup Costs and Profits from Microgreens
You may ask yourself, “Is growing microgreens profitable?” The answer is yes, if you develop your endeavor as a small business.
If you want to make a living creating fresh microgreens to sell, consider the costs and how you price your product to hit your income goals. Figure out the market demand within each customer base, then how much revenue you will receive.
The total cost of starting a microgreen business will depend on the size of your setup and the type of seeds and potting mix you use. Some growers use potting soil, while others prefer a more specialized mix.
On average, many spend anywhere from $500 to $2000 to get started, including the cost of seeds, growing containers, lights, and other equipment. Remember that there will be ongoing variable costs, such as the cost of seeds, electricity, and other supplies, to factor these costs into your budget when starting a profitable microgreens business.
Consider the amount of time it takes per tray of microgreens (including seeding, clean up, and making the sale) and then factor in overhead costs like seeds, supplies, wasted products, taxes, electricity, insurance, etc. To cover your labor plus all of your overhead expenses, figure out the average profit you will have per tray sold. This pricing strategy helps ensure that pricing is manageable and effortless to meet your financial goals.
Best Microgreens to Grow for Profit
When it comes to microgreens, there’s a wide variety of crops to choose from, including broccoli, radish microgreens, and sunflower microgreens. Each crop has unique growing requirements, so research and select crops that will thrive in your specific growing conditions.
When it comes to seeds, always opt for organic and non-GMO varieties. They tend to have a higher germination rate, resulting in better yields. These will be your most profitable microgreens to grow.
Hydroponic Gardening – Soilless Growing Media
One of the advantages of growing microgreens is that they can be grown hydroponically without soil. Hydroponic gardening uses a soilless growing medium, such as rock wool, to support the plants and provide them with the necessary nutrients. Rockwool, it’s easy to handle, clean, and sterilize, and it’s also pH neutral, which helps with nutrient uptake.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many microgreens can you grow in just a couple of spare rooms?
Growing microgreens at home for profit depends on the size of the rooms and the growing setup you choose. Many start with a small setup in a spare bedroom and gradually expand as their business grows. The key is to start with a manageable setup and progressively scale up as you gain more experience and customers.
Are drain holes required in pots for growing microgreens?
They are required, as they help reduce root rot by draining excess water from the roots. This is particularly important when growing in a hydroponic setup, where water and nutrients are delivered directly to the roots. Proper drain holes will help ensure that your plants receive the proper water and nutrients, resulting in healthy and productive microgreen crops.
What is the preferred method for harvesting microgreens?
When harvesting microgreens, it will depend on the type of microgreens you are growing and the available equipment. Many prefer to use scissors or a sharp knife to cut the microgreens just above the soil line. Some growers also use specialized equipment, such as a microgreen harvester, to speed up the process.
Microgreen farming can be a highly profitable and sustainable farming venture with the proper knowledge and tools. By identifying suitable crops and seeds, using hydroponic gardening and organic fertilizers, using automated plant care systems, and leveraging technology to increase profitability, you can experience profitable microgreen business profit and enjoy the taste of success.
About the Author
Cynthia Drachenberg is the founder of CynthiaDrachenberg.com. She is a lifestyle blogger who empowers others to get back to basics with a healthy diet and natural way of living through homesteading, sustainability, gardening, food preservation, and more.