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Growing Microgreens for Fun and Profit

James Tiffany Lucia Tiffany

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Learn about the opportunities and health benefits you can enjoy by growing these beautiful seedlings for nutrition, fun, and even profit! We will share basic considerations for growing microgreens, how to evaluate potential markets for a small scale commercial business, and sources for supplies. 

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  • January 27, 2017
    10:45 AM
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OK Let's let's start with a word of prayer. Arguably father. We just thank you for your tremendous love for us. We thank you for the beauty of your creation and how intricate and complex it is. And we just thank you for it. We ask that you bless us here now as we talk about micro greens. That you give us wisdom and understanding and. That you give us wisdom to understand micro greens in Jesus' name we pray. Amen. OK My name's Jim And this is my wife of Sia our last name is Tiffany we live up quite a ways north in Michigan and we're delighted to be here today and. We're going to we're going to get started on all of the sea take over here. OK Please excuse my voice. I'm just getting over a case of learn Titus So I hope everybody in the back and hear me. Can everybody hear me. OK well I'll do my best. I'd like to hear from maybe three or four of you just really quick one sentence. What are you hoping to get out of our summer night this afternoon that help me to know what direction to go in some of the stuff we're going to share with you. Yes. You want to get an income. OK. Who else how to grow and where to get supplies OK nutritional value. OK OK great. OK That's all like really got to take two more. OK And in the back. Want to learn to grow to earn some money. OK so lots of really good ones. One more time. OK avoiding pathogens in your micrograms All right. Sounds like some really great questions where you want to tell you just a little bit about kind of how we got started in micro green. We started back in two thousand and twelve. My mother in law was living with us. And I was quite occupied with elder care and that required a lot of flex and my schedule and it required me to be home most of the time so we were looking for something that we could do that would help us bring in a little bit of an income stream. Because my husband works for himself works out of our home and we found that sometimes when you work for yourself is lots of you know income is not stable you know sometimes it's really good and sometimes might not be so good so we thought if we had a little bit something extra that would be helpful. And we also wanted to be able to have it interact with some sort of ministry not just be an income production. Occupation. So we went to camp meeting that summer and the Byron Smith family was there and did a seminar in agriculture and we found it really interesting and up to that point in my life I had never heard of micro greens. Now some of you may have heard of them for many years but I had not and so we found that really interesting and so we looked into that and we decided that maybe that was something realistic for us to get started with we started in our home. We were there for three and a half years or so and then we relocated about a year ago. So this last year has been a year of transition for us and we bought a different piece of property and we had to do some remodeling to provide a place for our micro Greens we had been growing them in a garage in our first house. There was a garage in the location we purchased it but it was not insulated we live in northern Michigan. So we had to do a quite a bit of work to get the space ready for a micro greens. So we spent about seven months of this last year with the micro greens occupying our master bedroom. And we slept in the guest bedroom or in the living room most of that time so that lets you know that it's pretty versatile and you can grow when you really don't have much space we have a two bedroom manufactured home. So. In this is a picture of the first garage that we turned into a growing space. It was about eight by twenty eight by twenty four and so things things were really tight there. One advantage that we had going for us was that the garage was well insulated souls' easy to put a little bit of heat in there in the winter and stayed pretty cool in the summer. The the room right behind the garage had a nice window to the outside. So we could get some ventilation. So it wasn't ideal but but it worked. It worked. You can see to the right of this picture that there's just a simple little sink which was a kind of our water support source for the area and then we have growing shelves with lights and a work table that was basically the essence of our growing operation might add that the discharge from the sink. Ran across the floor of Florida. So things were a little makeshift but we were able to to make it work. We were able to get started. Get going with a lot of cash capital without a lot of capital expense. There was a question. The space we used was eight by twenty four it was a single car part of a single car garage because we also had like a workbench that took up part of that room that was a part of the micro green operation. This is the garage at our new place. Is basically a pole building which if. Some of you may know what that is some of you may not. Basically it's. Uprights that are that go down into the ground. There's no foundation for it did have a concrete slab in it but it was on insulated. So we just. It did have water and it did have electricity which was was very handy. So what we did was we this is the floor plan of what we what we converted it to so we have my careen area here this is the the wrought garage door. We added a service door here we added up a window here five windows along the south side. We have an office for my other business. Lucy has an office here some storage space but basically this is the layout of our shelving units and we do have the same sink set up in here. It's a little less makeshift but we store our rice holes and other other materials there and basically the set up that that we have now and OK there's a picture of the inside of our new location on the right of the right picture you can see just a little bit of the refrigerator. We use that for keeping our harvested greens and we often harvest within twenty four hours of delivery. So sometimes over the over night some of the cut Greens in the refrigerator. And then we have two rows of growing shelves and we have supplies of materials there to the left you can see the sink and we have a shower curtain hung that protects the wall our floor is completely waterproof and has a drain in it so. That takes care of that this is a row or. It's yeah you're hear me now. Oh. I'm. Right. We have a couple that works for us part time and it's been extremely valuable to us especially this last year we have had a number of trips where we've had to be gone and we have not had to interrupt our deliveries because we've been able to have this couple trained in that does a really great job so they covered when we went to our son's a wedding. They cover when we went to. Restoration International for like five days it covers us when we come here. So I actually know that Lucy is working. They're doing most of the work to be quite honest with you and we'll we'll. We're going to get to some financial information a little later and we'll will show more about that little little farther on as we just go around you can see here the sink that helps or you know giving you kind of the three sixty on the room so we have the sink going to work table and then we have a couple of shelving units we use for storage and for supplies and and just things that help us to keep our operation as efficient as possible. So that's kind of an overview of our current growing space. OK So just a couple of inspirational quotes here. The first one out of Child Guidance. And in these days of mammoth trusts and business competition there are a few who enjoy so real and independence and so great certainty of fair return for their labor as does the tiller of the soil. And then on the next page we read this a page three fifty seven paragraph one. If people only knew the value of the products of the ground which the earth brings forth in their season more diligent efforts would be made to cultivate the soil. All should be acquainted with the special value of fruits and vegetables fresh from the orchard and garden and micro Greens are a good example of things fresh from the garden. Fresh from the garden. Let's start by talking about what is a micro green. Micro Greens are technically by definition vegetable and Herb seedlings that are grown to insoluble to the cotton lead or the first truly stage when they are harvested by cutting the stems just above the soil. There is some variation in what some of our customers want in terms of maturity but that's basically the definition micro Greens are not sprouts and if you decide you want to do micro greens it's very important to make that difference with your customers sprouts have a very heavy regulation. You have to get all kinds of certifications and lab test and all kinds of stock if you sell sprouts Micra Greens are treated like field crops in terms of health regulations. So it's important that you have your customers understand that these are not sprouts that you're selling them they're micro greens. It's a really different in terms of the retail and regulations that are necessary. Let's start by talking about what are the benefits of growing your own micro greens and one of the first ones is nutrition for your family. There's not a lot of studies out there in terms of nutritional analysis of micro Greens probably because there are newer crop but we do have a really good study that came out of the University of Maryland and they looked at Fido chemical levels in micro greens and found that the concentrations are actually quite a bit higher in this stage of the plant than they are in the more mature leaves and we know that a much of the nutrition from the seed is transformed into the seedling by the time you eat a micro green. So they're very very rich nutritionally they're obviously very high in chlorophyll they're high in minerals just like all green leaf these are and so they provide you with lots of health benefits. We even call one of our mixes green immune boost and people love it because that's exactly what it does boost your immune system. Heidi mineral levels are also really important. We live in a day. In age when many people are not getting the level of minerals that they need for good health. It's really essential for so many functions of your body so. There are many ways you can use Micra greens to enjoy those benefits they can be incorporated into juicing a lot of people like to juice their Micra greens. Personally I think that's a waste of the fiber myself but. I would prefer to use them in green smoothies than you get the whole thing and you're not wasting any of it but sometimes you sing is appropriate. They're good in salads and sandwiches. Wraps of spring rolls and garnish if you have home schoolers. Micro Greens are a great learning experience for young people it integrates well with with many different academic areas. Including math science biology health practical and vocational skills and character development. And as we see a little later even. Could be beneficial in teaching a computer skills. The easiest crops to start with. We've got a list here of brassicas mustard sunflowers. I don't understand the popularity of sunflowers myself personally I like some of the other more delicate micro greens. But sunflowers are seen to be quite popular. Radishes pop corn shoots peas and another moderately easy crop are the bay's oldest. Crops that are a little more challenging in terms of how you have to set everything up of. The salon throw fennel herbs and shards. These these take a little longer. Maybe three weeks or more. Instead of the typical two weeks for the other ones that we listed. Here To me the systems for Michael depending on the kind you hear in the back. No I'm going to have to do the talking. You can let me talk. You can add to it if you need to so sorry about that. C. is kind of the main micro green lady. You know the. The main lady in the family doing. MICHAEL GREEN So it's unfortunate that she's jealous as here. OK We use two different kinds of trays we use we as a plug tray which is a. Seventy two cell tray it's a ten inch by twenty inch tray the ones we have are very durable there we reuse them a lot. And first we we plant them in our soil media. We soap the seeds and then overlay it with plastic until they germinate and then once they're there up may be an inch or so we pull them out from under the plastic and and put them under lights. We also have. Crops that we put into a flat trace. Those are typically are some flowers and peas and hers and of the larger seeds we soak the seeds we put them on the soil in trays we stacked them to raise and put a little weight on them. And then once they're starting to push up good we unstacked those and and put those under lights as well. The plug trays are are nice for watering we we have been that we just dip the trays into there's holes in the bottoms of the of the cells and that's how we water those those plug trays and the. Flat trays we we talk water. Some of the plant tree crops are put under lights and some shoes are you know there's one crop that. We keep in the dark and that's the popcorn shoots somehow they like those to be a pale color instead of instead of green question. We grow our indoors because we can provide a consistent environment where we are in northern Michigan. When we moved up there. They told us that summer was three days of course sledding. So and then someone else told us. Yeah last year summer was on Tuesday on a Tuesday. So that's we just keep them inside we can keep a study environment. And as I mention in this new garage we added five large windows on the south side. That seems to really help the sunflowers produce really well especially in the summer. So our natural light is is fine and good. We did start our first year with a greenhouse and um we abandoned that idea. So we'll talk about that. A little later. OK so this section is about growing micro greens to sell the section that we're going to cover here do this and if you need a very substantial money to invest and if you don't have a lot of space to grow. Maybe you hate weeding and you don't have a green house. You can go if you have small children. If you do elder care and you're not available for full time work which means it can work around a lot of different people schedules what to look though if you want to grow them for profit it's very important to look at market considerations. You have to have a place to solve them. Well tell you a little bit about the market that we are growing in up we have a large population center that's about thirty five miles from our farm. And there's enough interest for us to have a market for our product. There's probably thirty five thousand people that live in that county and about forty thousand of those are in the kind of more urban area it's not really City up there but it's a little bit more population density. We have a good proportion of upper and middle class people. There's a local community college and there's a lot of interest in environmentally friendly organic and local produce we have a quite a few farmers' markets in the area and there's not a lot of competition for quality micro greens when we started doing micro greens. I only had one potential customer. But I did find that potential customer before I bought any equipment or started doing anything and that potential customer was an organic store that had a nice produce section and at that time they did not have a micro green supplier they had had one for a period before. But didn't have one at the time that I talk to them so they said that if the price was right and the quality was good. They were interested in carrying micro Greaves So that was the only real customer I had in hand when I started. As I had started canvassing businesses and restaurants in the area. I found that there was another micro green supplier that I hadn't known about. But people complained a lot about the quality the biggest complaint was that it was not consistent in size and quality. When people order micro greens they want to see the same thing from week to week. It's only possible to do that if you're growing conditions are fairly constant and you grow on a very steep strict schedule because just two or three days difference in age makes a big difference in the size and the flame. For of your micro greens. So that's the main reason why we went away from the greenhouse to the garage because we found if you had a couple of really cool nights. It slowed the micro greens down enough so that harvest day because we have to have as a specific day to deliver every week then they would might be too small. One week if we had a few cool nights or if we had some really hot days with wind I think my overgrowth by the time it was you know we wanted to harvest had so we found that was a real pro. Yeah our local help was to really doesn't characteristics of our market. Where that's a foodie town. So it's really known for its restaurants in the several hundred restaurants. And so people come from all over the United States. Sometimes for the food and wines in our area. It's big wine growing area and often. Breweries are really good customers and so I'm always happy to sell something actually healthy to a brewery. But they can't they have the progress margin because they have food as well in these places and they have good profit margins they can afford micro greens more than a lot of other restaurants can. So these are some of the things you see about our market area. OK So we are a VERY SMALL BUSINESS this is a part time enterprise for us. It's not our main source of income. We're so we're considered a micro enterprise with less than six employees. Our labor and put is about twenty five to thirty hours a week. And we have had a variable amount of of hired labor. Over the years we've been doing this and we'll look cover that more in a graph that we have later on. Here are growing space was one hundred ninety two square feet in the last place. Now we have four hundred sixty nine square feet. So it's a little more it's a little less constricted. We can walk past each other when we're we're working in the area and so forth. So we we harvest about twelve to eighteen pounds a week and the murder net revenue is about fifty percent of our gross. That is before taxes and so forth. The yield varies quite a bit because we have a lot of seasonal variation Traverse City is a real big tourist town and so the population doubles or triples in the summertime. For case so. We're going to give you a little idea of what the income is soft for our size of an operation. You know obviously if we were doing this full time for our main source of income we could put more time into it. We'd probably make some different improvements do some more marketing and so forth. So you know I wouldn't say that there are some really large micro green businesses out there. We're just serving our local market and that seems to be the easiest way for us to do what we need to do so I'll just pick explain this graph here we have the top line is our is our gross income or our revenue that that's our sales figure the black. Let me start with the. The green line the green line is our is our net. OK. The blue line at the bottom is what we pay out in hired labor. And then the black line in the middle is the sum of the bottom two. Which gives you an idea of what it would be if what we would be receiving if we did at all or so. Elves and weren't weren't hiring any labor that way and you can see in the last year between two thousand fifteen in two thousand and sixteen. These two are inverted. Most of our. Net revenue is going to labor and we're collecting very little for ourselves at this at this point in time. Will we continue doing this if stays working full time. We're going to have to evaluate that. Over time. There are some tax benefits to it. And terms of. Of some things that we can cover with the business. But right now we're we're gaining very little of it. For ourselves and I think this is instructive for someone planning to do this and to and to you know try to sell micro greens because this tells you that the way you're going to make money at it is by really doing it yourselves and not and not hiring out the labor. OK well this. I don't. Can you see these numbers in the back. OK this is the science ten thousand twenty thousand thirty thousand and forty thousand at the at the top so that I hope you figure out the graph and then with our first year as two thousand and thirteen thousand and fourteen fifteen and then the sixteen. Are you. Yeah exactly. Last year was like twenty two this year went to bed at two thousand and sixteen about one thousand. And I we might mention that that's before. That doesn't include that excludes our electricity cost because we're not able to meter those separately yet. We're working on that we should be able to meter our electricity separately of very soon. That's probably one hundred dollars a month. I don't know we're going to all L.E.D. bulbs which is going to save us a lot of money in electrical costs and the micro green seem to be doing even better with the evolves than with the four US Ans that we've had so and I want you back in just second. So it also excludes infrastructure costs those this excludes infrastructure costs. And the reason why I've done it that way is because. That would really skew the numbers and what we're looking at is is our long term revenue that's that's what to me is is interesting is to think about it on a long term basis. So I'm right now are paying them nine fifty an hour. And we are covering them with worker's comp. Insurance as well which is a little bit of a challenge. That's that's expensive but I really actually the way I work it is. I have another business and the employees are really employees of my other business and the farm reimburses. My other business for those costs so. This is our availability list. This is what produce managers want to see when you go to sell your product. It has the types of micro greens that we have available we have mixes we have some straight for Eddy's for example. We have a green immune boost mix which is mostly brassicas that's like things like broccoli kale are in that mix. We have an organic rainbow mix. That's kind of an artisan mix we do that mix by hand after the Greens are grown. They're not grown to. I gather they're mixed together at harvest. And it's of beautiful I am I think we have some pictures later on. That might show that. And then we have organic Asian greens which are a mixture of Peck choice that soil and Mizuno. And then we have different packs sizes we sell in one ounce clams with a hang tab. We also sell in a twenty four ounce clam shell which is about three cups of micro greens and we sell bulk. To some of our restaurants the bulk is like gallons up lock bag that holds a half a pound. So those are the three sizes that we use for sales. The clamshells go to all the grocery stores and. They go to some restaurants if they're ordering smaller amounts and that middle size we pack one point nine ounces of Michael greens into Yeah the three cup clamshell is only one point nine ounces the herb clamshell is a one else. We also have radishes a mustard peashooter sunflower greens bays ols. And we have grown so long troll it's a big pain. So we don't like put it on our availability sheet right now because the labor involved in cleaning it is just not worth it if I find a better way to do it. I'm I might go back but I mean the herb salon tro. Yeah you have to pull the seed whole off. They don't drop these growth Yeah they don't drop their holes till their I don't know four or five weeks along which is a little bit too big so at the time when you need to harvest them. You kind of have to pick almost all the holes and that's just a big aggression over here. Yes. OK We have Yeah we get our clamshells. Our supplies from some different wholesalers and we have a sheet. Resource Sheet. That's uploaded to the ad AG website you should be able to download it. I gave it to them this morning. So it should show up any time today. And that has the details on our suppliers we get a labels we print ourselves we have a color laser printer and so we print our own labels we get clamshells the larger ones from world wide plastics we get the smaller ones from Monte plastics in Michigan a clamshell as those plastic containers that snap together. Snap closed like you get at the grocery store. Yeah that sort of claim shows you don't need any kind of special seed from Micro greens like some places have like a section in the seed catalog and say micro greens you don't have to buy them there. It's just the kind of the just what species you want to grow what crop you want to grow. We are a certified organic. Operation. So we have to buy organic seed organic seed is about twice the cost of standard seed. On our resource sheet you will see our main seed suppliers we get seeds from Mom's in Canada. They're excellent price they don't charge shipping if you buy more than fifty dollars worth a pound at a time which is really easy to do we get some seeds out of California Corona seeds we get a few that we can't get me we're also has good seeds but they're more expensive. And they're. Anjaani seeds for some varieties that we can't find other places because Johnny's is also on the higher end there is a supplier on your she called Todd's seeds there out of Michigan and they tell me that they buy organic seed but they're not certified as a repackage or so they can't label their seed organic which makes it quite a bit cheaper. I can't use it for my operationalise I can't find that variety organically. But that would maybe be a good source for some of you that don't need to be certified. But you want some non-germane. I'm O.C.D.. Oh how much do we sell the sizes for that's on the availability as well. You will see that. Let me go back to our main crops over here. Like the green immune boost which is a press a comic's then that's probably one of the simplest ones to grow. One ounce clam shell is three seventy five. This is pricing for restaurants so this is our retail pricing grocery stores get a wholesale price which is usually twenty to thirty percent less because they need to market up. We sell. The eight out of the one point nine ounce clamshell for seven dollars and ten cents the eight ounce bulk bag is about twenty dollars The Rainbow mixes are premium mix that one goes for twenty eight dollars a half pound. That's a half pound. But if they buy more than three bags and we give them a cut their holes as the outer hard part of your seed different seedlings have different styles of growing the brassicas which are the things like in the cabbage family. It's a little round seed and it falls off very early in the germination process and if it doesn't fall off. It's a very soft seed you don't notice it. Like if you chew on it. OK so it's not an issue has a very hard ground seed like a B.B.. And it splits when it germinate. But the split seed hangs onto one of the leaves and the leaves come up and so as you look at the trade got all these little brown holes hanging onto the tips of the new little leaves and those halls are actually what is ground for coriander So you know it has a very different flavor from Salon to a green. And and those. They're not as pleasant to chew on. Most people don't appreciate that in a salad or a wrap. So we have to take those off. Oh here's a picture of the rainbow mix. This is the one we mix by hand I one of my favorites is just gorgeous. And it's very tasty and this is one that a lot of chefs like we talk about restaurants that we sell to you're looking at high end restaurants you don't go to places that have cheap. Lunches. OK they're not going to buy your mike or Greens we go to some of our biggest buyers have been like an exclusive restaurant that imports steak from Japan two hundred dollars for a couple again they bought thousands of dollars of micro greens over one summer. And so you know they have that kind of budget so you have to kind of pick your restaurant but one thing we want to say about restaurants is. You stablish right relationship with the chef but there seems to be a lot of turnover with chefs at restaurants. So things your customer base can change quickly if you're if you're working with restaurants. Yeah it is a little less predictable over the long term they change menus every few months every time they change a menu. They may decide they don't want micro greens on the next menu when they were buying out to three pounds a week for me before. A chef leaves and a new chef comes in who don't doesn't know anything about micrograms of doesn't care and then you lost that customer. But if you have kind of you know a number of restaurants you're not going to have as much trouble though usually you know you can just keep trying to shuffling our approach to marketing what we did when we got started was we found the local health food store then we did a lot of cold calling. I just got on the phone and I just called restaurants I tried to find either the executive chef or the restaurant manager who are have. In the in the. In the business and it's not the same for everyone and then when we would try to make an appointment where we could drop off and I take a close sampler that might have two or three different kinds of microphones. Try to find a time when the chef is there and go in and take your sample they usually want to taste it right on the spot and then them up put it in the refrigerator because I want to know how long it last and last how long it lasts is very very important when you're growing techniques have a lot of impact on how long your Migron stay fresh are peas are good for three to four weeks. Some of the other micro Greens in the market are not good. More than about a week and a half. So you know it depends on some micro greens or more fragile than others. Basal is very fragile has to be kept at a specific temperature and we found that some grocery stores are fridges simply were not the appropriate temperature for babies when they could not keep them even a week. And so we couldn't sell them there because it just looked awful on the shelf. Whereas we sold to restaurants that have our basal for sometimes two weeks and it still looks good there but the restaurants are careful. They put our basal in a star or phone case inside their big walk in refrigerator so it's not quite as cold as some of the other shops. We deliver samples and we deliver. OK. A schedule for ordering. So that they know we want it like we need growing time because we only grow to order. It's really hard to have wasted with micro greens you really don't want that I mean we eat our surplus but there's only so much you can eat you don't want to whole lot of that. So they have to order that two or three weeks ahead of when they want it and they have to give us two to three weeks' notice when they want to change their or so that we're not left with huge amounts because somebody changed their mind about what they want. And because we grow to order. We have. We calculate based on our standing orders. What arm around his to plant or we have explored farmers markets in our area there are some people that So Mike agrees are farmers markets but a lot of ours are on Sabbath or we finally took a lot of time out of the House and the whole reason I was doing this is because I couldn't leave the house so that didn't work for us now is another question. Yes The question was going to farmers markets for instance with your surplus. You could end up with still having surplus if you don't sell it. That is an issue if you're not going to order. I can put a lot of sunflowers in a single Some of the smoothies is really a great way to use surplus because you can use a lot that way but what we often do is take it to church and potluck and our church members love it and then we share this we have once a month we have a community come in for a church potluck and we often have surplus micrograms we share with them and they love that once once in a while we'll call a customer and see if they'll take some extra and special circumstances. Usually it could be tended ten to fourteen days. And of course sometimes sunflowers sunflowers I'm not sure about that. I think that might squeeze them too much they need air. In fact when we pack come you always pack him with a paper towel. To absorb extra moisture because a. The key to keeping micro greens long is keeping them dry. If they get more sure they'll start running right away. Part of it is how you grow them like I don't think hydroponically grown micro Greens last as long as soil grown micro greens and and I know that different growers don't seem to have as much. Fridge time as ours do we will get a lot of comments from our chefs that they really like our greens because they last long. I had a chef call me two weeks ago he says like you know we're not using our micro greens as fast as we thought they're piling up in the fridge I've got like three weeks worth but there were still good. So you know here's a picture of the greenhouse that we started with Well let me see a restaurant here. We started with a greenhouse one that I built very very simple but very effective. We had shelves on the left side there and and a bench on the right. I think it was eight by twenty. But we found that our our summer is short. And we have some large temperature variations in the summer we could have real cool nights and then ten days that are really warm so we had we had problems with consistency in. In the time it took to mature the my careens we had we had inconsistency in in the size and and those types of things. So we actually after the first winter we didn't go back to the to the greenhouse with our with our operation. One of the other issues was you can't control the humidity in a greenhouse very well and at harvest you need your micro greens dry to cut them. And I had a very difficult. I'm getting my micro greens dry enough for them to really last like the should I get them cool. So I would like the set up fans even in the greenhouse and fan everything all day long as I'm trying to cut and sometimes the humidity levels just too high and so then you start getting the micro greens the stem sticking together in the bags and that's that's too damp yet the micro Greens are grown quite densely in the in the tray so. You've got to watch the humidity very carefully. Oh we maintain that I'm going to we're going to hold the questions slowly and so we get through the material here we maintain a temperature about seventy degrees plus or minus of a few degrees. We run fans and open windows when possible. Try to just keep the humidity kind of stable not not too high and recently we've added a dehumidifier in a window air conditioner for just we don't get a lot of real hot days. In the summer where we are but for a few days. It's helpful to be able to turn that air conditioner on and run it. So what are what are your infrastructure your basic infrastructure requirements and this this comes out of our experience you need a well insulated space. You need temperature control you need humidity control. You need ventilation. You might have a time where your temperature is good. Your humidity is good but if you have your your windows all closed up when you walk into that space the air just doesn't smell freshen and I think the plants do better in even in the winter will leave a window open couple windows open a little bit. I mean even in the coldest weather just to keep some some fresh air going in the. There talked about lights we. We have five shelves. Units there forty eight inches wide and eighteen inches deep. Which is which is a little narrow for the twenty inch trays. But we cut cardboards twenty by forty four and put them on those shelves and then we can get four trays on a shelf. And we hang the lights from the shelf above. So so out in that five shelf unit. We've got. Four shelves that have to have lights and we put two double bulb fixtures for each shelf. You need a source of water you need a decent electrical system in our operation and we've got a lot of bulbs if you add it all up. It's a lot. And then of course you need some some management. Accounting of course planting schedule harvest schedule ability to prepare in voices and so forth. When you talk just a couple minutes about my cooking Academy. We've worked with people have wanted to learn how to grow their own micro greens and we found that there's really not a lot of resources out on the market to take you through the process step by step from planning to implementation to marketing to harvest all of that and we had to learn a lot of what we've learned through trial and error. That's the reason we decided to start market green Academy which is a way for us to share with others. What we have learned. Michael Green Academy can help if you want to grow by Koreans for yourself because when you can get instruction on how to do it step by step learn how to apply each step to the growing cycle from planting to harvest you can get resources to help you integrate it into your home schooling program and also gain resources access to resources as we continue to develop them and make them available as well as getting lots of ideas. And yes recipes for new ways to use what you grow if you. Want to start growing commercially Micra green Academy is developed to save time and money by giving you step by step guide that covers these different areas like market research the set up process needed equipment tools and supplies resources on suppliers and vendors variety specific guidance we found that there's quite a bit of variation in the requirements of different kinds of micro greens and it really helps if you know what are those the special things the slow idiosyncrasies of the different varieties. We've been through the certification process. We're willing to help mentor people through that process. I'm if that's something that you need in your particular market as well as helping with troubleshooting just based on the experience growing to order takes some extra special resources that you don't need if you're just growing for yourself. For example order quantities can vary from week to week. Different crops have a different length of time for growing for us to do our rainbow mix every week we have to consider when to plant the different components of the mix because they don't all grow at the same rate. So to make sure you have the right amount of micro green at harvest every week for what your orders are gets pretty complex when we first started I spent hours and hours every week just trying to calculate how much to plant every week to have it ready for when our orders were all of those considerations. I have my own personal spreadsheet guru right here as an engineer. He's an expert at using spreadsheets and he developed what we call our micro green automation spreadsheet that allows us to import our orders and it figures everything else out for us and I just love that. And we also work our schedule to try to minimize what we have to do on Sabbath Usually it's just a little water in. OK this is the automation spreadsheet and. I've set this spreadsheet up with several worksheets. We have we have one worksheet for every customer. OK. And so we have all the dates of the year in that weren't she and so we can insert into their what they're what their orders are on a on a week by week basis. OK And then And then there is a worksheet that does a summary of of. All of those puts it all together for all our customers and and then that. From there. We have we have. We have a. Another worksheet which which gives you the. What each customer's order is in a in a tabular format in a table format and and then the last worksheet on that is a planting schedule which takes into consideration the yield for each. The yield for each crop. How many grams you can get preacher A It takes into consideration the link the time it takes to grow all the. Complements of your of your various products that you sell and it tells you when to plant and how much to plant. So this is something as you see a mention. She was spending four or five hours a week figuring out when to plant and how much to plant. And this this just takes it down to a few minutes every every week just maintaining this. And once in a while she'll shoot it over to me by e-mail or she'll say Jim I have a problem here or. Or you know we need to we need to set this up for the New Year or whatever and I'm all spend on the half hour or something working on it but anyway this is this is just been very helpful if you're going to do this commercially to have something like this. Good record keeping is really important whether or not you're certified. But we've developed a lot of records that help us to do this. He's really. We keep track of all of these different things that you see on here. And if people are wondering how much it costs we go through certification of her C C O F. They usually do inspections on a yearly basis. Depending on how many farms the inspector sees on his trip divvy up the inspectors charge. So we don't get charged for the full amount. There are government grants that help you. Depending on the state that you're in that for us. It covers about seventy five percent of our inspection cost so up to one thousand dollars and so that we generally been able to get the anyway if anybody is interested in some of the resources we have to offer we do have just come by and sign up for a mailing list and as we have more this is our website. So these are ways you can contact us probably the best way questions for the next like three minutes I think I still have yes you had one earlier we just use standard L E D lights are not specific to full spectrum grow lights they're the cheaper ones. Yes can you OK The question is if you have a big sunny area can you put your growing tray growing shelves on wheels and we'll them out during site Yes that's an excellent idea especially if you're in a breezy place and you get lots of good air circulation that can be excellent. I know some really big micro green growers that do that even up in Canada. So I think that's a great idea. Yes QUESTION. OK. OK The question is how many hours of light and how far the lights from the plants we do about eleven to twelve hours of light every day and the lights are average of six inches above. The four inches above the plant maybe six inches above the tray question. Oh yes thank you. The Web site is doubly doubly doubly paradise acres dot farm. That's paradise acres dot farm. Our email is P A. For paradise acres. P. A farm seventy seven G. Mail dot com. No I don't use growing pads we prefer to grow in soil I think it's better for the plant myself and I think the plants are more nutritious when you do that question. Oh yeah there was a question about what kind of soil we didn't talk about that are sort of only has three components. It has coconut core a fine coconut core has rice holes and then it has a V. Gammick powdered fertiliser seven one one this media was brought to you by audio first a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about the universe or if you would like to listen to more service leave a Visit W W W audio or.

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