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Start Your Microgreen Profitable Business at Home

Dr. Lakshmi Unnithan
Dr. Lakshmi Unnithan

Much has been done and said about Microgreens these days and it's on the way in becoming an industry on its own. Instant results and guaranteed success is what we relate to Microgreens. There are culinary dishes these days  whipped out in the name of Microgreens in Restaurants and it’s a big hit with chefs. These are high on taste and are very crunchy and some like Red cabbage, Purple spinach, Purple basil, Amaranth, Rainbow chard and Oriental mustards are very colorful too. They are nutrient dense tiny vegetables and herbs grown in just two weeks. They are four to 40 times dense as their bigger form and has amazing health benefits. The Red cabbage sprout is said to have 40:1 Vit E when compared to its mature counterpart.

To start a small Microgreen business what we need is a onetime investment of a metal shelf, lights and flat trays. The recurring cost would be the containers, seeds, growing medium, water, and electricity. Care should be taken when selecting seeds. The usual seeds we buy from markets will not get us the required germination rate. It would be worth to identify companies that sell quality seeds. One needs to venture into the market, buy different kinds of seeds and compare ranges of germination at ones set up. With this small set up, one could grow easily 8-9 trays. As this set up doesn’t take much space rather than a corner, its possible even in a small apartment. Two weeks is the maximum time needed for them to grow and its ready for harvest. This scale is how small it can be and once you start and grow your business, you could scale out bigger into bigger space and more trays investing much more time. Microgreens seeds should be sown compactly on the cocopeat or vermicompost medium.16 hours of light is what the plants need and one could automate the lights on timers. The temperature should be maintained at 15-26 degree Celsius. Watering should be done twice a day in the morning and in the evening.

To maximize profits, we need to identify fast growing varieties like Broccoli, Cabbage, Radish, Sweet onion, Red cabbage, Rocket and Argulas. The above said vegetables are packed full of nutrients, have strong flavor and could be grown year round in indoors but these seeds could be expensive. There are an array of herbs like Basil, Fennel, Dill, Cilantro that make beautiful microgreens. The flavour profile identified of the microgreens range from fruity to sweet, to earthy and salty to spicy. Microgreens should be harvested at the right amount. Before we start our business, we should also take into account the number of consumers we have in hand, because after we harvest they should directly reach the consumers. Collaborating with restaurants, chefs and residential colonies will help getting your products into the market.

Regardless of any approach following, one should be super careful about the food safety and consistency of practices even at home.

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