Thursday, November 29, 2012

Mystery Crop Revealed

Y'all did an excellent job at trying to guess the latest crop being grown here at GSF! You guys got really close at guessing the answer, but no one *quite* got it. So I'm here to spill the beans and give you a fill-in.

Those little green and purple seedling you saw were mustard sprouts. I let them grow to day #10 of germination and then lopped them off this morning.

The result is what is called Micro Greens. A wildly popular (and wildly expensive!) crop that upscale restaurant chefs are raving over and trying to buy whenever possible.

I had first read about micro greens in my Spring 2012 catalog from Johnny's Seeds. I was intrigued by the idea of the tiny plants, but didn't give it a whole lot of thought at the time. I was preoccupied with getting ready for this year's broilers, turkeys, cows, and goat kids. Cool idea, but it wasn't my time to be sprouting little seedlings. I did however try to stay updated on how the micro green fad was playing out in the food world. To my surprise, the little greens didn't fade away as the seasons passed; instead the interest has grown. Hmmm.

Fast forward to this October/November. My dairy goats are dry and won't start milking until March/April. The cow will be dried up by Sunday. The goats and cow provided the majority of my income and I was facing a 3 or 4 month period with very little cash flow. My mind jumped back to the idea of the micro greens. Why not try it now?

After hours upon hours of more research, I bought a test package of seeds that would make a colorful, spicy blend. I have to admit that they taste as good as they look... I have a hit list of some local restaurants that I would like to start selling my micro greens to, and I'm planning on contacting them soon and seeing what deal we can strike. :) 

I'm also taking this idea and giving it a slightly different twist. I have a batch of wheat sprouts ("fodder" as I usually call it here on the blog) that are almost ready to be eaten, and when that point comes I'm going to contact a local, upscale pet store (it ain't your ordinary shop...) and see about taking them some free samples. If they like the sprouts, then I will see about becoming a regular supplier for them. 

And who knows, maybe I'll see about getting a booth at one of my local farmer's markets and see about selling some micro greens there next year...

So there you have it. Yet another one of my wild ideas. But somehow my ideas manage to work one way or another, so it'll be interesting to see how this one pans out. :)


Anonymous said...

You are brilliant.
I hope it works out!

Wendy said...

Nice! Great idea!

Prairie Kari said...

Very interesting - I love mustard so had to order my own seeds! They just arrived so I can start sprouting these for my salads now. How are you making out with your commercial endeavor with these? I would love to read another blog post about these with an update and picture of the PVC fodder growing system you made. Sounds like a good bandaid for my green thumb while we still have 3 ft of snow and several more months of winter to endure!