September 17, 2021 4 min read 0 Comments
From our How to Grow Microgreens Series
Transcript is below.
Nick & Nathan from On the Acre in Houston, TX discuss how to sell microgreens to chefs. They provide insight on how to approach chefs, grow for chefs, and which microgreens for chefs request in this exclusive interview.
Whenever you're reaching out to chefs to try to get a new client, if they know about microgreens the most common requested microgreens are going to be pea tendrils and Bulls blood beet. After that, it's probably a mix of microgreens together and that's probably actually the most common is just our rainbow mix. They want to know what your rainbow mixes or what your all-inclusive mixes because that's how they are purchasing microgreens currently from a distributor is just a one stop I have microgreens I added to my thing so that's their knowledge base for interacting with you.
Chefs absolutely know that there's a difference between a microgreen and a baby green there's actually a step in between there which is a petite green which is an extra-large true leaf, basically, you grow to one or two true leaves and allow them to get about an inch and a half to two inches tall and that is actually the cream of the crop when it comes to greens.
I believe you can get the most amount of money when growing leaves to a size that is exactly edible like a perfect bite. You put one on each dish it's a very specific market and we can sell them by the leaf we grow into that size. You have to have space for that to get them that big you have to plan differently density wise from the beginning, theres factors that you have to take into account it's gonna be sitting in your room for longer or in whatever space so a lot of times to get to that really creme de la creme it's you need either greenhouse or outdoor space to allow that plant to mature that way.
You also need to use nutrients. The seed only has so much inside of it and that goes into the cotyledons and then the plant uses those for you lay down to fuel its growth to create the next true leaf for the and the second true leaf. The cotyledons slowly start to die off and turned brown but chefs don't want that and in order to prevent that you have to provide those nutrients to the plant and so instead of stealing it from their cotyledons it'll take it from the soil and those will stay nice and green or red or whatever color your plant is so that's something that we're learning right now.
I think another variety that we haven't touched on that's popular and a lot of our restaurants do is cilantro number one but a lot of restaurants buy cilantro in some way or another so that's something that we don't talk about a lot but it's purchased. Another really popular microgreen is celery the chefs want the micro celery and it is a long grow and it's a difficult grow it's a finicky plant with a really really thin then stems so they're very susceptible to just being knocked over like blown over and then those stems they set in the liquid and they start to die and it's hard to keep their color the right way but um definitely starter no it's not a recommended starter neither is cilantro.
That's one of those that if you learn how to grow it you can make a lot of money on because they're there are so many chefs that want it but only so many people can grow it because a lot of people have issues so something worth learning for sure. If you were going to approach any kind of chef or restaurant I would say buy a mix seed packet where you get like either some kind of micro mix whether it's a rainbow must or some premix package and then a few singles and you have a little bit of everything versus trying to create your own mix at the beginning or and it lets you have those options so you maybe you have one or two singles but you have a mix too.
I think that there is value in that and specifically in that, if you plant a spicy mix or regular mix us typically the only ones you're gonna find online you will see the growth rates of the seeds involved and you will come to understand why we grow everything separately because they don't mature at the same rates so you end up with some young plants and some older plants when you harvest them because you have to harvest it all at the same time so there's a lot that you can learn from the mix.
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