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From military to microgreens: the story of Nordamark
Michael Skaret was an officer in the Swedish army for several years before deciding to start his own company Nordamark for growing microgreens to serve restaurants. Business has been going so well his company now occupies a space of 340 m2.
His aim is to further develop his cultivation methods and to possibly start a fish farm in addition to his main activities. "In that case you have the whole cycle together and the water the fish swim in can be food for the crops," says Michael.
His crops are called microgreens because they are harvested after sprouting as shoots. This means that the taste is much more intense, making the vegetables ideal for garnishing or as ingredients in a salad. The clientele for his products is also growing.
"I now also receive help from Grönsakshuset with the distribution. And because we grow locally, we keep the distances short, so everything we deliver remains fresh for eight to ten days after delivery," says Michael.
Used to be imported
The really big companies that specialize in microgreens are located in the US and Japan. Previously, Sweden imported a lot from the Netherlands. "But the transport soon took place at the expense of a few days' shelf life," according to Michael.
He started out growing microgreens at home just for himself and for his army buddies. Today he makes a living from it.
Youtube was an important source of inspiration and knowledge for Micheal. One of the secrets of the cultivation project is the LED lamps that have been specifically made for this purpose. This makes it possible to maintain a constant temperature of 20 to 21 degrees in the growing space. With a self-irrigation system and energy-efficient lamps, he uses new techniques to optimize the cultivation process. Michael expects to see a lot of growth in climate-proof indoor cultivation.
"This is actually something that anyone can do at home if they want. One kilogram of these vegetables contains ten times as many nutrients as in broccoli, and it doesn’t matter whether it is winter or summer." The vegetables are often ready to be harvested within ten days.
The idea for growing microgreens arose some four years ago, when Michael wanted to buy fresh herbs in the supermarket. When he found out where the herbs came from, he was surprised. "It said that Kenya was the country of origin, I wondered how it could be fresh, and then I thought I could grow the herbs myself," he says. In the US, the microgreens are called "super foods". "I almost never got sick again," Michael adds laughing.
The local investment company Skaraborg Invest is now a shareholder in Nordamark. "Nordamark is a very interesting development company that delivers microgreens with a health concept to a growing market, for both consumers and city farming," according to Carl Henrik Ohlsson, CEO of Skaraborg Invest AB.
"We have a serious partner in Skaraborg Invest, who knows what it is to develop successful companies based on ideas. More than just providing us with capital, their experience, dedication and network make an important contribution to our success," says Michael.
Publication date: 5/11/2018
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