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Growing the right microgreen mix in geothermal greenhouses
The production of greenhouse-grown microgreens in Oregon is progressing smoothly, as you might expect from greenhouse production. But the one at Fresh Green Organic Garden is a little different because the company uses geothermal energy to power its greenhouses, helping to reduce emissions and energy costs. The 65,000 square foot facility is located in Klamath Falls, Oregon.
"We grow our organic microgreens year-round in geothermal greenhouses," said Rick Walsh of Fresh Green Organic Garden. "We are not affected by any weather conditions so we have steady supplies all year. The only difference is that in winter, there is less daylight, leading to a slowdown in plant growth. However, we still manage to ship about the same amount, regardless of the season."
Providing the right mix
Fresh Green Organic Garden produces many different varieties of organic microgreens. The majority of them are blended into various mixes, which form the foundation of the company's products. "We mostly sell various mixes of all the microgreens we grow," Walsh shared. "We do also sell strictly one product, such as arugula, but by far the most popular products are the mix blends, including Rainbow mix, Italian, Spicy, Asian and Veggie. Each mix has a 'recipe' and then we put it together."
Walsh said the most popular is the Rainbow Mix, which he says is because it's the mix with a bit of everything in there. "The Rainbow Mix is our best seller," he noted. "It has a combination of the following: Tendergreen, Broccoli, Kohlrabi, Red Cabbage, Spinach, Bok Choi, Mizuna, Tatsoi, Beet Top, Bulls Blood, Amaranth, Curly Cress and Arugula. The tendergreen gives it a mustardy flavor, while amaranth adds color. The micro broccoli contains 50 times more antioxidants than regular broccoli. The Asian mix, on the other hand, appeals to consumers who prefer spicier flavors."
Microgreens have seen good demand as an addition to salads and as a garnish in restaurants. The foodservice industry provides a good market for microgreens growers and the company offers pack sizes specifically for these customers.
"We supply Denver and the Northwest region and are experiencing steady demand," Walsh shared. "Our products are packed in 0.75oz, 1oz and 4oz for retails, and we have large 8oz and 1lb packs that are sent to jobbers and foodservice. Microgreens have a delicate texture and need to be kept refrigerated to maintain optimum freshness."
"Supply remains steady year-round and it's not a particularly promotional item around Holidays," he continued. "There is the opportunity for expansion but at this stage we are happy with our current operation and have no desire to expand."
For more information:
Fresh Green Organic Garden
Tel: +1 (541) 880-8215
Publication date: 7/2/2018
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