US (PA): Microgreens make a mark in State College

Isabel Kumerz grew up in Spain with dreams of one day growing her own food. When she moved to State College and the ample space allowed her to garden, she did so voraciously. However, when the barren winters of central Pennsylvania hit, she started looking for ways to continue her passion year-round, researching greenhouses and other options before finally discovering the world of microgreens.

“Microgreens gave me the opportunity to grow vegetables all year-round, almost every week, indoors,” Kumerz said. “Microgreens, in my opinion, are an amazing crop ... they’re tiny, they have a lot of nutrients, they’re really beneficial for your health and delicious. They grow very fast, in 7-12 days. They’re very easy to grow (and) don’t need much ... only soil and water.”

Last year, Kumerz turned her newfound love of growing microgreens into a business. Happy Valley Greens opened for orders in September and microgreens are available for purchase online and at Nature’s Pantry, McLanahan’s Downtown Market and Friends & Farmers Online Market.

The vertical farming operation is located just a short walk from downtown State College and Kumerz uses all non-GMO seeds and organic soil to ensure quality.

Her next step is to begin providing local restaurants and chefs with microgreens, hoping the availability of her fresh greens even in the winter months will be a selling point for regional venues.

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