Let me tell you a story 📗
When we started growing microgreens, it’s intention was to solve a few different problems. The first was, we had cancer in the family and this was a way to make sure we were properly contributing to getting the nutrition we needed. Second, I loved the idea of sustainability, and solving the problems in food logistics contributes to many of the problems we have in the world.
When we started, I had little to no experience at the time. The road to a green thumb came with a graveyards of plants behind me ☠. I wanted to do things cheap, sustainably, and of course we wanted the nutrition. I ended up finding a book on the topic, and followed a formula to have a fresh salad every single day.
I bought some aluminum backing pans, seeds, and soil. I put soil in the pan, put the seeds on top of the soil, did a light watering, and put a soaked paper towel on top of those greens 👨🌾. I then as instructed put them in a dark place for 4 days and completely ignored them. (Pro Tip: Don’t do this in a kitchen cabinet consistently unless you want some water damage.)
It worked 🏆! Our first greens started pushing the paper towel up as you can see below. Those greens were probably 3-4 days old at the time. After that, I simply put them in the light for another 3-4 days.
After the first batch, we had our first fresh microgreen salad. We were hooked. We started planting, and harvesting microgreens every day to make sure we can get a fresh salad every day. Below you can see we had the far greens ready for harvest, and the closer ones probably had a few days before we would cut them. It was an endless cycle.
We reused the soil in each container a few times, then I would put the waste into a vermicomposter where I would have worms create new soil for me to use in the future (outside garden soil, I was NOT great at vermicomposting and we had pests). My tomatoes were happy.
Growing produce doesn’t have to be a calculated, technological endeavor. I do personally enjoy building automated systems, but we can contribute in all kinds of ways to making a better world, and local fresh foods is a great way to do that. Each of those containers probably cost about a dollar to put together, which became a really cheap incredibly healthy salad in 7-10 days. I saved myself plenty of trips to the grocery store, helped my wallet out a bit 💰
I was able to supply a family of four daily, through winter by growing 3 varieties of plants daily. The process took about 10 minutes a day. Over time, more friends and family wanted more greens. I started realizing, that I had solved our nutrition problem, and I can scale up and contribute towards a more sustainable future for our community.
That is the story of how Spira Farms began.