Growing Great Microgreens Starts with the Great Soil featuring Chris Thoreau (FSFS130)


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            Microgreens have been becoming more and more popular, and many first-time growers, as well as longtime farmers, have been adding the crop to their current arsenal of product offerings. Despite that, there’s still a lot of questions surrounding the nitty-gritty details of how to grow microgreens.


Today’s Guest: Chris Thoreau

Chris Thoreau is a longtime microgreen grower up in Canada. Apart from growing microgreens, he also runs a consultancy firm where he helps set up microgreen operations, among other things.


Relevant Links                                                                                           

            Chris Thoreau’s Microgreens Business Course – Website   


In this episode of Farm Small, Farm Smart

  • Diego introduces the episode’s guest, Chris Thoreau (00:45)
  • Soil depth and how significant tray depth is in growing microgreens (02:08)
    • Different things to consider depending on your context (06:34)
  • How Chris views standardization of growing conditions (07:35)
  • Deciding on tray depth as a beginner (09:27)
  • The difference in yield between a shallow and a deep tray (11:03)
  • Making up for the water holding capacity in shallow trays by changing up the soil mix (12:40)
  • What to do with the soil after putting it into the tray (14:40)
    • Taking care of soil pore space (18:02)
  • Compressing the soil vs. ensuring soil-seed contact (20:11)
  • Multiple reasons to stack your trays (22:20)
  • Tips for when to know to unstack your trays (25:10)
    • Better unstack early than too late (25:33)
  • The part where many people mess up (28:30)
    • Do not overwater no matter what (28:58)
  • Which input to tweak first if you aim for higher yield (33:58)
  • How quickly you figure out your optimum growing conditions will depend on how hard you work the first year (37:30)
  • Teaching and dialoguing is part of learning (40:50)
  • Starting out, how many crops to take on (41:53)
  • Know yourself, know your market, and learning against your will (46:21)
  • Approaching harvesting equipment as a beginner grower (47:22)
  • The benefits of smooth-cutting with sharp knives (53:41)
  • No cutting at all—sell live trays to consumers (55:24)
    • Getting customer requests for live, uncut trays (01:01:34)
  • Going all-out: doing all live, uncut or cutting everything (01:04:19)


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Diego: [00:00:00] When it comes to growing microgreens why do you compress the soil when you fill the tray? Why do you stack trays? And how much does the depth of your tray matter when it comes to growing good crops? Those are very specific questions that'll be answered in this episode by long-time micro microgreen grower, Chris Thoreau coming up.

Welcome to the world of farming, small and farming smart. I'm your host, Diego. Today, we're talking the subtleties of microgreens the nuances of microgreens. We're going to get down into the nitty gritty and answer some of the questions that I consistently see come in around growing microgreens. My guest today, Chris Thoreau longtime microgreen grower will be doing the answering.

Chris is an absolute wealth of knowledge when it comes to micro rains. And one thing I love about his approach to growing them and talking about them is it's very scientific and systematic. He really gets down into the nitty-gritty details of why one method works for growing microgreens well, and why another method doesn't work as well.

You can adjust and tweak things to get optimum results. While the topics in here are pretty specific, this episode's dense. And if you grow microgreens for commercial production, I think you'd get a lot out of it. Here it is. Enjoy it. It's microgreens Q and A with Chris Thoreau.

Over the past few months, I've gotten a lot of questions in terms of micrgreens, growing them related to soil related to harvesting, related to drying the greens themselves. So I wanted to take this episode to really go in depth on some of these things. I think this will fill in a lot of the gaps that we've covered in past episodes talking about the whole process of growing microgreens. And obviously if people want to learn more, they can check out the online course.

Starting with the soil. And there's a lot of questions that I see around soil from what type of tray, how deep should it be in the tray? Should you can press it when it goes into the tray. And when you stack the trays what's happening there and why are you even doing it?

So let's start at the beginning. How do you think about soil depth and different depths of trays when it comes to growing microgreens?

Chris Thoreau: [00:02:31] Yeah, so this is a great place to start. so I did a lot of going back, 10 years when I was developing the system. That was one of my number one question is how deep should the soil be in the tray? And I was weighing off about three different things to consider. So number one is the bigger your tray, the more soil it's going to take. So that's going to increase the cost, the tray size, the dimensions stay the same, but the amount of soil you use is more so the follow-up question to that is, well with more soil, do you get a higher yield?

And in fact, you do get a higher yield and the higher yield probably is valued more than the extra soil you put in. So it's still a net gain. And then the third thing that you consider is the more soil you have. the more water that crop can hold there's more space to store water. So you've got an advantage and having say a two and a half or two and a quarter inch tray over a one and a quarter inch tray.

Now that said the volume thing kept coming up in my mind about how much soil I use in that. and there's a couple of reasons for that. So one is. I was operating, the food Pedallers was operating on an urban site and that meant there was less room for storing the soil. And for that, for the dispense soil, after the trays had been grown and needed to be composted.

And so while having more soil. In the trays potentially increases the yield per unit area and, probably reduces the risk of drought or any water problems that the overriding factor for us was that we only had so much room for storing soil for bringing in soil because. Keeping in mind when you buy soil, you're not just buying the soil, but you're paying for the shipping, which would mean maybe getting it shipped in more.

And that would be a bigger cost. but yeah, space was a very big issue. So we take a hit on the yield, theoretically. but we get, we're spending less money on soil that way. And now I'm going to make a quick comment on yield here. Yeah, this question comes up a lot in consoles, in just random email questions.

And I see it on forums a lot. And the question is what yield can you expect from, X, Y, or Z crop? And one of the things you need to think about with yield than any crop is the balance or the quality of the crop relative to the yield. what I mean by that is I've produced trays of sunflower.

That produce 1.2, even up to 1.5 kilograms of sunflowers from a 10 by 20 tray. The yield is huge, but it's not a very good product. I find that there's a range of between sort of 600 and 800 grams per tray of sunflower where the product is the nicest. the firmness and texture is the nicest, the flavors, the nicest, the STEM length, the leaf size ratio is the nicest.

And so anything bigger than that, is a higher yield. So theoretically, a higher return. With a lower quality product. So going back to the idea of a deeper tray, giving you more yield, because I actually don't need more yield to get the product. I want that deeper tray doesn't give me an advantage.

And so spending that extra money on the soil, does it make sense that said. Another way to look at it as what is the end market for your product. Now, if I was actually juicing or turning those microgreens into smoothies, then that is exactly how I would grow them. I would absolutely want as much yield some, a tray water content would be fine, whether it's sunflower or peas or another crop that you might use or put into a smoothie.

Then I would push that. I would push that limit more. You don't have to worry about the same things that you have to worry about when it's a fresh eating crop. So those are things that'll come into play, going back to the original question about choosing soil depth, so do you have lots of space for storing soil and a good use afterwards?

And if you do. That's great because as we've talked about before, if you're using soil for your, in your microgreens mix, and then when the microgreens are harvested, you can use that soil elsewhere on a farm. then it's a flow through resource like that. and you do get that higher yield from the same amount of space.

And your maintenance of that crop is probably going to be that much easier because, you're watering, is going to be easier. You could probably water less frequently because the soil itself can hold more water. So there's a number of things that need to be considered for your unique situation to determine whether you want that, that larger amount of soil in a deeper tray or in a less amount of soil and a shallower tray.

Diego: [00:07:17] How do you view standardization, if you have a variety of crops that you're growing, do you think it makes sense to have the appropriate depth tray for that crop? If you are going after yield, say you have a juice market, but then you're also growing some other stuff that is smaller for garnish. Now you have two sets of trays, two different things to maintain, when you're training somebody, you always use this tray. I know that's not. Super complex, but it's just another variable in the whole process.

Chris Thoreau: [00:07:50] I like consistency. whatever words you wanna use, different words are loaded and we have different relationships with these words. Standardized is a bit of a loaded word. We often think about an assembly line or McDonald, everything being very standardized.

but when I think about consistency, the consistency and moving things and layout and everything, I really liked that. And I know we've tried with, We've tried a few times with different trays. And so you've got, you're washing different trays, you're handling different trays.

you're doing all of these things and the difference they're just, maybe they seem trivial, but there's just one more thing to think about with that, with that. Level of sort of customization per crop. And as we've talked about before, like I'm looking for very specific things for crops and one of them is like an eight to 10 day turnaround cycle.

And another thing I'm looking for is do these crops grow in this type of soil in this step of soil. So I look for consistency there. And that's a weakness. there are certain crops that don't work in those systems and we don't grow those crops. but that's just the price you pay. No system is going to be able to cover all the bases.

Diego: [00:09:00] Do you think for somebody new who's starting out, you really look at the two common depth trays out there and trial and both with all the crops you're going to grow and just see what you think is going to work better in your system for the finished product that you're growing before you commit to say, I want a shallower tray, or I want a deeper tray?

Chris Thoreau: [00:09:20] Yeah, I'd say, buy a hundred of each. So you're going to get your best price that way by buying them in the case, do a bunch of trials, make sure you make good notes and record things well, and worst case scenario, whichever tray you don't choose, you can use for another purpose.

You can sell them on in the end. if you continue to grow, that's going to be a small investment. so I do once again, do the work to find out what works for you for your system. For your personality type. yeah, you need to make decisions on what's going to work best for you.

So going through that process on your own, is good. I think these conversations that we have and that other people bring to the forum and sharing their experience for some people, they can listen to that and go, yeah. the way he's described that's totally me and I get it and I'm going that way. I don't need to, I don't need to do that work or other people might go, ah, I'm the opposite, I want, I don't want to water so much. I know from experience that's something that I have difficulty with. So the deeper tray is clearly going to work for me all else being equal. So I think, yeah, if you feel the need that even after getting some of that input, you need to go through the process. You should do that. Definitely.

Diego: [00:10:28] When you think about yield increase, going from a shallow tray to a deeper tray, let's say on a shallow tray, you get a yield of one unit going to a deeper tray, where do you think that yield increases too? Obviously there's a lot of variability here, but if you had to guess. Going from that shallower tray to the one, which is almost twice as deep, or you're not getting two X the yield,

Chris Thoreau: [00:10:54] no. cause keeping in mind, you still have the same number theoretically, or, if you're doing good experimentation, the same number of seeds per tray, the same level of competition, there's a little less root competition for sure. Because there's more space for those roots to go down before they hit a barrier. And then start moving horizontally will where it felt compete with each other. but you still have the same amount of competition for light up top. And I actually have the figure somewhere from my original data.

And I would say your yield could be in the 15 to 30%, increase. but once again, be in the shallower trays. I know I can grow more. I can grow up to a, say a thousand grounds within a shallower tray, and still get a decent crop, but it's not the crop I want to grow. so one of the advantages in the deeper soil is you can actually get to say a kilogram or 1.2 kilograms or whatever, probably a day faster than you would in the shallower tray. so you could get a higher yield on a shorter cycle.

Diego: [00:11:54] What about the soil mix in them? Would you change that up in a shallower tray versus a deeper tray? If we look at what you've discussed, the shallower tray, there's obviously less total soil in it, so it's going to hold less water, but if you wanted to try and get more water holding capacity and in a shallower tray, you could tweak the mix potentially and put more of a peat in and less of a sand or something like that. Would you look at that type of approach to a shallow tray. If you wanted to go that route or do you think, the soil mix that you would use in a shallow tray is pretty much the soil mix you'd use in a deeper tray?

Chris Thoreau: [00:12:31] That's a damn good question, actually. the, so I have not mixed up my changed up my saw mix for a deeper or shallower tray.

One of the things that you're always trying to do, whether you're growing and trays or you're. Farming on the ground is there's always the balance between the soil's ability to hold water and the soil's ability to release water. So it's not holding on too tight. So I have experienced both with grains and with ground crops of using a mushroom in newer and mushroom and newer, even though it really enhance the soil quality, it has a way of holding onto water too much.

And what that does is it increases your anaerobic conditions. so portions of the soil, that don't have air, and those are the conditions in which you're most likely to find, disease, occurring. So I work very hard with the soil mix to make sure it holds. soil enough or holds water enough, sorry, but not too much. And so with, with a shallower mix, I would be reluctant to try and change it. I might tweak it a little bit, bring my peat content up and take my perlite content down a little bit. but in general, changing that too much risks holding water, too well, and then potentially drowning the plants.

Diego: [00:13:52] One of the other questions that comes up a lot related to this, once people identify the tray depth they're going to use. Once people come to a soil mix is, when you put the soil in to the tray, what do you do with it? After you put it in, do you compress the soil? Do you compress it to a certain degree? Do you not compress it? What's your thought on that? And how would you start thinking about that?

Chris Thoreau: [00:14:17] Yeah, so I, and I went through a real evolution with this process. So one of the things so want to have rules and we look at once again, ground crops is we talk a lot about avoiding soil compaction. You don't want to put pressure on the soil because what it does is it closes up the poor space, which is the space in between the soil particles.

And that's not only where the water sits and where the soil holds the water. but it's also aware where the gas is sent. And so you need gas exchange in the root zone, just as much as you need it in the atmosphere for healthy plant growth. So it's counter-intuitive for many people to compress the soil.

however, if you're looking at the type of mix that we're often talking about, which is a peat perlite with a bit of compost mix, Those are very loose mixes with long fibrous types of, particles we'll call them. And so they need a bit of compression in order for them to fit together nicely or to, for it to be nice and snug and snow.

Wait, when you're preparing your soil to put in the tracers, there's a couple of things you need to do on one of them is you have to make sure there's some moisture in the soil and you'll find this out very quickly. If you've got a really dry soil and it's got a high peach content, and you're trying to put it into a tray, you can't do it.

it actually just, it's just too loose. And another thing that happens is the dust. It gets up in your eyes and you're breathing it in. And so very quickly you naturally okay, let's get a bit of water on here to calm that dust down, just like you might do on a, with a gravel road and in a very hot climate in the middle of the summer.

And so that's the first thing you do. And when you do that, this is actually an important part of the process is adding enough water that the soil is down and it's held together. but it's not going to get sticky because if you add too much water and you can press it in, it's actually going to compress too much.

And when we're adding water to the soil before prepping trays, we're adding enough to take that dust away, get it uniformly, sticking together. And if I took from any section about a handful of it and squeezed it between two hands, as hard as I could, there shouldn't even be a chance of any water coming out of there.

It should just feel like a, we might call like a. fairly damp cloth. and that's subjective, but hopefully people got a sense of what that's what you don't want is soaking. You don't want it dripping. You just want it damp enough, really to keep that dust down. Another important aspect about a bat is when you're compressing soil into a tray.

you're. You, reducing the poor space, which you need to do in order to make sure there's enough distance between the particles that the water can be held between them actually. so you want the particles to be fairly close together and not over compressed. But the other thing is, if you're doing a calculation, determinable how much soil should you buy?

If you want to produce this many trays per week. you use the dimensions of the train and go, okay, I've got a 10 inch by 20 inch by one and a quarter inch tall tray. The volume of that is this. And I want to do this many trays per week and this many trays per month. And if this is how much soil I want to buy, or how much soil do I need to buy for this time period.

And so you just, it's simple math, length times, width, times, height, times the number of trays, and that tells you how much soil needs to fill that volume of tray. However, because you're compressing the soil. You need an additional volume to that. So I think when, if I remember correctly, ultimately I did my calculation and then added 44% to that value. So if I calculate, did I need five yards of soil? Actually I'd probably need closer to seven and a half because of compression. So that changes that calculation. If you're trying to be very particular about when you buy your soil and bring it in. Because that's actually going to affect your cash flow.

you don't buy soil and 10 or $20 increments, you buy it in 500,000, $2,000 increments. And you want, if you want to get the timing down so you can make that calculation, that really helps. so start off like adding, say 30 to 40%. and then you're just going to track that if I bring in what I bring in five, five yards of soil, and then I fill a bunch of trays, how many trace that I actually fell?

So you do it, you do a calculation one way, and then once you've used up that five yards, you calculate back and go, did that five yards of soil fill that, 1000, 400 trays. Like I thought you look at your numbers and go, Oh, actually, 1000, 200 or 1,700, and then you adjust your calculation based on that, that's going to change with different mixes, different content, things like that.

Diego: [00:18:55] What about with seed application? Do you ever have a need to compress the soil after you've added seed to the soil?

Chris Thoreau: [00:19:07] we, I don't compress the soil after the seed has been added to it. Actually, one of the processes we go through is we would, when we're seeding and, it's been a while since I've done this, I'm going to try to visualize it as I go, we lay out our trays, we can see 16 trays at a time.

And then the first thing we do is actually be rough in the soil. On the surface a little bit. So it's not all flat and perfect. It's a little rough and whatnot. Then we give it a watering because we're sewing something. There needs to be water in the soil. Now at this point to make sure that seed is going to germinate.

And then when we see it over top of that, The soil's got tiny little peaks and tiny little valleys. And so there's a good amount of soil contact with the seed in that way. Then once we're done, we do another watering. So it's our final watering. But then when we do is we get into stacking the trays.

And we, I talk a lot about stocking and in the workshop, we're serving many purposes when we're stacking, but one of the purposes, as it relates to soil is pressing the seed into the soil to ensure a contact. So we're not so much compressing the soil as we are making sure there's good contact between the seed.

And the soil surface. And so we're using pressure to do that. And that's one of the reasons we're stacking trays during the germination process is to keep that contract really strong. And anecdotally I've seen it dozens of times, and other people have experienced it as well. You do all your seeding and get your trays. You stack them. And then for some reason, maybe you don't put a weight on top of one of the stacks, or you set a tray aside and forget to stack it, even though it's covered and then you go to uncover your crops and you can clearly see that tray is not going to have germinated as well. A part of that is there's not as much contact with the seed and soil, so there's less surface area for water to move into the siege, to facilitate germination.

Diego: [00:21:02] So when you think about stacking, that's the main advantage of stacking right there, As you're pressing the seed into the soil. Yes, or is there other stuff happening as well?

Chris Thoreau: [00:21:13] Yeah, so there's, there is multiple reasons to stack. So another reason would be, if you look at a square footage basis are not thinking about vertical space. You can step put one tray in a space where you can put three trays there. So if you've got them stacked, you're making much better use of that space. And so the way the food pedal our system is set up is there's quite a small area for germination, which is a little warmer than the growing area, because that's really crucial for germination and we can fit, Tons and tons of trays and that little area that we then, uncover to get into that into the growing cycle.

And it goes into an area that's, Five times as big. So it's a much better use of space because you don't need to have stuff all laid out for germination. It's just germinating. It's in the dark. You don't need lights, you do need airflow. so fans are important, but it makes very good use of space.

another thing it does is it's keeping light out. And so you actually don't want too much light too early in the process, with the dark. It does cause the plants to stretch a little bit. And so that's going to help them get a little taller and light does light when it's, causing the creation of chlorophyll.

chlorophylls bitter. And so the eye. Deal grow cycle is with really fast cycle crops is, they're just really finishing greening up on the day or the day before you harvest. And so there's a nice amount of chlorophyll in there for a healthy plant, but not so much that it's starting to get better because of that.

the fourth reason for stacking, I think that's what we're at is, is, the pressure. Which I've alluded to. It makes the sprouts and the grains stronger. They're pushing up a tray above them. And that pushing gives them a much stronger STEM, which gives you a more stable crop. I think it gives you a firmer texture.

And I actually think it causes them to store a lot better because of that. and then I guess number five would be, when you do with your, germination process, there's no watering, if you're growing carrots outside, you've got to keep some watering and water and moisture, two to three weeks to get them to germinate.

With the stacking, there's nowhere for the water to evaporate to. So once you've done your initial watering and snatched them, you don't have to think about that again until you uncover them. stacking, really has multiple purposes and all of them play a very crucial role in giving you a really good end product.

Diego: [00:23:35] When you stack, eventually you have to unstack. Tips for people in terms of when to unstack. Is there. too long or too early.

Chris Thoreau: [00:23:47] so my rule of thumb is to always, unstack earlier than later, if for whatever reason, it's like, Oh, these are almost cause it happens. It's these are almost ready to unstack, but I know I'm not going to be back here until tomorrow evening.

And at that point they're going to be. too far gone. So I'm going to uncover them early. that's my rule of thumb. It's a little different for each crop, but if I was to say, I'm looking for indicators, it varies per crop, but as when you've stacked your trays, when they're just seated trays and you've just stopped them, they're all perfectly aligned.

Everything they're there. They're horizontally they're there they're parallel. And as they, as the seeds start to push it up, they remain parallel until you start to see a one tipping, a little to the left and a little tipping to the right, that tipping, and then the lack of parallel layout for, the trays.

That's an indicator actually. So if I see if I come in and I see, trays on a real sharp angle or anything like that, it's okay, those. Those seeds are pushing. They're screaming to get out of that. And at that point, it's way too much. And I've got some pictures in the workshop that give you examples of this at the same time.

If you're looking at it and you're asking yourself, are those terminated enough? Are those far enough. And then they're not far enough when they're germinated and the pushing up the trays, you can see some of the STEM, you can see some of the quarter lead-ins, you can see them under there.

yeah. So you're looking for things like that. probably the rule of thumb might be once they're up an inch to an inch and a half, that's a pretty good point to uncover them. once you're entered routine, it should almost be, And this is how it is at the food.

Pedalers like you uncover Monday morning and Thursday morning or whatever the cycle is. And it's just, the system is just designed. So they're at the perfect height at that time, which is more a matter of when you see it and what the temperature is for that cycle. So sometimes you come in on your unstacking morning for that shift and you're like, Oh, These guys aren't quite, you guys aren't quite as tall as I'd like them to be.

that means the temperature has been too low, or if they're much taller than you thought it means the temperature is higher than you anticipated. So at different times of the year, it can be hard to regulate that because, you've got a lot of fluctuation within a week. you got a power outage, something happens or it's just so cold that, your growing system can't keep up with the heating.

There's all these different factors. When you're doing say two harvests and two sewings a week, you get to know those patterns pretty quick. I can walk into the greenhouse, look at this, look at the germinating, trace and tell you right away. They're on. They're on, they're perfectly. OnCourse, they're a little bit behind.

They're a little bit ahead that it's just automatic now. And a lot of it is actually just the parallel nature of the trays and the Heights that they've had. They've risen.

Diego: [00:26:36] If you think about everything we've covered at this point, are there areas in here that you think people tend to mess up based upon just growers you've talked to in the past consults that you've done, is there some people are missing?

Chris Thoreau: [00:26:52] I think that thing that probably happens to most it's happened to me many times, even though I know not to do it is when a crop is behind, we tend to want to give it more water. and we know that water is part of the process of photosynthesis and, water is important for plants, but.

Equally too much water drowns plants. And so I caution against over-watering or using water as a means of speeding up growth. It never ever does that. You always just need the right amount of water. your general strategy for speeding up growth is going to be, in increasing your temperature.

I think watering is the biggest thing that. Tricks people and it's anything else consider it almost like muscle memory when you're learning an instrument or a sport or some sort of technique. It just comes over time of doing it again and again, you have a sense of how much water something needs and how you're going to get it to that.

To the crop. Watering is probably the biggest challenge people have. So another one, actually, another one that's coming to mind now is seeding rates. Is at what rates do you see different crops? And there's a huge variation between, Bazell to radish, to sunflower, to P in terms of what you use.

I tend to give my seeding rates in volume because it's really easy to just take a scoop of seed and put it on a tray it's very quick. Whereas using a weight means you have to take a scoop of seed. You need to check its weight. You need to adjust the way it's really easy to adjust volume much more so than it is to adjust the weight.

So I use volume as my main means of communicating sewing rates. The. Yeah, the rule would be, as you increase the number of seeds on the soil surface, your yield is going to go up and it's going to go up and up and up until a point where the seeds are going to the yield. And especially the yield perceived sewed is going to start to go down because there's too much competition between, Between the seeds that are on the, on the soil surface.

And so things don't grow very well. And so if you can use an example, so you put two seeds on a soil surface and and then on one tray and then another tray, you have 10 cups and it's, it's four inches thick of seed. You can tell by using extremes, how that plays out in different ways.

And so if you narrow those windows and go, okay, wait, now I'm going to go like a cup of seeds to a cup and a quarter to a cup and a half to a cup and three quarters and see you and see what I get from those. so two of the things I'm looking for there are, what is my yield for portray, which means my yields per unit area and what is my seed to microgreens ratio, which means for every gram of seed I'm sowing.

How many grams of microgreens am I getting? And so that'll vary a bit as you get to the peak, your peak production, where you might say, okay. If I, so at this rate, I'm getting a. A 4.5, I'm getting 4.5 grounds for every gram of seed I sowed and that's as high as I can get it. So that's my best return for making that seed into something more.

It's gone up, four and a half times. but if I add more seats to the tray, it actually goes down to 4.2, but my overall yield goes up. And so then it's a matter of, are you trying to get as much yield from that space as possible? Or do you want to maximize the use of your seat to make that as efficient as possible?

there's two sort of competing philosophies about that. At a certain point, I stopped taking measurements of those things and I never tweaked things by half a cup or a quarter, a cup or anything because when you start sewing hundreds of trays at a time, You're always sewing about, a cup and a half, and there's going to be a little bit of variation.

And so you get to start to get a sense of the visual, layout of the seat on a train. You just look at a train and gone, that's overseen, or that's under seated and you shift things around now, the trick is. Your seeding rate within a certain crop will change depending on the seed. So people will say, you do 400 milliliters for sunflower.

I've had a range from 350 to 500 milliliters for sunflower, depending on the seed, which would depend how big is it is what the germination rate is. and how big the COTA lead-ins are, the leaves are cause that's going to vary. So you have to know for each lot of seed that you bring in what your seeding rate is going to be.

So you'll have a range for crops, sunflowers and yeah, so that's three 50 to four 50 milliliter range. but it's going to vary. So anytime you bring in a new lot of seed, if there's very big differences from that seed, you need to redo that calculation and make sure you've got it right for that. So it will vary between lots of seats. So keep that in mind and don't just go Oh, I'm sewing the proper amount. I don't know why this new seat isn't doing very well. Because that's seeding rate, doesn't work for that particular seed.

Diego: [00:31:41] When you think about yield of your final product and what that yield is in terms of both quality that could be taste texture that could be volume or weight, and that could be size based all based upon what the end user wants.

There's many things you can do to tweak that end yield. You can go to the deeper tray. You can put more water in, you can change your seed density, light conditions and temperature probably affect this. If somebody is trying to optimize yield with all these variables in there, which one do you think you start to play around with first and not get in this mix of well, I'm changing seating density, and I'm changing the amount that I water and I'm changing soil depth.

Chris Thoreau: [00:32:31] While you are doing, Oh, you're probably going to do a lot of those things. The thing you're not going to change is your soil depth. once you've made that decision and that's, you're willing, probably right now the food battlers have. 4,001 and a quarter inch trace. we don't need to replace all those to go to a deeper tray, but it's a big investment to switch trays.

there's a bunch of stuff that happens. So that's a decision it's this is the tray we use. This is the system we use. That's going to stay the same. but watering, so watering is something I change all the time. in the summer in order to keep the crops smaller, we starved the crops of water for a day or a half a day.

And so they will, and then we water them back. So that slows their process down. in the summer we reduce our seeding rate a little bit to have more, a little bit more space between the plants. to have better air flow because the disease risk goes up. And because the plants are a little bigger, the yield ends up being about the same for a smaller amount of seed.

So we're getting a better seed to microgreen ratio in that case. so unfortunately you're often looking at a number of those factors. but watering is, is more of a way to reduce your yield than to increase it. and seeding rage as a way of keeping your yield consistent while using less seed as your temperature changes, another sort of approach might be say, your market is predominantly like very big, tall, sprouts for juicing and big salads or something like that.

There's also customers who want like a really small, like a, like a. two inch STEM with that, almost a two, one inch wide leaf. So your STEM to ratio, STEM to leaf ratio is very different than if it's a big, long STEM with a small leaf. And so what you can do then is you can still grow all your crops primarily, really big, but you can cut the sprout a lot smaller.

So you, you end up with a lot of wasted STEM. Which I have yet to come up with a very good use for, but that's going to go into your compost mix and hopefully end up somewhere else as high quality organic matter in those cases, because you're going to get a lower yield portray because you're harvesting less matter.

You're going to put your price up for that. So I always talk about, keeping up your price per tray. Whether that tray is, yielding, I killed a gram and a half or 400 grams. you still want the value of that trade to be the same, no matter what the crops are. I'm not sure if I answered your question there.

Diego: [00:34:54] No, no, I think it's good. It's one of these things, from talking to a whole bunch over the last few years and just knowing how you approach things, people are going to have to go at this as a process. Like you have some ideas where to start�this show, your workshop, talking to other growers will give you a base point, but there's many variables that are more or less kind of universal, like trade depth.

But there's a lot of things like the conditions that you're growing in the temperature to the light, the humidity in there that are going to vary site by site. So I think anybody getting into this. Is really going to have to start with kind of this common knowledge, grow a bunch of stuff, trial a bunch of stuff, and probably what, spend that first year just testing to get to where they think they're at an optimum. For each of their products based upon what the customer wants.

Chris Thoreau: [00:35:51] So how quickly you get to that point, it's going to depend on how much work you put into it. I certainly didn't get there in a year. but when I started, there were a lot of, a lot less resources. there were a few things out there on the lab, but in the past 10 years, the amount of microgreens.

Growing information that has come alive on the web is a lot. and I, over the years started going, Oh, I want to grow. Bazell, I'm going to see what other people are doing. I want to grow cilantro. I want to see what other people are doing. whereas, 10 years ago, those, I couldn't find any information on crops like that.

So the, your rate of learning is going to depend on the rate of efforts you put into that, Even if I think there's, this is maybe getting to maybe a little philosophical, but I think there's a, it's important to, accept that you're going to have to go through a process to learn. we. I think partially our generation and definitely some of the following generations.

We like things handed to us ready to go, and easy to figure out. But the reality is a certain things, no matter how ready it comes to you, you still need to learn. To experience about what that process looks like. And especially what happens when something in that process goes wrong.

And especially if you can identify what went wrong, we find situations where the crops just weren't growing and we're like, what's going on here. And other times where we know what's going on, it's too hot or it's still too cold, but how do we deal with it? so part of it is. that, and even if you have a turn key operation, there, those things, even if you've read it and been instructed in something you're often taking in so much information, that it, when it comes time to use certain types of information, you forget that you've learned it or you've forgotten it or whatever it is.

So I think it's important to be prepared for that, for that process and accept that. So that makes it easier. I'm going to have to learn. There's going to be some growing pains. but because I'm making an effort and because I have instruction and I've done this workshop and I've done these consults, my growing pains are way less than they could be. And in the end, th emotional stress and the financial stress you're going to experience is going to be.

Diego: [00:37:59] Anything you do, there's going to be a process. You're not going to have it all handed to you. You're going to have to figure it out. And even if you think you're starting with all the answers, you're going to start and very quickly realize that you have none of the answers and you're going to have to come to them.

Chris Thoreau: [00:38:13] a little addition onto that is, I think an important part of the learning process is either teaching other people or dialoguing. And I think I've confessed this before, but I've learned some of my most profound. and deeply moving microgreens, lessons. In our conversations and it's sometimes not until I'm explaining it to you or I've explained it to somebody else that I don't realize how fully or how fully I do or do not understand something.

And so that's that dialogue in whatever way you have it, whether it's with your coworkers, whether it's with a mentor, whether it's with a consultant, whether it's whatever it is. some online forums that is a huge key that accelerates your learning exponentially.

Diego: [00:38:58] I know you started your career with micro rains growing one crop. You went to market with one crop for somebody new starting out or somebody who's trying to really clean up an operation or get it back on track or getting it on the right track. How do you advise people to say, how many crops do you take on to start with? And I'm somebody when I look at this from the outside, I think, okay.

If I'm going to grow one crop, sunflower. I can spend all my time growing sunflower, analyzing the nuances of it, getting it perfect. And then once I have that figured out, I add on a new one and we've done an episode on this in the past, where if you're starting with 10, now you got to pay attention to 10 different crops and know all the little intricacies of them.

obviously, if you start with one, you can only sell one and that's a tougher go. The SAB 10, maybe that's better for your market. Given your experience growing a whole bunch of, microgreens trying a whole bunch of different crops for people that are having issues or starting out. Do you just limit that to a few crops to start?

Chris Thoreau: [00:40:08] I think so. I think we have a tendency to take on too much. I could just be speaking for myself there, but I see it a lot. we want to. We want to get, we want to start at the end point and I keep talking about, it's important to build up to the point where you sell 10 crops or 15 crops. You don't start there.

you don't start with super-duper water, catchment systems and solar panels on the roof and, geothermal heat you get there. And so same thing with choosing crops. I think the reason I got away with it. Growing. So the first year I grew sunflower, I was also growing vegetables. So I could grow sunflower, as a way of adding another product.

It was simply another product I brought to market. And so there wasn't a lot resting on that, but the second year I started growing them just as a microgreen on itself that I literally, I went to market with one product. There was a bit of risk in that, but there was a couple of things that I took into consideration.

And I've talked about this before, is that it's more than in that case, it was more than just the product. It was the whole package that I offered. And so it was a. It was a unique product that nobody was carrying at the market. It was grown in an urban environment. It was grown organically. The quality was, unsurpassed.

it was very good quality. I brought it to market by bicycle. So people were intrigued with the package. And in my initial, year of doing that, I would sell $500 in one single product or more at a farmer's market. I couldn't go to that same farmer's market now, 10 years later, nine years later, and do that too many people have micro greens here and there. as ad-ons at different points in the year, there's a lot of good quality products there. So you couldn't do that. So you need to know what your market is and what your market can bear. And if you've got a fairly good market, that, has a good weekly, crowd, and you don't, there's nobody selling any of those products there.

You can probably start with one, or if you want to add a product to a product line you've already got, you can start with one. so that's going to depend on your situation. the other advantage of starting with one is, you're not throwing yourself in over your head. You're not buying three different types of seed.

Marketing three different types of crops, which you may market very differently to very different audiences, whether that's CSA chefs, farmer's markets, different types of chefs at different types of restaurants. There's different approaches there. So it takes some of that pressure off.

and if you're just doing one crop, chances are, you're not doing it full time. you've got some flexibility. And so it's a, it's something you can play with while you're living the rest of your life. And doing these other things, maybe exploring them at the same time or already researching your second crop, in another way.

So you need to really know again what your market is, what your situation is, what your capacity is in order to do that. In some cases, you've got an operating farm. You've actually got the infrastructure. There's a team of you, you add a crop and then three weeks later you add another crop and you can add your crops quickly. And so you're still doing one crop at a time, but you're actually adding them in very quick order.

Diego: [00:43:15] So know yourself, know your market. And I think a lot of people will grow into this stuff. No pun intended. Like you get better at handing the variability and adapting. The more you do it, at least that's my take on things.

Chris Thoreau: [00:43:28] It happens. It actually happens against your will you learn when you're in a learning situation, whether you want to or not. And I think that's, not to wax philosophical again, but I think it's why you get In certain workplaces, there are certain training you have to do. if you go into a workplace and you have to do cultural sensitivity training, you have no choice.

But to learn that, and even if you're resistant to it, you now have these new ideas, these new values that are implemented into your knowing of the world. And so whether you like it or not, that learning is going to cause you to change. And the same thing happens with learning to play an instrument. Or learning to grow a crop that change takes place. So that learning process is very important to becoming, becoming an expert basically.

Diego: [00:44:11] And as people learn more, they evolve when it comes time to harvesting, there's a lot of ways to harvest microgreens from your machete technique, which you did at one point in time to, I recently saw a video Curtis put up of, he visited a huge micro-greens growing operation on the East coast that was using essentially a bandsaw to do a large number 200 flats or something like that a day for somebody as a small or a grower, doing somewhere in the range of 10 to 250 flats a week. How do you approach harvesting in terms of equipment to harvest? When you're trying to make it efficient yet, make clean cut. That's going to make a nice product.

Chris Thoreau: [00:45:02] Your two basic cutting options to start. assuming you're just starting smaller, working up are going to be either scissors or a knife. And as a general rule, I've always, I've not always been a really lean towards the knife.

And the reason being, which I always summarize is that a knife cuts. But as soon as there's terror. And if you do some cutting of any microgreen, with scissors and a knife, and then you take a look at them under a dissecting scope, you can actually see the difference. You can see how clean the knife cut is.

It's just a slice. It's like it's natural. Whereas with the scissors, you can see ripped ends and what ripped ends mean is more surface area. And, the basic tenant of rapid decomposition is increase their surface area and things will break down quicker. And you'll notice that in microgreens that you cut with scissors, the ends will start to Brown, quicker than if you cut them with a knife, assuming you're cutting them well with the knife and your knife is sharp, which moves on to you need to sharpen your knife.

A lot. and it took me a long time to learn that lesson. I do not know why. and the way we do knives now is we've got both a sharpening process and a honing process. So honing is when you take a steel, he needs sees chefs in the kitchen doing that. And they're taking that. They're taking the knife and they're running it quickly.

Along this long steel cylinder called a steel. And the reason they do that, while people think of it as sharpening a knife, it's not technically sharpening, it's called honing. And so the way a knife dolls is when you're using it gets these microscopic wiggles in the blade. And it's over time.

That makes it doll. So if you're using your knife frequently, you're also frequently honing it on the steel and that removes those wiggles. And you're really just gliding the knife across the steel. very lightly. You wouldn't push as if you're doing it under sharpening stone. And so the process where we do at the food Pedallers now is, every three or four trays, you take the knife and you go to the steel and you hone it.

And then you've all kind of few more trays. You go to that. The steel and you hone it. You go to the trays. and we got to a point where we're just realized, like we go through knives really quickly, and then we just realized, that's safe. We're cutting a lot. Of course, we're going through knives quickly.

if you're a trail runner, you go through, you go through shoes quickly. if you're a swimmer, egos or bathing suits quickly, you're just, things were down. so there's the choosing your equipment and then there's the maintenance of your equipment. And that's, there's a time factor in that.

And so we would look at, if we're looking at cutting trays, one of the things we're going to say as well, we want a good uniform cut. We want it to be consistent. We want us to be quick. And so we were codeword. How long does it take me to cut 10 trays? And then it gives you that number. It took me three minutes and so it's whatever, I'm not going to do the math 18 seconds is portray or whatever.

And Another way to look at it is, so let's say you're going to shift from a knife or scissors up to a more automated process. And we've talked about this lots over the years with the food Pedallers and there's some fairly big units you can buy for very high volume, which is beyond our capacity and then there's modifications.

And one of the modifications is to use the Green's harvester. So you Mount it and you, it's a reciprocating blade. So you Mount it and then you push the tray through it and it cuts the tray very quickly. But there's steps in that process that you don't have when you're, doing trays by knife.

Like when you're doing it by an ITE, grab the tray, put it, and you cut it with the greens harvest there. You're going to you're going to get the tray. You're got to position. You're going to push it through. You're going to pull through the other side. So there's still some steps to it that take time, even though the actual cutting part is going to be less, the other thing is, so that blade on your harvest or your greens harvest, it also needs to be sharpened and that's going to take longer than honing your knife.

And so there's this other. aspect and it's actually more of a, specialized sharpening process in order to do that as well. So that takes some skill to learn. So there's an, a different time, commitments you have that's separate from the harvesting process itself, but crucial to making sure that it's, that the harvesting process remains efficient by having a sharp.

Blade. so these things do need to be balanced against each other. And then of course the more elaborate or advanced your system is the more it's going to cost you. so you've got to think about, is that money worth it? Are we getting enough of a return by investing in this machine as opposed to doing something by hand by knife or by scissors? I'm of the sharp blade mindset and I'm actually still of the opinion that the machete is probably still the best way to do it. it's just a little dangerous. And so there's that whole thing to think about as well.

Diego: [00:49:58] It's just sharp knife. Smooth cut. Done. Is the smooth cutting, eliminating like the Browning of an end or the way that green holds post-harvest.

Chris Thoreau: [00:50:10] It is. So there's two, depending on the microgreen there's two factors. And one is exactly that. If you've got, think about a frayed rope, if you've got a rope and you make a nice clean cut, and then you actually, you caught a rise that end, it stays. But if you saw it through our open ends up being really frayed, that rope's going to start to untangle and fall apart.

And so what we're trying to do is maintain the integrity of the STEM with a good cut. And like I said, if you've got access to a dissecting scope, which generally, it magnifies things about 20 times, cut some microgreens with scissors and cut them with a knife and you can see. You can physically see the difference, the tearing versus a nice clean cut.

And you can also see the difference between a sharp knife and the doll. Nice. And you can also see, when you're thinking about cutting, you're cutting a portion of a tray at a time. Usually. you can tell when somebody has slowed down, when they're doing a cut, as opposed to keeping a good, fast motion through the whole thing, they've slowed down a bit and you can see tearing near the end of a bunch of microgreens where there's been, where there's been some tearing as opposed to cut it.

So there are indicators there. And what you will see is you will see Browning on the ones that are more frayed that have a higher surface area than on the ones that have a nice clean cut on a flat surface. So it's a similar concept and we're pruning trees. You want a nice clean cut. You don't want to be, you don't want to have a bunch of points sticking out and frayed. What do you want? A nice and clean a flat surface, so it can heal very well.

Diego: [00:51:42] one other topic. I tend to see questions on is forgetting knife. Forget scissors, don't harvest at all, and just sell a live tray of microgreens to an end customer. Have you tried that in the past and what are your thoughts of it on it?

Chris Thoreau: [00:52:05] So this is another one of those topics. I've had a lot of conversations about, but a lot of thought into, and. Over the year. So the food paddler's does very few live uncut trays. The one product that we do with that, with this week with this wheat grass, and that comes down to basically a combinating the wheat grass, purists who say, you need to cut it and juice it and drink it within, A second, they're very adamant about the quality in that timing.

So cutting wheat grass and bagging it and shipping it. And even if somebody chooses to that at that day, the purists are like, nah, that's not how you do wheat grass. we don't have a huge wheat grass market. but that's the take on that. We do bad stuff as well, because there is a market for that.

but we do those trays. a couple of things to consider with trays. if you think about, how much space a tray of sunflower takes it as a pound and a half of sunflowers on it, relative to that pound and a half bag, it's really easy. It's much easier to carry that pound and a half bag and multiples of that pound and a half bag.

you put them in a cooler, you can carry, a couple of hundred dollars worth quite easily. No problem. Carrying a couple of hundred dollars worth of trays. It's going to take up a lot of space. So you need a very good method to transport them that maintains the sanitary integrity of the product, which means you can't just throw them, on the, in the backseat of your car, in your trunk.

they, it needs to be shipped as if it's, A living thing that people are going to eat. You wouldn't throw heads of lettuce in that you wouldn't do that with other crops. So you can't do that with living stuff either. actually one of the distributors that we sell wheat grass to, we actually have to take a week grass to them in a box.

So it actually has to come in a box so it's protected and it can be stocked. So that sort of requirement in that case, another thing out. And the other thing, obviously, as, as we've talked about, as the food battlers do deliveries by bike. And so delivering trays by bike, Yeah, there's only so many you can carry and a lots of opportunity for contamination when you're writing this stuff, even if they're protected in some way through the city streets.

so the other thing is. there's a bit of a trick in, so when do you take that tray to your customer and how well is your customer going to be able to maintain that trays quality while it's in their possession? So there are some cases where we take fresh wheat grass at its prime to a juice bar. And they take it and they put it in their fridge.

And so it's actually just stops. It's like a, it's like a cold spell. It stops growing. it maintains its quality pretty well. Doesn't need a lot of watering, just a little bit of maintenance works fine. if you're a chef though, you might want, some live Tracey or a kitchen. and so you might have it out so you can snip from it as you need it.

So kitchens are mostly very dark. lots of food and stuff around and lots of ways for stuff to get contaminated. It's really difficult to maintain the quality of that tray in the restaurant, unless they're set up very specifically for it. And so chefs really liked that idea of super fresh.

But it actually doesn't stay very super fresh for very long because the lack of light causes, crops to go yellow very quickly. They start reaching for the light. So they topple over. So you can deliver a train that looks perfect. And then within a day and a half, it starts to look sick. And so the chef is losing the advantage of having that live uncut tray, unless they've got a really good system in place for maintaining it.

So an ideal system might be, you've got, some climate control. You've got an area in your kitchen or in your restaurant where you can put the tray, it's got some lights specifically for it. but then the trick is, we grow trays on very quick cycles. and we cut them at the optimum time and, Thursday, that tray might be too immature to cut.

Friday might be perfect. And then Saturday it might be overgrown. And so at what point do you take that tray to your restaurant to use it? my intuition would be to take it the day before, but then they actually can't use it till the next day or they kill it, but they're going to re they're going to lose yield because they're harvesting it when it's not at its maximum or optimum height.

The other thing is, you're growing in soil, assuming you're growing in soil, And you're taking soil and do a kitchen and soils and kitchens. they just don't mix. We get this question. A lot, people really want to go towards the live uncut trays. Part of it is, I think, freshness of living through aspects, but I think the other one is which I will strategically, or maybe not strategically called call lazy.

If you don't have to do the cutting and the bagging and the story and all that stuff, boy, that sure is going to be a lot easy, a lot easier. but the reality is it's not your you're trading one set of challenges or one set of steps processes, for another. And your market for live uncut trays is probably very small relative to stuff.

That's cut chefs know, good chefs will know that, something that's. Cut and fresh and stored. it's going to keep, I can cut, pea shoots and they can store my fridge for two weeks and be in almost the exact same condition after two weeks as if they're stored properly so that the quality of product is actually better.

In many cases. Let's just cut. And if you're doing regular production, twice a week, or even once a week, you're always replenishing a chef stock. So they don't have to worry about their package stuff going off because they're only delivering once a month or something. You're always giving them fresh products. It comes up again and again, I just, I can't see a model where live uncut SREs is superior to cut, microgreens.

Diego: [00:57:44] outside of wheat grass. If you ever had a chef. Or a customer of size request, live uncut trays?

Chris Thoreau: [00:57:51] Yeah. And we actually get them all the time. we take wheat grass trace to market, and often we take other trays to market partially for display, but then people like, Aw, can I buy a tray? And we signed some people request trays. So we grow it for them specifically. and that's on and off. And often it's the same customer. They need them for events or they dislike it. And then we get customers who want the trays, like we've grown, sunflower wheat, grass in pots. And so they can be used for eating or juicing, but they're creating a display as well for an event or for a wedding or something like that.

So there are different, they do pop up once in a while. And often what happens, we, chef calls and says, I want to do a live trays. We have the conversation that I just talked about there. And they say, I still like to try them. And I say, fine. And we do delivery for a few weeks.

And they say, after a couple of weeks, can you just cut them and bring them that way? It's I think it's good for people to go through a learning process. And sometimes it's listen, I'm just going to save you the hassle and save you the money and save it. So that was very contradictory, what we talked about earlier.

but as a, you know what I'd like to call like a, an ethical business or a business, that's looking at many different aspects of contributing to society. I'm looking out for our customer in that way, and I'm not giving them that advice to say, it's just a hassle for us. So why don't you do this instead?

It's nah, it's a hassle for us because of all these reasons, and it will be a hassle to you. And if there was a market there and people really wanted them, I'm sure we would find a system to make that make sense. But the combination of not having great systems to maintain them, to deliver them, transport them, and not having demand makes it a, yeah, not, not that compelling of an argument for me.

I'd love to hear feedback from people listening to this. And from there it's through email or comments, how you make it work. and the amount of effort that goes into that, and whether that's better than, than cutting them

Diego: [00:59:47] and hearing you talk on it. It's one of those things that goes back to something else that we talked about earlier in the episode. If you're selling a few trays to a few customers live on cut, but you're cutting everything else again. It's just another process to do another thing to maintain. if I'm doing this, I'm doing it all in. I'm either selling everything live on cut or I'm cutting it all versus trying to have to do this for one customer and this for another one.

Chris Thoreau: [01:00:15] Yeah. And actually the way the food paddlers do it now is we don't. With the exception of some very local wheat grass deliveries. if you want wheat grass, it's a minimum order of like 10 or 15 trays, depending where you are. And if you want a tray like a single tray as a one-off, you have to come and pick it up.

We're not going to deliver it to you. so we can accommodate that to a degree. but we generally don't go out of our way to do it. Yeah. I think a thing I'd add to that is if I'm a restaurant or a juice bar, a cafe, and I want live microgreens, you need to actually develop a system to grow them on site.

And so you're growing them there. You're maintaining them there. You're still actually cutting them. and washing them and whatnot and using them that way, but you may be cutting them daily. So you're cutting them and using them that day and like how fucking fresh to things need to be, I don't think there's, I don't think there's any, I actually use the term as a marketing slogan years ago, I call it unreasonably fresh.

Like our stuff is unreasonably fresh. Cause we don't, we cut it. We deliver it to you. Within a few hours by bicycle. that's unreasonable. that is the freshness of privilege. And so if it's not good enough for somebody to deliver you something, fresh cut once a week or twice a week, your expectations of what fresh needs to be are way out of proportion to, reality.

And it's a real indicator of maybe just a little bit of a sense of over privilege. We've got at this point in history that gets us thinking like that. Sorry, that's like a little bit of a rant, but how fresh do we need things? What we need are, businesses that make sense that contribute to communities that are economically viable and these customizations and things like that are the things that actually make that very difficult.

So part of the education of customers is like in order for us to run a sustainable business with very tight margins, You can't be making stupid requests like that. you've got to, you've got to, see the system we're offering and either let us know if you see value in it or not

Diego: [01:02:18] micro green grower, Chris, the row, and some thoughts on unreasonably fresh. If you're somebody out there who's selling, microgreens buy the tray alive. Uncut. Send me an email. I'd love to chat more about doing a podcast episode with Chris to talk about how you're doing it. Now, a couple constraints to that request.

When I say selling live uncut microgreens by the tray. in volume, let's say you're selling. 20 trays or more a week consistently. And you've been doing that for well over six months. there's an established trend here. If you do that, it's working, you're making money doing it. And you want to share your story.

Shoot me an email Diego at permaculture voices. And we can talk about chatting more on the show. And if you like a lot of this drilling in on all the fine details that go into growing really good micro greens, and you want to learn more from Chris, be sure to check out Chris's online course, the growing your micro greens business course, that course is slash micro grains.

If you're starting a microgreens business, or if you're having trouble growing microgreens in your system, I highly recommend you check out the course given Chris's experience. I think you'll get your money's worth and it'll really help you out. Once again, learn more about that. Visit permaculture or visit the link in the description.

Thanks for listening today. Next week, I won't be back with a new episode because I'm going to take a week off, but I will be back in two weeks with another small scale farmer making a go of it between now and then keep hustling and crushing it and stay tuned for that episode where it's all about farming, small and farming smart.

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