Welcome to the world of Farming Small and Farming Smart.
Today I’m talking to another small-scale farming making a go of it, as we go to Omaha, Nebraska to take a look at how farmer Taylor Rogers started his farm.
It’s an interesting story that takes Taylor from working behind the scenes in a restaurant kitchen to starting up a farm with no experience in a 3rd story apartment. Being on the third floor dealing with all of the steps made for a tough go of it initially, but Taylor persisted.
In hindsight, he didn’t start out farming in the perfect conditions or with the perfect setup, but the key was that he started and he never looked back.
He back his enterprise in that 3rd story apartment by producing 6 trays of microgreens a week, then leveraging that production and the learnings that came with it to gradually scale up to doing 150 trays of microgreens a week.
He currently grows 20 different crops, and it’s that variety that has been one of the keys to his success. In this episode, he’ll also talk about some of the other things that have made him successful such as growing what chefs want, how they want it, and bringing it when you say you’re going to bring it.
All keys to his current success and keys he learned before he even got into farming when he saw these problems firsthand working behind the scenes in the kitchen. Taylor’s going to share a lot of information and insight in this one about working with chefs.
Today it’s all about growing what chefs want with Taylor Rogers of In Season Omaha.
Notes from the conversation with Taylor:
- Dealing with restaurants:
- Show up on time, when you said you would.
- Bring what you say you were going to bring in terms of quantity or at least communicate ahead of time if you are looking to be short.
- Bring quality, fresh product. Don’t show up with less than perfect product.
- What chefs value:
- Long shelf life product
- Showing up on time
- Bringing what you said you would bring
- Color and height, leaf shape
- Extending shelf life on microgreens:
- Have product well watered before you cut it
- Educating the chefs on what varieties did well in what parts of the fridge
- Not having to wash the product
- Communicate a lot with chefs:
- find out what they like and what they don’t. Adapt and evolve based on their feedback.
- Listen to their suggestions and feedback
- Go to them with an idea of how your idea can help them, and have them help to refine the idea.
- “If you don’t have a huge restaurant base, it’s going to be tough to sell a lot of microgreens.”
- Start producing a good product, get a package, and start bringing it to chefs.
- Taste the product with the chefs while you explain it, open the container, just don’t hand it to them.
Connect with Taylor: