NZ: Couple launches microgreens business

Affordable fresh produce can be hard to find in the North — especially in the middle of winter. But Nicolinea Minakis and Chris Shaver are hoping to make northern shopping baskets a little greener all year round.

Together, the couple recently launched their business Northern Greens, selling the microgreens they grow in their indoor vertical farm to local businesses and households. Microgreens are young seedlings of vegetables — like sunflower shoots, pea shoots, and brassica broccoli — harvested shortly after they germinate, usually after the plant has only just sprouted its first two leaves.

"They're usually ready to go — depending on the variety — in seven to 10 days," said Shaver. "So we harvest them when they're at their two-leaf stage, and then we cut them and they're nice and tender and flavourful little plants."

Minakis says microgreens can add "a nice little kick" to a lot of meals — everything from salads to sandwiches, soups, and even lasagna. "My favorite is the broccoli microgreens," she said. "I like mixing them and making little salads to share with everybody. I bring it to work and give little ideas and little flavors to all my coworkers."

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