What happens when you put a 10-pound weight on top of a tray of microgreens?

“It can make the seeds a little stronger,” said Genesis Bigos, co-owner with her husband, Jacob Bigos, of Casi Paraiso Organics. “You’ll actually see it push up the cinder block.”

In a way, the Bigoses are the seeds, and the pandemic was the heavyweight they pushed up to start their organic farm, now located inside a former cold storage facility on Whiting Avenue.

“I was in Local 77, a pipe fitters union, and I had just started a small family,” Jacob Bigos said. Union benefits were good, and he and his wife, a customer service rep, were doing well for more than two years. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and he was laid off from his job in industrial refrigeration with two young children to care for.

Luckily, he has deep farming roots, thanks to his family.

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