Every Monday and Thursday, Graham sets off from his farm in Frillesås, Sweden, with a truckload of freshly harvested microgreens grown in his indoor vertical farm. Originally from Scotland, Graham turns heads when supermarket shoppers realize the man arranging his produce on shelves is dressed in a kilt.
Written by Mary d'Apice, Content writer for InstaGreen.
Customers may wander over initially to ask where he's from, but once they are drawn in, the outgoing farmer engages his audience about the health benefits of microgreens and earth-friendly farming techniques he employs at his company, Greeny Grow.
Microgreens packed with nutrients
Graham explains that customers are amazed to learn about the nutritional punch packed in these miniature vegetables. Says Graham, "They have more vitamins and minerals than the full-grown versions." He reveals that peas in microgreen form have 7x more vitamin C than blueberries, and all his produce which includes kale, mizuna, parsley, and the rest, is loaded with antioxidants.
Graham believes that so many diseases that put a strain on our healthcare systems could be avoided if consumers made better food choices. "People just buy these ready-made meals and don't take time to cook. It's sad." He plans to encourage more home cooking by providing simple recipes using QR codes. "You can easily make a quick, healthy meal just by cooking up some scrambled eggs and sprinkling a few broccoli microgreens on top."
Graham always features a microgreen of the month to encourage people to try something new. Superfood status aside, microgreens will entice even picky eaters with their wonderful flavors. "Kids won't eat their broccoli, but they really like broccoli microgreens," Graham has observed.
Growing microgreens with InstaGreen's
Once he decided to cultivate microgreens in an indoor vertical farm, he began scouring the internet for growing systems. "InstaGreen's equipment appealed to me because of its simplicity. It works perfectly," said Graham. Covid forced the group training to go online, but Graham had an interesting weekend. "Anneke and Remko were able to impart all the steps they'd gone through to get to where they were. This meant we could move forward easily without repeating mistakes they had made."
Graham yields about 800 boxes of microgreens a month from 6 units of InstaGreen's system of stackable trays. In addition to supermarkets, Graham and his microgreens can be spotted at restaurants, farmstands, and food trucks. Though InstaGreen's original model is to offer living greens, Graham has adapted to his clients' preferences by harvesting and packaging the freshest, most pristine greens possible in food-safe containers.
While the lights and water are on timers and the low-tech simplicity of the growing system ensures a reliability that requires little to no maintenance, there still are chores to do. Graham confesses that removing husks from sunflower packages is his least favorite task. "I hate sunflowers!" He laughs.
Greeny Grow is a growing business
With produce quickly selling out, Graham wants to scale up the business and increase his sales territory from a 40-kilometer radius to 100 kilometers. "We are currently shaking the trees for investors." He'll need more space, more equipment, funds to cover utilities, more seeds, and most certainly more staff. Will a kilt become the official uniform of Greeny Grow? "With our indoor temperature fixed at 20 degrees 365 days a year, you can wear anything you want or nothing at all!" Graham jokes.
Greeny Grow's early success is due in part to Graham's tireless outreach efforts and eagerness to educate the public. Now that the charismatic Graham has given his community an appetite for delicious, nutritional food produced locally in a sustainable way, people are hungry for more.
For more information:
Anneke Stolk, Co-founder
For more information:
Graham Clark, Owner and Grower