A self-described millennial, Shafer had been growing healthy microgreens, shoots of edible vegetables, fruits, and herbs, primarily for her own consumption. Last summer, she took her products to the weekly farmers market in Wapakoneta and, throughout the summer, found the microgreens to be “well-received.”
That planted the seed, so to speak, that she might be on to something bigger. Doing her research, Shafer obtained the necessary licensing from the state to operate a home business and increased her production of black oil sunflower, broccoli, kale, a “spicy salad mix,” Wasabi mustard, wheat grass, Rambo radish, and speckled peas microgreens.
A growing customer base
What started as a single rack of greens has grown to numerous racks of seedlings sprouting in Shafer’s basement. That has become important as Shafer Urban Farms, the name under which her microgreens are marketed, continues to grow. “I always have seedlings growing. I plant weekly, and I harvest weekly,” Shafer said.
Online sales have increased, and Shafer has also gained customers in two of the area’s finer dining establishments: J.Marie’s in Wapakoneta and The Met in downtown Lima. “The Met has been really good to me,” she said.
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