A young entrepreneur has been growing and selling microgreens to the Morgantown community since 2014, and now has a greenhouse in the city.
The Micro Produce company is helping to promote alternative crops and their importance to sustainable agriculture.
“The microgreens themselves add a few different things, one is the art, the second is the flavor, texture, and just overall appeal of the plate,” said Jordan Masters, CEO of Micro Produce.
Masters’ lifelong interest in agriculture sparked his interest in microgreens, which soon became his niche crop.
Microgreens are small plants, often the very young seedlings of larger plants such as beets. They are harvested early to take advantage of their strong taste, rich texture and high nutritional value.
“Kale microgreens alone, have the potential to be four times more nutritious than mature kale. So if you think about the kale that you get at a store, the microgreens that we sell are actually four times more nutritious,” said Masters.
After winning a West Virginia Collegiate Business Plan competition, Masters received seed funding that gave him a kick start to the opening of his greenhouse in Morgantown, which has been in operation since October 2016.
“One of my favorite things to do with the microgreens is find ways to get flavors that you wouldn’t typically find in a vegetable, so one of the blends we do is called sorrel patch kids, and it actually tastes more like candy than it does a vegetable, but it’s 100% all leafy greens,” said Masters.
Masters sells to many local eateries including Hill and Hollow, Sargasso, and Daisy Moon Bakery, which is the main retail spot for these tiny plants that are often grown year round.
“Before we started in Morgantown, most of the restaurants around this area were shipping them in from either Ohio or California. So, one of the things we were able to do with being so local, is that we’ve really enhanced the shelf life of them. Which helps the restaurants out a lot. Being able to buy less, and getting more. So it’s been a really good positive impact on the restaurant scene,” said Masters.
Learn more about Micro Produce here.