Introducing Charlie's Microgreens: An Outdoor Farm Located in the Heart of Miami
This time we are happy to share the story of Charlie's Microgreens - this is the first typical outdoor microgreen farm featured on Microgreenology. Find out if microgreens raised under the sun taste better than the ones grown under artificial lights. Enjoy reading!
What's your name? What’s the Name of your farm and where are you based?
My name is Carlos Perez Mauri AKA Charlie (28). I am a husband and a father of two girls. We are a small family urban farm project that just started growing microgreens for ourselves and the community. We are slowing adding more customers, mostly unique restaurants that would enjoy our microgreens.
We are based in a rural area in Miami where we have a large backyard and we created a space to grow our microgreens. Our farm project is called Charlie’s Microgreens and we do full sun microgreens outdoors. Growing outdoors has many challenges from rain , high heat, and coming up, hurricanes.
I love plants and growing for me is the biggest satisfaction. There is just something about seeing a seed becoming something you can eat that absolutely catches me.
What's the story behind Microleaf Greens?
This farm started out just by me trying to grow some microgreens for a restaurant I was working with. I had spent 3 years as the sauce chef and I noticed we were spending almost 100$ worth of microgreens per week!
So I decided to give it a go and start experimenting with microgreens.
Then the pandemic hit and I lost my job!
From that moment on I was full steam on microgreens. I started my journey purchasing everything I was going to need from trays to growing medium and all my seeds. Started a website and the Instagram account @charliesmicrogreens. I also turned in my Facebook page that was called All We Need is Hemp' into Charlie’s Microgreens.
We are still in the beginning stages of our farm and we are still learning the good and the bad and looking for clients at this time is very discouraging
When I go outm all I see are empty and sometimes shut down restaurants. But we have faith that things will go back to normal and we will be ready!
What's the funniest/most exciting story you've experienced while running the farm?
I learned to always get seeds from reputable sources. Once I bought over 2 pounds of coriander seed thinking I would be able to sprout them into cilantro. Guess what - it turns out they don't sprout! 😀 At least I was able to get some use of them as a chef.
What types of microgreens and other produce are you currently growing?
We grow a variety of microgreens, but the most common ones are:
- a radish mix
- kale mix
- wheat grass
- micro basil
- and micro cilantro.
Eventually we will start growing baby greens such as spinach and arugula.
What makes your produce different?
Our products are 100% grown outdoors!
No artificial light, the flavor of our microgreens go beyond what you can imagine. Our radish are strong and spicy, we work hard to bring a perfect looking product. We believe our product is crunchier and tastier than indoor microgreens , they are also organic and pesticide free.
What type of clients do you currently serve and what locations do you cover?
We want to cover the Miami area. We currently serve one restaurant in Miami and we have a couple more interested in our greens. We also serve individuals who are looking into adding some greens to their plates.
View this post on Instagram
Customers are loving our microgreens!🌱 #miamifoodies #downtownmiami #brickell #littlehavana #doralfood #delivery #support local #localbusiness #urbanfarms #chefselection #lifestyle_miami #buylocal #freshfood #livefood #superfoods #brotesverdes #microverdes #charliesmicrogreens @elainedartist
What's Your Mission?
Our mission is to be self sustainable, having enough to live and cover our expenses is our goal in the long run. We also want to teach people the power of microgreens and how they can add them to their diets.
Sadly, a lot of smaller farms and ones that started just recently are struggling to survive due to the huge drop in sales this spring.
Based on your experience, what would you suggest farms in a similar position think about?
Well, this is the beginning for me and is very slow. I am starting with one restaurant and working my way through different social media platforms. I really don't expect for this to be big for now, but as long as I keep the momentum going, things should start getting better.
The Final Rapid 3:
- What’s your favorite course and/or book that helped you learn the in depth knowledge on growing microgreens and starting a business:
I look at a lot of videos on the grow, from the field and Nate from Microgreens Farmers. I also have been gardening for almost 14 years and I'm very comfortable with planting and experimenting with different crops.
There is also no any info on growing microgreens outdoors!
- What's your most favorite farm tool you can’t really run the farm with?
My sprayer! I use alot of H2O2 for fungus control and making everything clean.
What to do next?
If you enjoyed Charlie's Microgreens’ story please do share it on your social media profiles. You can also PM them your questions using any of the social media profiles described below:
- Check the farm's website - www.charliesmicrogreens.com
- Check Charlie's Microgreens Facebook Page
- Follow them on Instagram - @charliesmicrogreens