Clean Greens Micros: A Stunning Microgreens Farm Based in North Port, Florida on a Mission to Support the Local Community
What's your name? What’s the name of your farm and where are you based?
My name is Richard Antes II, representing the up and coming microgreens farm, Clean Greens Micros. Based in sunny North Port, Florida.
What's the story behind Clean Greens Micros?
What all started as a spontaneous idea between a buddy and I while trying to advance our lives as mechanics, the microgreen farming market truly struck our attention in a big way. Almost instantly both he and I dove deep into research, learning all that we could: bottom watering, seed densities, humidity specifics to the crop, the list goes on for what felt like an eternity. Although time consuming and at times frustrating due to lack of knowledge and skill at this time, it was always fun and exciting to learn something new!
Clean Greens Micros is still just beginning to unfold, but we are quite excited to show the world what we are capable of.
Looking ahead, we plan to expand our business exponentially, reaching out to all sorts of consumers, personal clients, restaurateurs/chefs, farmers markets. If there is someone out there willing to take a step into the world of microgreens, we would love to grow for you!
What's the funniest/most exciting story you've experienced while running the farm?
The funniest thing to happen thus far would probably have to be the time we started our first trays. Completely new to microgreens as a whole, there was still so much to learn. For lack of a better word, incompetent would best describe myself at the time. Things were growing great, tons of color, beautiful fragrance, man was I feeling on top of the world.. Until the morning of Day 7.
Along with all of the microgreens, my entire being was deflated. It was an extremely sad moment seeing the whole harvest had fallen over but that is the way I found microgreens are EXTREMELY thirsty. I thought “Hey, maybe they just need more light to stand up and grow” - let’s just say that was NOT the right answer.
Come to find out they were lacking water causing the crop to be flimsy and nimble but with that experience, good or bad, there is always a chance to grow and learn!
What types of microgreens and other produce are you currently growing?
The farm is constantly adapting and exploring new opportunities to grow all different varieties of delectable treats. In our stock at the moment would be the following:
- Basic Salad Mix
- Basil - Genovese
- Beets- Detroit Dark Red
- Broccoli - Waltham 29
- Brussels Sprouts - Long Island
- Cabbage- Red Acre
- Cilantro- Slow Bolt
- Kohlrabi - Purple Vienna
- Mustard- Wasabi
- Pea- Speckled
- Pea - Green
- Radish - China Rose
- Radish - Sango Purple
- Spicy Salad Mix
- Sunflower - Black Oil
There is a small project garden outdoors testing a few varieties of full-size vegetables but the microgreens are the main focus of the farm at this point.
What makes your produce different?
Growing in an organic manner, hand seeding, hand packaging, and hand delivering the day after a harvest to the client would be the tip of the iceberg of what makes Clean Greens Micros stand out.
No filler, no pesticides, no preservatives: just quality soil, superior seed, and care along with a decent amount of effort and patience. On top of that, always wanting to learn and experiment with new crops upon request or even out of curiosity.
We are always searching to develop better product mixes and find opportunities to grow. Clean Greens Micros takes note of feedback from clients and only pushes forward to change for the better in the years to come!
What type of clients do you currently serve and what locations do you cover?
Anyone willing to try microgreens is a potential client for us! Restaurants seem to be a good place to obtain a steady cycle of produce being grown then enjoyed by many but also locals just trying to flare up a dish or just obtain some nutrients in a delicious way are an avenue to explore. No one will be turned away from being given the opportunity to enjoy something healthy yet nutritious.
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Today was harvest day here at Clean Greens Micros! Fridge is packed with Salad Mix, Kohlrabi, Speckled Pea, and Black Oil Sunflower! Whether you want to make a nutritious salad or just feel a little less guilty about eating baked macaroni, we are here to help supply you with everything you need! ☺️🌱
Located in North Port, Florida, we are proudly delivering to Charlotte, Manatee, and Sarasota Counties. This being said, there is always room to expand so who knows; maybe coming to your doorstep next month! We will deliver personally to your kitchen with a smile on our face and scrumptious produce in hand.
What's Your Mission?
To provide nutrient dense, organically grown, produce to support the local community, while informing individuals of the health benefits gained from our product.
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.
What would you do if you were in a similar situation, but had the experience you have today?
As a farm just getting started, there lie only good things ahead in our future. We took this opportunity to delve deep into what it takes to truly create a successful microgreen farm along with a fantastic product for our customers in the years to come. Having these restaurants and businesses closed during this crisis (COVID-19) just gave us a stress-free environment to experiment and explore new ideas without having to meet demands from all angles. Our mission is not to just make a profit, rather to inform those around us about a healthier eating lifestyle. This little microgreen farm will not go down without a fight and expansion is always on our mind.
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:
Knowledge is a phenomenal tool that no one individual can ever take away from you. Lots of insight from other successful microgreen farmers paired with a dash of business etiquette combines to make a basic reduction of what it took to get this farm started.
To name a few, Curtis Stone (Urban Farmer) and Kevin Espiritu (Epic Gardening) helped set a basis for growing the microgreens themselves while taking ideas from influencers such as Gary Vee (VaynerX) in the business realm really helped propel the farm in a great direction.
That being said, we are always searching for new input and feedback from others alongside developing better methods / practices on our own.
- What are your 3 most favorite farm tools you can’t really run the farm without?
Microgreens, although needing an abundance of care and patience to get them just right, do not require that many tools to make them happy and full of life!
First and foremost, we grow all of the greens in soil, making sure the soil is all organic and free of big chunks of wood which could inhibit these little sprouts to pop through.
In addition to the great soil, a nice set of artificial lights on a set schedule keeps the plants growing evenly and efficiently: too much light can burn the crop meanwhile not enough could delay overall growth.
Lastly, we use “1020” trays that we picked up from Bootstrap Farmer and let me preface with saying these are the best trays BY FAR we have come across. They are sturdy enough to relocate without fear of collapsing, have a great system for draining the excess water and allowing root development to take place, and cleaning them is a breeze!
We must all remember that growing a plentiful crop does come down to some basics - quality seed, clean water, and a decent amount of light- the Holy Trinity of the microgreen world.
Do you belong to any online microgreens communities?
The online community has to be by far the most supportive! With all different media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and even now blogging available at our fingertips, so many discussions are had on a daily basis.
The farm has gained a great amount of popularity on Instagram over the past few weeks. Being able to connect with all sorts of clients without having to leave the farm proves to be extremely helpful not only for placing orders but also to allow the farm to push through this pandemic (COVID-19) while respecting boundaries set forth by the governing officials.
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What a surreal moment: not only seeing our best assortment of trays yet but to also reach a milestone of 100 followers in just one short week. It’s moments like this one that leads to remembering why we must continue to strive, to push on, to keep growing, just as these microgreens do each and every day. Although tiny in comparison to many other objects, such an amazing and beautiful package all wrapped up in a petite sprout. Just wanted to say Thank You from the bottom of our hearts here at Clean Greens Micros as we only continue to expand and grow 🤗🌱 Now let’s get ready to fulfill those orders next week- lots of tasty treats in stock for everyone!
We here at Clean Greens Micros invite any and all microgreen enthusiasts, lovers of greens, and even the casual rambling stranger to jump into our discussions and feel free to reach out to us at any time!
What to do next?
If you enjoyed the Clean Greens Micros 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: