The Inspiring Story of Orlando Microgreens: A Microgreen Farm That Launched Under COVID-19
This time we are featuring Orlando Microgreens. Linda & Marcus launched just recently and they are already on their way to on achieving really good earning from their farm. They both lost their jobs because of the crisis, but decided to take advantage of the time allotted to them and create something unique.
It’s undoubtedly one of the best interviews we’ve taken for Microgreenology. For the first time we are introducing the Rapid 3 questions where farmers are asked to share their favorite books and resources on microgreens as well as their favorite tools they use in their farms on a regular basis.
What's The Name of Your Farm and where are you based?
We have to point out it was a challenge coming up with a name because it says and means so much. All sorts of thoughts when choosing the name of our little “indoor” farm. So we figured we’d keep it simple for healthy minded individuals like us to find pure fresh local delivery of microgreens and call it Orlando Microgreens. Yes we are in Orlando Florida!
What's the story behind Orlando Microgreens?
So let’s share some information about us and our lil' microgreens farm!
Let’s get growing!
My name is Linda Wier and my partner is Marcus Adkins. I'm the brains and he’s the green thumb or wait vice versa?!? Basically we work well together and are thankful that we were able to start this little farm. I say little farm but it comes with much thought, cost, time, responsibility and most important the winning attitude of “Just do it.”
Marcus and I have been together three years and of the three years we also had the pleasure to work together at one of the most amazing fortune 500 companies one could only dream to work for! Our careers were heading down the right path. Focused on retirement by 60! I’m 47 years young and Marcus at 46.
I want to point out Marcus was with the company for 4 1/2 years out of which 3 1/2 he was a top 10 sales agent. He was then promoted to coach - train elite wicked awesome teams!
I had the pleasure of working with the company for 4 years and of those 3 years I was also an agent that was top 10 in sales. My last year with the company I got promoted to advance sales with the company. Meaning I sold some $$$ packages!
However COVID-19 was introduced and we both lost our careers. We wanted to find something we both love to do together, something we could have fun doing and continue to work together.
So we brainstormed and watched YouTube videos. Googled and doodled. I wanted an aquaponics system which would yield fish and lettuce. Marcus wanted to grow mushrooms and make compost.
With my background in engineering and the hospitality industry we figured I could set up and maintain the website. Marcus is also a phenomenal photographer so we figured he’d be great with pictures and video.
So with our combined talents we figured we could start growing, selling, and teaching others how to grow microgreens.
We decided to take advantage of the time allotted to us and create a healthy lifestyle that we could Encourage! Challenge! or Invite! others to do as well.
We thought it would be awesome to have people literally watch us grow! The good the bad the ugly!
How did we start? What are we growing? What do you need to get started? What type of seeds? What problems are we running into? What’s working, what's not working for us?
We will post a new YouTube video every Thursday by 5pm est. We welcome you to follow us on Instagram and like us on Facebook! Sign up via our website OrlandoMicrogreens.com to receive our newsletters. Check out our platforms and let us know what y’all think!
Let’s be clear we’re not professionals with 5-10 15 years of indoor - outdoor professional grow experience! But we also don’t have brown thumbs!
We are the couple that grows jalapeños to make jalapeño poppers to enjoy with our friends and family. We love to grow cilantro, bell peppers, plum tomatoes and some of the ingredients for our sofrito.
We’re just normal everyday folks that have enjoyed growing vegetables and flowers throughout the years.
Since I was a little girl I enjoyed being with my grandma in her garden. Marcus has always had some type of little inside outside garden.He loves the results! He’s got a picture of an outside garden from about 10 years ago he made out of bed posts. Check it out it’s on Instagram!
So once we decided that growing microgreens would be a great fit for us. We got started right away 4-1-20. We defined our roles and our goals. We created our list of everything we already had and what we needed.
What's the funniest/most exciting story you've experienced while running the farm?
I’d have to say one of the most exciting experiences that we have had while running this little farm is of course receiving our first order. It was funny because I kept getting these messages that I received an order from our website. I kept denying them because I thought I had the shopping cart in test mode. I thought, Man I’m going to have to fix this email issue. I told Marcus there were some issues with the shopping cart email notifications. He replied, no you don’t, I was in there last night and took it out of test mode! Lol
We got our 1st order!
What types of microgreens and other produce are you currently growing?
Currently we are growing:
- wheat grass
View this post on Instagram
How big do you or customers prefer the true leaf on your cilantro? . . . #cilantro #cilantromicrogreens #thisorthat #localmicrogreensfarmer #nutritionmatters #nutrition #gardeningtips #microgreentips #nutrientdense #farmfresh #greens #herbs #microherbs #homegrown #eatlocalgrown #green
- mustard wasabi
- and radish.
We’re working on growing red vein sorrel and different types of edible flowers. Once we master that we’ll put them on our website OrlandoMicrogreens.com. Also on working on putting grow kits together so individuals can buy from our website & farmers markets and grow their own microgreens.
What makes your produce different?
It’s grown with pure fresh local love! Orlando Microgreens Love!
What type of clients do you currently serve and what locations do you cover?
So far we have 1 restaurant on weekly subscription and 3 (1) time purchases which were generated from our social networks. We serve the Orlando area with our subscription and free delivery service. On the waitlist for local farmers markets coming up.
Currently 5-24-20! So literally in less than 2 months we started from seeds to growing great! We have not advertised or ventured out to farmers markets yet. We can't wait to see where we are in another 2 months! Check in with us and see how we're doing 7-24-20!
View this post on Instagram
Delivery to @uncommoncatering They are working hard on their Pop-Up “Supper Club” If you want an Uncommon, Unbelievably Amazing dining experience this is it! . . . #supportlocal #conwaycommunity #curryfordwest #hourglassdistrict #orlandochef #eatlocal #microgreensorlando #microgreens #wedeliver #microgreensbusiness #catering #orlandofoodie #chefsoforlando #orlandorestaurants #hourglassrestaurant #foodie #farmtotable #farmer #girlchef #femalechef #chefsofinstagram
What's Your Mission?
Growing produce with purpose! We promise to deliver pure fresh microgreens to the local community. We want to provide a fun and informative way to teach and encourage people to grow their own foods and understand the nutrient value of microgreens.
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?
We understand the struggle is real and our hearts go out to those in such situations!
Less than two months ago we started this adventure. If we were in this business prior to Covid-19. Let’s say a year into the microgreens game and all we had as clients were chefs/restaurants. We would be in a rough spot, wondering what to do next. We could make soaps or candles out of the microgreens. Incorporate a home delivery service. Sky’s the limit with ideas! If anyone is struggling contact us! We hope we can help! Just know this too shall pass.
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:
*Microgreens: A Beginner's Guide to the Benefits of Cultivation and Consumption by Julia Winchester
*Microgreens Gardening, Container Gardening, Sprouting and Vegetable Gardening -- Gardening Books Series by Carrie Dresden
*We also got a plethora of information from True Leaf and Johnny's Seeds which are companies we felt we could trust because they have been in business since the early 70’s.
What are your 3 most favorite farm tools you can’t really run the farm with? 1.0
1). We love our Bootstrap Farmer trays.
2). Our handy dandy sharp K-nife!
3). Portable water spray.
Do you belong to any online microgreens communities?
Different Groups on Facebook.
What to do next?
If you enjoyed Orlando Microgreen’s 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 - orlandomicrogreens.com
- Check Orlando Microgreens Facebook Page
- Follow them in Instagram - @orlandomicrogreen
- The farm’s Youtube Channel (if you still haven't, watch their story here).