Specializing in Microgreens
So much to update you all about! If you've been reading for a bit, you know that we have been growing microgreens, shoots and wheatgrass for the farmers' markets. We used to have hopes of growing more vegetables (lettuces, squash, cucumbers, peppers etc.) to bring to market. However, our elevation, rain level, soil, and hours of sun have really dictated what we can and cannot easily grow more than we originally anticipated.
Because of that, a few weeks ago, we decided to focus the non-coffee arm of our business exclusively on micro-greens, shoots and wheatgrass. (We have not stopped doing coffee, but it will take a few years for that part of our business to "bear fruit").
Even though we are disappointed that some of our veggie dreams haven't worked out, we are still happy because our microgreens are going great! Not only are we now going to THREE farmers' markets a week - on Friday and Sunday we are at the South Kona Green Market and on Saturday we are at the Keauhou Market - but we have rolled out a more extensive line of microgreens and shoots.
We are still growing pea shoots and sunflower shoots and those are some of our best sellers. Last week we sold 24 pounds of sunflower and pea shoots - our best week yet by far!
We also added 8 new varieties of microgreens to our offerings. We display them on these cute display shelves at the market, and people can just pick off a stem or two to sample them. It has been a big hit!
We've had so many compliments on the new displays and it is great to have people try them when they are freshly picked!
Our varieties are:
Oriental Mustard - tastes exactly like dijon! Mustard is Doug's favorite microgreen and he puts it on his sandwiches all the time.
Cress - a peppery flavor similar to watercress. They also have these cute three pronged leaves that look like a bird footprint.
Kohlrabi- Purple asian green with a nice mild flavor. These are great in our antioxidant blend.
Red Russian Kale - nutritious and delicious! These also have cute pink stems.
Arugula - Full of nutrition, and an intense arugula taste. One of my favorites.
Broccoli - one of our best sellers because they are so healthy. Broccoli microgreens have been proven to aid in the fight against colon cancer and ulcerative colitis.
Red Cabbage - tastes EXACTLY like red cabbage. They are also so pretty and full of antioxidants.
Radish - one of our original offerings - these are easier to grow than most of our other microgreens and fast growing! They have a great radish flavor and a cute pink stem. I love putting them in salads and do all the time when we have extras.
Alfalfa - high in nutrition and relatively easy to grow, alfalfa is a very common microgreen. We like it because it balances so many mixes and has a very unique appearance.
Beet - These are very hard to grow and slow growing. However, they are so beautiful and full of antioxidants and vitamins so we still grow them to add to our antioxidant mix and our multivitamin blend.
Shungiku - These are asian greens in the chrysanthemum family. They have a mild flavor and a super interesting toothed leaves. I like them because they are so unique.
We sell our microgreens by the ounce and our shoots in either 4 or 8 ounce bags. We also have three mixes - Spicy Mix (Cress, Arugula, Mustard and Radish), Antioxidant Blend (Kale, Broccoli, Arugula, Beet, Kohlrabi and Red Cabbage) and a Multivitamin Blend that is just a mix of everything we grow - including shoots.
Last week we started wrapping our microgreens in paper towels before we sell them so that they stay fresher throughout the market and once our customers get them home. We were worried that they would not sell as well because the presentation isn't as nice, but we were pleasantly surprised with more sales than ever! People really responded to our display of microgreens and did not mind that they couldn't see in the bag.
Now that our microgreen sales have been going so well, we have had to really increase our growing space and our total output. We started ordering our seeds in BULK (we just got 270 lbs of wheatgrass!) and we built a chalk board to keep track of our planting and harvesting.
We also created a color coding system for our flats so that everyone would know which flats are meant for which market.
I have also been working on marketing our products to restaurants and stores. I created a price list for all of our products and have been talking to a few chefs about samples and initial orders - which is so exciting!
We also have our first grocery store order! Our mustard, arugula, pea shoots, sunflower shoots, broccoli and spicy mix will be at Kona Natural Foods starting next week!
We cannot believe that next week we will be able to see Sunshower Farms products in the produce section! If you live in the Kona area, check us out at KNF.