The Magic of Microgreens | Laurel Magazine | Highlands NC

2022-07-30 18:00:16 By : Ms. Anbby Zhang

So here we are – smack dab in the middle of salad-for-sup-per season. The perfect time to talk about gardening – and microgreens. While most gardeners on the Plateau have only recently started harvesting their crops, Cathy Clark, owner of Hidden Vale Microgreens, has been farming all winter long – inside the home she shares with husband Gary in Highlands. The path that led Cathy Clark to embark on microgreen farming is notable. For nearly ten years, Clark had been grappling with health issues. Deciding she needed to lose weight, she signed up for a weight loss program. It worked, she lost 54 lbs., and pledged to continue to focus on eating healthy. At the same time, she was searching for a business opportunity.Months of prep work and research during covid led to her the discovery of microgreens. She knew that though for a long time the only place one would see microgreens was in a high-priced restaurant, in recent years they have gone mainstream. That was good news on two fronts. For those seeking a healthy lifestyle, microgreens are nutrient-dense, containing up to 40 times the nutrients of the mature plants. And secondly there’s the flavor! Their concentrated taste really is next level.So Clark started exploring you-tube videos. She learned that microgreens-fully developed seed leaves, bigger than sprouts but smaller than baby greens – can be grown indoors in a small space, making them her ideal business venture. She understood that it didn’t take a plant whisperer to enjoy success in this venture. And the thought of the rewards of cultivating the tastes of summer throughout the year was very appealing. It occurred to her, “I can do this.” Still the venture has had its challenges. As Cathy told me “Everyone’s environment is different – so there’s been a lot of trial and error finding what grows best.” Currently, Clark is growing leeks, pea shoots, popcorn shoots, radish, and a powerhouse mix of broccoli, kale, red and golden cabbage, and kohlrabi. Sunflower, the most popular, are also the most finicky of the microgreens. Clark produces about 35 trays a week of microgreens, that she subsequently packs in pint and quart containers and sells directly to consumers and restaurants. If you’ve yet to discover microgreens, they’re a delicious treat on avocado toast, piled on a salads and soups, tossed with your favorite pasta, used as a stand-alone ingredient in scrambled eggs and terrific on a homemade burger! As every food lover knows, living well means eating well.Clark sells her microgreens on Saturdays at the Highlands Farmers Market and delivers them at no charge to restaurants and residents in the Highlands area. You can reach her at [email protected] or on facebook @hiddenvalemi-crogreens. Oh, and if you’re wondering about the dog on their logo, Cathy and Gary are the proud owners of 2 boxers.

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