When people decide to consume more microgreens for their nutrient intake and health along with regular vegetables and provide themselves with year-round greens, they often tend to notice that microgreens can be quite expensive. Especially compared to the price of vegetables, which many people often like to replace with microgreens.
So, we need to look at several factors of the production and other circumstances, which will bring us to the answer to the question: “Why are microgreens so expensive?”
If you want to know the answer with a basic understanding, then this article is written for you.
- 1 Microgreens: why they matter and how they grow
- 2 Is growing microgreens so expensive?
- 3 Why are microgreens expensive: a few reasons that you should know
- 4 Frequently Asked Questions
- 5 In conclusion: the price is fair
Microgreens: why they matter and how they grow
Microgreens are useful for our health because they are very nutritiously rich, and they have a row of vitamins and minerals. It is a miniature grass. They are young plants that can harvest in a very short term, bringing your body better than a lot of fruits and vegetables, although you should not fully cut off the consumption of those.
By the way, the number of nutrients in these leafy vegetables is more than 4 times (sometimes even more) than other plants, fruit, and vegetables.
The size of the common microgreens is not higher than three inches tall, which is why it is very comfortable both to eat only microgreens in the correct microgreen servings and add them to a big amount of dishes, starting with salad toppings. This is what people do in fancy restaurants.
Another feature of these tiny greens as immature vegetables is that they can harvest relatively fast, compared with other plants. When you have put the seeds into the soil, they will grow soon enough and harvest in two weeks, like radish microgreens. This is faster than conventional crops. Radish microgreens are microgreens that grow very fast.
Harvest microgreens is what we need.
And although they are so small, they are naturally very good for health, as is said, even as seed leaves.
On average, microgreens cost from $25 to $50 per pound, which is more than usual vegetables and greens, like spinach. But the price may be even higher, depending on the microgreens you want to buy.
So, as you can see, microgreens are very expensive, but they are also very good for our health. Now we need to figure out why exactly microgreens are so expensive.
Is growing microgreens so expensive?
When you decide to grow your own microgreens, for example, kale, arugula, red cabbage, Swiss chard, or others, you will find out soon enough that it may be quite expensive. You face several purchases for growing medium just to provide your microgreens with fresh soil and appropriate conditions for growing.
So, the production cost is high. Moreover, it is even higher than conventional costs.
Let’s figure it all out in detail. This will show you why microgreens are expensive on the farmer’s market.
Microgreen seeds and growing trays for your own microgreens
So, the first thing you or microgreen growers in general need to do is buy seeds. Moreover, you need to be accurate in the way you choose seeds to put in the soil, and you need to be careful with them.
Why can you consider this expensive? Because you need to buy a lot of them so that you will have a good amount of microgreens when they harvest. They are small, after all.
So, actually, no one can grow microgreens without trails, especially when you try to grow microgreens indoors. And you should use specific growing trays when you grow microgreens, which can be a little more expensive than others.
What microgreen growers usually use for growing microgreens are level trays which are good for microgreens grown. And you need to buy around 1020 growing trays. The trays must have either humidity domes or matching lids.
But buying trays is not the end, you also need to sterilize trays, and moreover, you need to do it frequently, between growing seasons.
With these conditions, microgreens can grow without any potential risks.
Before and while the seeds are growing in the soil, you need to water them and add nutrition. If you do it before putting seeds in the soil, it will help them to stick to the mats, which will help them grow healthy.
And you need to change the soil after they harvest. It is very important to provide your microgreens with fresh soil to let them grow without problems.
Ventilation and light
Air ventilation is a vital component when it comes to growing microgreens. Without ventilation, especially when you grow your microgreens indoors, your microgreens are at risk of getting harmful bacteria.
So, if you want to have healthy microgreens, you have to provide them with air ventilation. For some people, it can be difficult and quite expensive.
Microgreens are not plants that require very little light. They need light to grow healthy and strong. If your indoor conditions lack natural light, you need to buy special ample supplemental grow lights. And microgreens require artificial lighting for many hours, actually, the whole day, so, this is another reason for the high costs. Because you need to pay for artificial lighting.
So, now you know why the production of microgreens can be quite expensive for most of the growers, and now you can assume why you have to buy microgreens for a high price.
Let’s take a look at the reasons in general. You will also learn something new.
Why are microgreens expensive: a few reasons that you should know
There are other reasons than just the natural costs of production and growing microgreens. Now we need to take a look at the reasons why there are high prices on microgreens on the market.
Labor costs for growing leafy vegetables
It is easy to assume that every last microgreen is grown thanks to the work of people, even a single grower. This labor must be paid, as every other labor.
You may think that there is nothing to pay for, but actually, people who grow microgreens, especially in big amounts, put a lot of effort in looking after them, keeping them warm and light, just growing them.
You need to do a lot of work, and you need to know special information about growing if you want to get a lot of healthy microgreens which will have absolutely no defects. As mentioned earlier, some microgreens harvest in two weeks, and every day of these two weeks you need to spend with microgreens, watching if there is no problem, watering them, and cropping them.
You need to ensure that you have put the correct amount of seeds in the soil and that the seeds are properly dispersed there, across the growth mats.
And after seeding, you need to water them, and you need to put effort into not overwatering microgreens.
Every day after that, you need to ensure that microgreens have enough light and that they are warm, otherwise, they will not grow.
And when it comes to harvest, you need to cut the stems and properly wash them.
So, growers and urban farmers do a lot of work to provide you with microgreens.
Microgreens can grow slowly, and it’s hard to find a place for them
There are microgreens that harvest slowly, not in two weeks, and growing them raises the cost of labor accordingly. For instance, beets and amaranth harvest in three or even four weeks. It requires more resources than if they grew in two weeks. This is also a reason for such microgreens to be expensive.
Growing microgreens is not the same as growing other plants. You need to be especially careful with them because they are small and fragile and can be broken easily. They have a delicate texture.
These tiny and fragile microgreens require very specific conditions that can make you, as a grower, buy a lot of things for growing microgreens and building a proper place. Location is very important for microgreens. They cannot grow at all in places where it is cold or where there is no or not enough light, or with inappropriate humidity.
This is why a greenhouse is a place where they can grow. A greenhouse is an appropriate place. But sometimes they do not have access to natural sunlight, which makes a lot of growers buy special light.
And they need to pay for the power they use a lot.
Why are microgreens so expensive? That is also why.
Microgreens are a niche health food
Unfortunately, you cannot sell your microgreens without an effort because they are considered to be a niche health food. Although we know that these nutritional powerhouses are very good for our health and provide us with minerals and vitamins, not many people know about them.
They do not look as good as food to them. This is a kind of reason in terms of economics that you should know.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are microgreens worth the cost?
Yes, they definitely are. Microgreens are very useful healthy plants that you can eat without addition, or you can add them to a variety of dishes. They are rich in nutrient dense, for instance, vitamin A, group of B vitamins, and vitamin C, which are the same vitamins that vegetables have.
They contain several minerals, such as iron, zinc, and potassium magnesium. So, if you want to have no problems with health, you should eat them, they are worth the cost.
Are microgreens actually profitable?
Yes, you can call them profitable, according to the price of microgreens on the market. Usually, the price can vary from $25 to even $50 per pound, unlike full-grown vegetables. So, if you are going to be like commercial growers, and grow a lot of microgreens, you will get more money than you paid while growing these leafy greens.
Is it expensive to grow microgreens?
Yes, growing microgreens is expensive. In some cases, it may be very expensive. It is so because you need to get all the things and prepare conditions for growing microgreens, from seeds to the lights and a greenhouse.
And it is without all the effort you have to put into growing microgreens. If it is time that is valuable for you, prepare to spend with microgreens not less than two weeks.
What is the average cost of microgreens?
The average cost of microgreens is $25-$50 per pound. Sometimes, the price can be higher, you may see even the premium price.
In conclusion: the price is fair
Microgreens are expensive food that is healthy and good for our bodies. But why are microgreens so expensive?
They are so expensive simply because growers have to do a lot of things for growing microgreens, from choosing the location to cropping stems, and they have to buy a lot of things: seeds, trays, new soil, grow lights, and a greenhouse. All of these points, with the usefulness of microgreens, justify the higher price.
Learn More: Why are Microgreens So Expensive?