The Starting and Growing A Microgreens Business Online Course is a course designed to teach you the everything that you need to know run a profitable microgreens business. From choosing the right equipment to sowing seeds to selling product, microgreens grower expert Chris Thoreau has you covered.
Chris has grown microgreens commercially for 7 years as part of the Vancouver Food Pedalers Cooperative, a business that produces over 300 trays of microgreens per week and generates over $200,000 in revenue annually on just 320 square feet.
If you want to learn how to strategically approach growing microgreens systematically as a business, then this is the course for you.
What’s included in the Starting and Growing a Microgreens Business course?
- A complete microgreens video course with over 7 hours of streamable videos covering all aspects of commercial production
- Instructional Growing Sheets for Chris’s main crops which include Sunflower Shoots, Pea Shoots, and Buckwheat Shoots
- 4 Microgreen Business Spreadsheets:
- Microgreens Supply Price List
- Primary Components Costs Calculator
- Basic Calculations
- Sanitizing Rate Sheets
- Plus screencasts to walk you through these spreadsheets.
- Over 2 hours of bonus content that includes presentations on Microgreens Economics and Ensuring Product Integrity
- A variety of extra support videos which are updated and added to periodically.
You get unlimited lifetime access to the content.
"Your podcasts have inspired me for years in the permaculture world and it was your interview series with Chris Thoreau that inspired me to start up a microgreens business. Between those interviews and the training course I purchased off your website, I can say that my learning time was easily cut into a quarter of what it would have been without you and Chris. My business is thriving and growing and yall had a big hand in helping me get it off the ground. So thanks for everything you do!"
- Dylan, Farmer - North Little Rock, Arkansas
Sample video from the course
"Chris is an an impressive informational resource on all aspects of creating a microgreens business. My consultation with him and his workshop in the early days of growing microgreens for us was the best investment we could have made. I searched everywhere for a book when I was starting out, and Chris's workshop met the need with flying colors. Mentor-ship of this kind will empower growers to be successful in a business where details matter, and mistakes are all too easy to make."
- Max Becher, Farmer - First Steps Family Farm
1. Introduction and Primary Components (1 hour 41 minutes)
- Overview of Process and Primary Components - Climate, Crops, Seeds, Soil, Trays
2. Infrastructure (1 hour 10 minutes)
- Growing Area
- Harvest and Cooler Area
- Tray and Seed Prep Area
- Seed Soaking and Sanitizing
- Wash Up Area
- Soil Storage and Compost Storage
- Supply Storage
- General System Layout
3. Packaging, Labels, and Hygiene (43 minutes)
4. Production Process (2 hour 20 minutes)
- Preparing Trays
- Soaking and Sanitizing Seeds
- Stacking and Germinating
- Uncovering and Growth
- Harvesting, Packing, Storage
- Post-Harvest Clean Up
5. Crop Planning and Record Keeping (35 minutes)
- Crop Planning
- Record Keeping
Each topic will be covered in detail and include important tips, methodologies, and a focus on the importance of attention to detail. The course also includes electronic take-home materials for future reference along with some screencasts to help you use that material effectively.
You will leave this course not only with a greater understanding of intensive microgreens production but also with greater insight into how to grow food on a small-scale efficiently.
Bonus Videos Included with the Course:
Microgreen Economics - Building and Maintaining a Profitable Business
Microgreens are an appealing crop due to their high value and minimal space requirements. But a successful business requires more than a valuable crop, and the appeal of a high-value product often blinds growers to the accompanying expenses and responsibilities. Building a sustainable microgreens production system takes time and attention to ensure it can establish and maintain profitability. In this talk, Chris Thoreau will explore the dynamics at play in building a microgreens business and share key factors for financial success.
Ensuring Product Integrity - Factors for Success in Intensive Microgreen Production
Whether you are growing microgreens in an urban or rural setting; full-time or part-time; as a stand-alone business or integrated into your vegetable farm – the challenges are much the same. From seed to delivery, Chris Thoreau will share the principles, actions, and systems critical to the success of his urban microgreens operation. Now in its eighth year of production in, the Vancouver Food Pedalers production model is focused on ensuring product integrity from seed to delivery – a strategy that has cemented their reputation as one of North America’s most innovative small-scale microgreens producers. This talk will give you a set of principles and strategies transferable to all small-scale farming operations.
"Chris’s advice and expertise in microgreens production, sales, and business development has easily made me thousands of dollars in additional income compared to what I would have been able to do myself if I did everything the hard way. On top of that, the lessons I’ve learned from Chris have saved me dozens if not hundreds of hours in trial and error, effectively preventing thousands of dollars in wasted labour, energy, and crop losses. With countless thousands of hours of experience in his many years of running his own successful microgreens company, Chris has painstakingly experimented with and dialed in everything it takes to make a microgreens business work so you don’t have to. Taking this course is the easiest no-brainer decision you can make on the road to beginning or expanding a successful microgreens business, as the investment in knowledge and information will reward you one hundred fold in the long run."
- Jordan MacPhee, Farmer - Maple Bloom Farm
"Chris Thoreau has been an invaluable part of our success in starting our very own urban microgreens farm here in Ibaraki, Japan. The information that he provides and the principals that he teaches have absolutely supported us in adapting and developing our own processes on the other side of the world. We are just ramping up to prepare for the local farmer’s markets and thanks to Chris, it has been a very quick and efficient learning curve with very little challenges, if any at all.Thank you Chris, from a Japanese Canadian and previous Vancouverite farming in Ibaraki, Japan."
- George & Emika, Microfarm Life
Chris Thoreau holds a BSc. (Hons.) in Agroecology from the University of British Columbia (UBC) where his focus was on soils, urban farming, and plant breeding. Currently working on expanding the viability of urban farming in Vancouver, he has worked on uniting these areas of study to help increase the sustainability of urban food production.
Chris is a founding owner-member at Vancouver Food Pedalers Cooperative, an urban farming business focused on growing sunflower shoots and other soil-grown microgreens for local markets, restaurants, and growers. Now in its 10th year, the business is a profitable and respected contributor to the local food chain. The Food Pedalers distribute all their food by bicycle. Chris left the Food Pedalers in 2017 to work on other projects but still checks in regularly!
Chris has focused on a number of key areas which have contributed his success as an urban farmer:
- Systems: Chris takes a very systematic approach to his microgreens production system. Every step of the production process is broken down into a very specific system which makes the production process simple, efficient, and easy for training.
- Attention to Detail: No detail is too small or insignificant to be overlooked in a production system with a seven to ten-day growing cycle. Even half-day of error can make the difference between a perfect and an unharvestable crop. Attention to detail is also required to maintain the integrity of your product from seed to sale. This includes meticulous hygiene, harvesting, packing, and distribution processes.
- Execute, Follow Through, and Follow Up: Planning is one thing and execution is another. Planning without execution is the path to failure in an agricultural operation. Planning is a means to an end – not an end in itself. It must lead to action. And those actions must be executed fully and followed up on to ensure they are producing the desired results. Once gaps are identified they must be corrected promptly.