Nothing Micro About These Greens

By: 
JENNA GILBERT
Staff Writer

Auglaize and Mercer counties are no strangers to farming — whether it’s livestock or planting — but a new form of agriculture is happening indoors for one local man. 
Maria Stein native Justin Bachman shared his journey with the New Bremen New Knoxville Rotary Club at their Tuesday morning meeting.
He started his company, Micropure Greens, after realizing he had a knack for growing. His gardening abilities were discovered in 2017 when he started growing hot peppers and decided he wanted to make a career out of growing.
After some research and a trial-and-error process, Bachman discovered he had a green thumb for microgreens. According to Healthline.com, Microgreens are young vegetable greens that are approximately 1 to 3 inches in size, have an aromatic flavor and a concentrated nutrient content. They fall somewhere between a sprout and a baby green. 
Microgreens are typically used as a garnish or topper for many recipes to help add more flavor to the dish.
They are added as a last step of the recipe as cooking them will remove some of their nutritional value.
Bachman said when plants first produce leaves, that is when they are at their most nutritional stage, which can by up to 40% more nutritional than their adult counterparts. 
“Eating 1 ounce of this radish is equivalent to eating 20 ounces of a full grown radish,” Bachman said. “Broccoli is a real good one with that because Broccoli is real good in soups, salads and smoothies. It’s really good with children too because it’s easier for them to get their nutrition. 
“I know me growing up I hated eating my vegetables too, so it’s real good for kids too.”
Their shelf life is longer than adult produce as well, he added, as they can last around one to two weeks if they are still attached to their root.
Growing his microgreens out of coconut fiber, Bachman said he only uses water to grow his product.
“I don’t use any fertilizers, no pesticides, I use no chemicals at all except water,” he said. “Water is the only thing that you need to grow microgreens.”
“I can’t say organic legally, so I consider myself a pure grower because I don’t use fertilizers or chemicals of any kind,” he added.
The seeds provide the nutrients the plants need to grow, as he doesn’t use soil either to plant his product. 
His system is more modular as he grows his plants indoors at a relatives home in New Bremen.
Currently, he uses three racks to grow his produce and is able to add more racks when he gets busy, growing his plants vertically using artificial sunlight. 
Who is the target consumer for microgreens? Anyone really, according to Bachman, as he sells at the Celina Farmers Market on the weekends but also to higher end restaurants in Dayton, Columbus and even in New Bremen at 17 West. 
At the farmers market, he sells his product in thirds while he sells full trays to restaurants as they order them. 
Currently working on an as needed basis, Bachman said his restaurants request a certain amount of a microgreens, in which he plants, grows and delivers. 
As for the farmers market, the entreprenuer said he gets a lot of satisfaction out of witnessing people try his product. He shared that the look on their faces gives away their pleasure with what he is providing. 
“Just going to the farmers market in Celina, I’ve been having repeat customers every week,” he said. “I just know that people love my product and it makes me feel really good that I can provide that product. 
“And restaurants is growing. I try to make sales calls every week. Lately, I’ve been going to Columbus. As of right now, I’ve got some samples at three restaurants in Columbus right now that I’m waiting to hear back from.”
More information about Micropure Greens can be found on online at Facebook.com/mircropuregreens. The Celina Farmers Market is open from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays at 101 N. Main St. 

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