Growers Spotlight: Sowing Sustainability with Millbrook Micro Greens

Welcome to our first feature in our Growers Spotlight series, where we share the stories of farmers making significant impacts in the world of agriculture and microgreens. We hope that their story inspires you to start growing and making efforts to impact your local communities, and if you'd like a chance to be featured, tag @onthegrowfarms in your posts on social media. Today, we shine the light on Millbrook Micro Greens, a delightful family-run business nestled in the scenic town of Millbrook, New York. Founded by Zac, a classically trained chef and culinary knife expert turned microgreen maestro, he focuses on combining family and sustainability within his microgreen business.



Family Roots in Green Beginnings

Millbrook Microgreens growing China Rose Radish on Reusable Grow Mediums

Zac’s journey from culinary arts to microgreen cultivation began with a desire to engage his daughters, Sofia and Isla, in a family-centered business. At the tender ages of four and two, they are learning about entrepreneurship and sustainable food production firsthand. This initiative isn’t just about growing greens; it’s about nurturing young minds to appreciate the importance of sustainable living.

Millbrook Micro Greens specializes in organic microgreens, focusing on varieties like China Rose Radish and Calabrese Broccoli. Their choice of medium? Our Silicone Reusable Grow Medium, which Zac praises for its superior flexibility and ease of cleaning.

Zac shared his experience with our product, stating: "We use On The Grow's silicone reusable grow mediums as I've found them to be the superior medium for me. Its main selling point besides obviously being able to re-use it is its flexibility which makes cleaning much easier than any other medium I've tried."

A Culinary Twist on Microgreens

Zac from Millbrook Micro Greens holding a tray of china rose radish microgreens and the culinary knives he sells

As a chef and culinary knife expert, Zac brings a unique perspective to microgreen cultivation. He understands the subtle flavors these tiny plants can bring to a dish and the nutritional punch they pack. Each microgreen variety is selected not just for its growth efficiency but for its potential to elevate culinary creations, marrying Zac’s past and present professions seamlessly.

Sustainable Practices

Millbrook Microgreens growing China Rose Radish on Reusable Grow Mediums ; blog photo 2

One of the standout features of Millbrook Micro Greens is their commitment to sustainable practices. Zac and his family use 10x20 trays and our silicone grow mediums, which are reusable and easy to clean—crucial factors in their sustainable cycle. Zac describes the cleaning process with enthusiasm, noting that the flexibility of the silicone medium allows for quick, thorough cleaning, which is essential in maintaining a sterile growing environment.

Zac also commented on the ease of maintenance our grow mediums offer: "The reusable silicone medium is the best because you can easily manipulate it by hand during cleaning to get all the bits off easily. It's so fast it takes me less than a minute to get each one clean. So if anyone's looking for the easy button when it comes to cleaning, there it is."

During the growing process, each tray undergoes meticulous preparation with a vinegar and water solution to ensure purity and organic compliance. The microgreens are grown using a carefully balanced RO water mix, enhanced with nutrients from the hydroponic fertilizer Ocean solution 2-0-3, ensuring each green is as nutritious as it is delicious.

To further enhance sustainability, Zac employs a systematic approach to water management. Utilizing the reverse osmosis (RO) system, he ensures that the water used is free of impurities which could affect the growth and quality of the microgreens. This filtered water is then enriched with a precise measurement of nutrients.

After each harvest, Zac follows this cleaning regimen to prepare for the next cycle: The reusable mediums and trays are first cleared of all plant matter. Following this, they are soaked in a hot water bath mixed with castile soap, which effectively breaks down any residual organic material without the use of harsh chemicals. After soaking, a light scrub removes any remaining debris, ensuring that the mediums are pristine. A final rinse with the vinegar solution sanitizes the equipment, leaving it ready for another round of planting.

This attention to detail in both the growing and cleaning processes not only ensures the production of high-quality microgreens but also reinforces the sustainable values at the heart of Millbrook Micro Greens.

Community and Connection

Millbrook Microgreens on shelf at local NY grocery store - blog photo

Millbrook Micro Greens is deeply connected with their local community. Zac and his family share their harvests with friends, local businesses, and restaurants, fostering relationships and building a network of sustainable food advocates. Their packaging features the family's logo on food-safe clamshells, and you can find Zac's microgreens on the shelves at a local grocer, Marona's Market.

Educational Endeavors and Future Growth

Millbrook Microgreens stack of clamshells filled with radish microgreens - Blog photo

Looking ahead, Zac is eager to expand educational opportunities through workshops and farm visits, aiming to share his knowledge of microgreen cultivation with a broader audience. He envisions Millbrook Micro Greens as not just a business, but a community resource that inspires others to start their journey towards sustainable food production. In the meantime, we encourage you to follow Millbrook Micro Greens on Instagram to witness the beautiful growth of this family venture.

Stay tuned for our next entry in the Grower Spotlight series, where we will explore more people within our community!

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