When Danielle Jones started looking into business ideas, she wanted something she could do year-round.
That led to the creation of JD Microgreens & More in March 2021.
“It’s something I’ve had in mind for a while,” said Danielle, who operates a tobacco/vegetable farm with her husband John, based at 2911 Highway 3 (between Delhi and Simcoe).
“Nixon area-ish,” said Danielle of the location.
The vegetable component is the ‘and more’ in her company, said John.
“It’s a little healthier – you can get fresh greens year-round that are ‘farm fresh,’” she said.
And it was very practical – they already had greenhouse infrastructure on site.
“We were kind of looking at something to utilize the greenhouse a little bit more as well, and this fits into the program very well,” said John. “She loves growing things, so this fits right in with her interests.”
It all begins with plants germinating indoors under artificial light, then moving out to the greenhouse to get natural light.
“They don’t go in the ground, it’s all done indoors, it’s all done in the trays,” said Danielle. “There’s no chemicals, no pesticides – it’s seeds, dirt, water.”
Microgreens are consumed very soon after sprouting. They can be added to soups, salads, sandwiches and more.
“They all kind of have their own distinct flavours,” said Danielle, who was selling fresh microgreens – kale, mustard, kohlrabi, amaranth, broccoli, radish and pea shoots – Saturday on the last day of the 2021 Tillsonburg Farmers Market season.
“I’ve heard a lot of people that like to put the spicier ones like radish on their burgers, their sandwiches,” said John. “They are great for that.
“They are very high in nutritional value as well,” he noted.
“A lot use the broccoli and kale in their smoothies, in their salads,” said Danielle who posts recipes on her Facebook page (JD Microgreens). “Some people put them on tacos. Anything really. Peashoots, I mix them in with stir fry, that kind of stuff. Basically if you’re looking for a little bit of green …”
Danielle added mustard microgreens to her fall selection for its mustard/horse radish flavour.
“So if you’re doing a roast you’d put that on top.”
Danielle said her customer base seems to be a 50/50 split between people who know all about microgreens and those trying them for the first time.
“It’s not something that is new, but it’s not something that’s readily available in this area. The people who do know about it, buy it. It’s new for other people, but they continue to come back.”
“They try it and like it,” John nodded, “and come back week to week. I just think in general people’s lifestyles and attitudes are changing, they are healthier.”
“The nice thing is that it is available year-round, so if you’re looking for something that’s fresh…” said Danielle, noting she will continue to sell microgreens from her farm over the winter ( email@example.com ) and plans to sell at the year-round Simcoe Farmers Market.