Microgreens business sprouts up

Phillip Bock
Shekhinah Bernier cuts and packages microgreens at Lake Orchard Aquaponics.

SHEBOYGAN - Shekhinah Bernier thought she was moving back to the Sheboygan area to help out a budding microgreen business, but she ended up buying it instead.

The entrepreneur, the daughter of Brian and Lisa Bernier — owners of Harvest Cafe in Sheboygan — moved back to the area several months ago to lend a hand at Little Sprouts Farm, but when the owner of the farm landed a job out of state, Shekhinah — and her parents — decided to buy the company.

"The buyout of Little Sprouts Farm is a natural one because of the organic, power-rich nutrients that microgreens provide," Chef Brian Bernier said. "It was in line with our mission of providing quality organic food to the Sheboygan County area."

The family now grows the microgreens through a partnership with Lake Orchard Aquaponics. The greens are currently available at Harvest Cafe and at the Winter Farmer's Market in Sheboygan, but the owners hope to re-start a microgreen CSA in the new year. The CSA would deliver various microgreens weekly.

Microgreens grow under a grow light at Lake Orchard Aquaponics in Sheboygan.

Big on nutrition and flavor, microgreens are tiny, edible herbs and greens that are smaller versions of full, mature plants. The greens are picked before they are full grown, and used as a garnish or ingredient in foods.

Harvest Cafe uses the microgreens in several of their sandwiches and salads.

“I think the big thing I get excited about with microgreens is the ability to have fresh food year around in this climate,” Shekhinah Bernier said. “It’s an innovative way to have fresh, local food.”

The crops take between 7 and 11 days to grow before being harvested and packaged.

Currently Shekhinah is growing microgreens of various kinds, including salad greens, mustard green, peas and broccoli.

“It’s all the strength of broccoli in this one little green,” she said. “It’s packing nutrients into one little thing.”

The microrgreens from Little Sprouts Farm will be available at Harvest Cafe and the farmers market in Sheboygan.

The name of the company will be Micro Magic LLC, doing business as Little Sprouts Farm.

For more information on the microgreens CSA, visit LittleSprouts.Farm or call 920-453-0300.