PHOTO: Christopher Vaughn and Mandi Warbington, On The Grow
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November 21, 2019

When Christopher Vaughn and Mandi Warbington stumbled across an instructional YouTube video that claimed you can make as much as $10,000 a month growing and selling microgreens, the couple picked up their first grow sets the same day.

“It was mesmerizing watching a tray of sunflower microgreens lift up a 15-pound brick during their germination process,” says Vaughn. “When we taste tested them as they grew, we couldn’t believe the flavor that they had.”

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Since becoming smitten with microgreens, Vaughn and Warbington have founded On The Grow, a venture in which they produce more than 40 varieties of microgreens from a custom-built, 20-foot concession trailer in Lucas, Texas. We spoke to Vaughn about how to get started growing your own microgreens, the most exotic varieties he and Warbington have discovered and how to incorporate small greens into mealtime routines.


Getting Started with Microgreens

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As we close in on nearly 700 followers in 15weeks we decided to start a new video for our YouTube channel today but in this one… • Its both of us together! Because we are doing a hydroponics VS soil test and battling it out using sunflowers to see who does better!!!? • 👨‍🌾@cj__vaughn is taking on the hydroponics side using biostrate grow medium and for his nutrients he'll be using MaxiGro & Epsom salt water! • 👩‍🌾@mandipandii is taking on the soil side using Coconut Coir & Texas Pure! • …who's side are you on?😉🤔 . . . . . . . . . #microgreens #organic #knowyourfarmer #greens #superfood #farmtotable #healthyfood #healthyrecipes #indoorgarden #dallastexas #nourish #entrepreneur #growyourownfood #fresh #growyourownveggies #freshfood #local #business #grow #microgreen #smallbusiness #urbanfarming #urbanfarmer #eatfresh #health #bootstrapfarmer #happyplace #microgreens🌱 #farm #farmers

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“We fell in love with microgreens after we grew our very first tray, and I have a feeling most people will do the same,” says Vaughn. “They grow incredibly fast and provide an abundance of produce within a week or two.”

When asked what he’d tell someone contemplating growing microgreens, Vaughn says that watching the tiny shoots come up is easily addictive, especially because they “transform in such a short period of time.”

What Types Are Available?

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🌱Our Basil & Red Garnet Amaranth side by side!! • Theses crops are so dang beautiful 😍 • As they say in video games, we're planning on leveling up our business over the next few weeks.💪 • 💥So keep an eye out for the new changes! As always will be sharing all the information openly with everyone interested #opensource 😁👨‍🌾👩‍🌾 . . . #microgreens #knowyourfarmer #greens #farmtotable #dallastexas #nourish #growyourownfood #freshfood #grow #microgreen #smallbusiness #urbanfarming #urbanfarmer #eatfresh #bootstrapfarmer #microgreens🌱 #farmers #localfarmers #localfarm #indoorfarming #hydroponics #organicallygrown #indoorfarm #microgreenfarm #microfarm #backyardfarm #smallscalefarming #backyardfarmer #seedtoplate

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People can purchase a vast range of microgreen varieties as seeds. Vaughn says some of his favorites at On The Grow include Purple Kohlrabi—which features striking purple stems and vivid green cotyledons—along with Red Garnet Amaranth and radish mixes such as Hong-Vit and China Rose.

“They usually end up as a mesmerizing sea of colors that can be so vibrant and unique,” says Vaughn. “You can even mix a few different varieties of seeds in the same grow tray and have a beautiful bouquet of colors and textures.”

What Do Microgreens Taste Like?

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We finished our first nutrient experiment today for the hemp! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ We'll be whittling down the footage for a short video and should have it posted by the end of this week! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Excited to share the results! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ We've already got a second test that's a few days into the process for a second large group experiment and quite a few more tests with mediums/blackout periods/nutrients etc that are all being worked on! . . . #microgreens #organic #knowyourfarmer #greens #superfood #farmtotable #healthyfood #healthyrecipes #indoorgarden #dallastexas #nourish #entrepreneur #growyourownfood #fresh #growyourownveggies #freshfood #local #business #grow #broccoli #smallbusiness #urbanfarming #urbanfarmer #eatfresh #health #wealth #happyplace

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The taste of microgreens varies depending on what varieties you chose to grow, but Vaughn says a few of the more radical types include Nasturtium, which he describes as “spicy, sweet, tangy with so many layers of flavor,” and Borage, which confers a “cucumber taste with an interesting texture.”

If you want something a little more extreme, try sampling Spicy Oriental Mustard, which Vaughn says tastes like wasabi with an extra kick.

Cooking With Microgreens

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Looking for an awesome dinner recipe thats 100% vegetarian & includes microgreens?… Well look no further! @mandipandii came up with a killer taco and potatoes recipe using our very own microgreens. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ What you'll need ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ •@beyondmeat burger patties •@wildbrine raw organic kraut •vegan cheese •pea microgreens; handful •broccoli microgreens; handful •1/4cup onion; diced •tortillas; we used flour •cajun seasoning •olive oil •small potatoes •salt & pepper •Takes 2 pans/skillets ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 🥔For the potatoes🥔 Start off by steaming them in a pot with the lid on for atleast 15 to 25mins first. Then remove them from pot, cut each in half and place into a skillet. Toss with olive oil + salt&pepper to taste. Brown potatoes until they get a desired crisp to them; I cooked them on medium-high for a few minutes. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 🌮For the tacos🌮 In a large skillet add the onion, pea microgreens, broccoli microgreens and break part the @beyondmeat burger patties into chunks. Sprinkle with desired amount of cajun seasoning (be careful not to add to much!) then cook for 6 to 7mins over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. In the meantime pan heat your tortillas and move them onto a plate, then sprinkle a little vegan cheese on them. Add the meat mixture on top of the tortilla and then finish it off with @wildbrine raw organic kraut and broccoli microgreens! . . . #microgreens #organic #knowyourfarmer #food #superfood #farmtotable #healthyfood #healthyrecipes #indoorgarden #dallastexas #nourish #entrepreneur #growyourownfood #fresh #growyourownveggies #freshfood #local #business #grow #foodie #smallbusiness #urbanfarming #urbanfarmer #eatfresh #health #vegetarian #foodporn #recipes #vegetarianrecipes

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Microgreens are exceptionally versatile—Vaughn says he and Warbington “put them on everything,” including their morning smoothies, wraps, burgers, pizzas, pastas and salad. “We even put Sunflower microgreens on our peanut butter and jelly sandwiches,” he says.

Pro Tips for Growing

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We harvested the purple sprouting broccoli today and fell in love with the colors 😍 That deep green cotyledon to the white stalk that turns into that purple… wow… and of course, the taste is so fresh. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Another reason why we love growing microgreens! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ We’ve been gearing up to begin some test-sales to get a feel for the process before launch! Super excited to be sharing some stunning and tasty greens with everyone soon! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #microgreens #organic #knowyourfarmer #greens #superfood #farmtotable #healthyfood #healthyrecipes #indoorgarden #dallastexas #nourish #entrepreneur #growyourownfood #fresh #growyourownveggies #freshfood #local #business #grow #broccoli #smallbusiness #urbanfarming #urbanfarmer #eatfresh #health #wealth #happyplace #cococoir #bootstrapfarmer

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If you aim to grow microgreens at home, Vaughn says climate can be key to producing a successful batch. He recommends an ideal humidity of around 45 percent and a temperature between 75 and 80 degrees F. “Airflow is also a very vital factor to growing microgreens,” he adds. “If there is a lack of airflow, you will have a high chance of encountering disease and fungus problems.”

Adding some words of encouragement for aspiring microgreen growers, Vaughn notes you can start growing them almost anywhere. “Outdoors, in greenhouses, garages, kitchens or basically anywhere you can get some trays started,” he says. “It may take a few tests to understand how they grow in your climate, but stick to it and you’ll be successful.”

Follow On The Grow over at Instagram and YouTube.

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