If you have visited any of Spokane’s local farmers markets recently, you have likely heard Jared Kuck of K2 Greens asking passersby “Have you ever tried a microgreen?”
His wife, Leslie, started researching the health benefits of microgreens in the fall of 2019. She decided to try her hand at growing microgreens after learning that their little leaves are packed with vitamins, minerals and flavor.
By early 2020, the Kucks decided to keep growing microgreens as a business, reaching out to restaurants about their offerings. But the first Coronavirus shutdown would soon shutter restaurants sending the Kucks back to the drawing board. They quickly decided to try selling at farmers markets, deemed essential by the state, and signed up to become vendors at five local markets. The Kucks’ micro-operation was about to get big!
While Jared and Leslie were aware of the nutritional benefits of microgreens, selling them to the public would require a bit of education. After calling out to and engaging market shoppers, Jared typically follows up with an explanation of what a microgreen is. First things first: it should not be confused with a sprout.
Microgreens have advanced past the sprout stage of the plant to the point of having leaves. At this stage, seedlings soak up nutrients from the soil so that they can grow into the larger plants and fully-grown vegetables that we are all familiar with, which is why harvesting microgreens in their infancy offers a product that can contain anywhere from five- to 40-times the nutrients of a mature plant.
K2 Greens uses a blend of heirloom soil and has a water filtration system in their grow room to guarantee the highest level of nutrients for their microgreens and their customers. The Kucks change the soil after each harvest, giving it to Mother Herbee, another local market vendor, to fertilize the land where her bees are kept.
With full control over temperature, light and humidity in their grow room, K2 Greens is now fully operational all year round. When winter rolled around and farmers markets started closing for the season, Jared and Leslie launched a subscription service to provide microgreens to K2’s loyal customers along with products from some of their market buddies like LakeWolf Creamery and Mother Herbee’s Honey.
This season, you can find K2 and their 10+ microgreen varieties including sunflower and arugula at seven local farmers markets in and around Spokane—they’ll even make you their signature salad blend right on the spot!
This article was written by Jamie Aquino.