The Complete Guide to Organic Microgreens Farming: For Home Gardeners and Entrepreneurs

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Do you want to grow your microgreens but need help figuring out where to start? Or you’re growing microgreens but want to learn more about organic microgreen farming.

If so, then you’ve come to the right place! I’ll share everything you need for organic microgreen farming in this blog post, from seed selection to harvesting.

Organic microgreen farming uses certified organically pathogen-free seeds, no synthetic chemicals or pesticides, follows good agricultural practices (GAP), and the resulting microgreens have increased nutrient content, reduced risk of contamination, and better taste. Some examples of microgreens that can be grown organically include broccoli, kale, radish, and arugula.

I’ll explain briefly what organic farming is about and why microgreens are so popular again. Yes, humans cultivated microgreens in ancient times!

Then, I’ll discuss the benefits of organic microgreen farming in detail. I’ll also talk about the different types of microgreens that can be grown organically and the importance of seed selection. After that, I’ll walk you through the steps involved in growing microgreens organically.

Finally, I’ll share some tips for marketing and selling your microgreens.

So, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced microgreen grower, I encourage you to read on!

Don’t have the time to read right now? Get yourself a PDF copy and read it offline later.

The History of Organic Microgreen Farming

Microgreens have existed for centuries, but organically growing them is relatively new. The first known mention of microgreens was in the writings of Chinese herbalist Shennong, who lived in the 28th century B.C. Shennong wrote about the health benefits of microgreens, and he recommended them to improve digestion and boost the immune system.

There is no direct mention of microgreens in the Shennong Bencao Jing, but there are references to sprouts and young plants. For example, the book mentions using Brassica juncea sprouts (known as kai-lan in Chinese) for their medicinal properties.

It is possible that Shennong was aware of the health benefits of microgreens and included them in his herbal remedies. However, there is no definitive proof of this.

There has been a growing interest in microgreens in China in recent years. They are now being cultivated and consumed in many parts of the country.

The history of organic farming is a tale of transformation, a shift from traditional agricultural practices towards a more sustainable and holistic approach. The story begins in the early 20th century, but its roots go back much further.

The term “organic farming” was first coined by Lord Northbourne in his book “Look to the Land,” published in 1940. However, we can trace the principles of organic farming back to traditional farming practices that existed before the advent of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. These practices emphasized the importance of soil health, crop rotation, and biodiversity.

The modern organic farming movement gained momentum in the mid-20th century as a response to the industrialization of agriculture. Pioneers like Sir Albert Howard, Lady Eve Balfour, and J.I. Rodale began to promote organic methods to improve soil health and produce healthier, more nutritious food.

Organic farming gained further traction in the 1970s and 1980s as environmental concerns became more prominent. The harmful effects of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers on the environment and human health became increasingly apparent, leading to a growing demand for organic produce.

In the 1980s, microgreens began to gain popularity in the United States, partly due to the growing interest in healthy food and the increasing availability of organic produce. Microgreens are popular in salads, sandwiches, smoothies, juices, and other beverages.

Organic microgreen farming is a method of growing microgreens that uses no synthetic chemicals or pesticides. This kind of production is becoming increasingly popular thanks to the health benefits of microgreens and a growing demand for organic foodstuffs.

The turn of the 21st century saw organic farming becoming more mainstream, with more farmers adopting organic methods and consumers choosing organic products. Today, organic farming is recognized worldwide for its environmental and health benefits, and its principles are applied to various forms of agriculture, including the cultivation of microgreens.

The history of organic farming is not just a chronicle of agricultural practices but a testament to our evolving understanding of the intricate relationships between soil, plants, and human health. It’s a journey towards sustainability, and it’s a journey that continues today.

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The Benefits of Organic Microgreens Farming

Organic microgreen farming is more than just a trend; it’s a powerful tool for promoting health, sustainability, and biodiversity. The benefits of this farming method are manifold, touching on environmental, nutritional, and economic aspects.

Environmental Benefits

Organic farming practices are designed to work with nature, not against it. By avoiding synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, organic microgreen farming helps to reduce soil and water pollution. It also promotes biodiversity, as it encourages a variety of microorganisms, insects, and birds that contribute to a healthy ecosystem.

Nutritional Benefits

Organic microgreens are packed with nutrients. They are higher in vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant levels than their mature counterparts. Moreover, because they are grown without synthetic chemicals, they are free from pesticide residues that can pose health risks.

Health and Wellness Benefits

Growing your organic microgreens can be a rewarding hobby. It’s a way to connect with nature, reduce stress, and promote mental well-being. Plus, having a constant supply of fresh, organic greens can encourage healthier eating habits.

Flavor Benefits

Many chefs and food enthusiasts swear by the superior taste of organic produce. Organic microgreens, with their concentrated flavors, can add a gourmet touch to any dish.

Economic Benefits

Organic microgreens can be a profitable venture. Growing requires minimal space and resources, making them ideal for urban farming. The demand for organic produce is also rising, providing a lucrative market for organic microgreen farmers.

Organic microgreen farming offers a promising solution in a world where sustainability and health are increasingly important. It’s a testament to the power of small-scale, sustainable farming in promoting a healthier planet and healthier people.

The Different Microgreens Varieties You Can Grow Organically

You can apply organic farming practices to various microgreens, each with unique flavors, textures, and nutritional profiles. Here are some popular types that can be grown organically. Click on each name to explore the more detailed analysis of each microgreen.

Radish Microgreens These spicy microgreens are quick to grow and packed with vitamins A, B, C, E, and K. They also contain essential amino acids and are rich in antioxidants.
Broccoli Microgreens Broccoli microgreens are known for their cancer-fighting proper and have a mild, slightly bitter flavor. They’ve got vitamins A, C, E, calcium, and iron.
Kale Microgreens These nutrient-dense microgreens have a sweet, mild flavor. It provides good sources of vitamins A, C, K, and B6, calcium, iron, and magnesium.
Pea Shoots The shoots are full of vitamins A, C, and folic acid with a sweet taste similar to peas. They’re a good source of fiber as well.
Sunflower Microgreens These microgreens have a nutty flavor and a crunchy texture. They are packed with vitamins A, B, D, and E and calcium, iron, and potassium.
Arugula Microgreens With their peppery flavor, arugula microgreens are a great addition to any dish. They’re rich in vitamins A, C, and K, composed of calcium, iron, and potassium.
Beet Microgreens These colorful microgreens have a sweet, earthy flavor, good vitamin A, C, and K levels, iron, and folate.
Mustard Microgreens Mustard microgreens have a spicy, robust flavor. They’ve got high levels of vitamins A, C, and K and antioxidants.

 Remember, the key to successful organic microgreen farming is to use high-quality, organic seeds and to maintain clean and healthy growing conditions. This way, you can enjoy a constant supply of fresh, nutrient-dense, and flavorful microgreens at your fingertips.

Recommended Products and Services

In the operation of a microgreens business, specific tools, services, and products are essential for success. We recommend the following products or services for you:

Growing Equipment: High-quality growing equipment is crucial for successfully cultivating microgreens. This includes but is not limited to grow lights, trays, and quality soil or growing medium. Here are our Best Tools for Growing Microgreens: Our Top Picks.

Packaging: Appropriate packaging is necessary to ensure the freshness and quality of the microgreens. We may recommend eco-friendly and cost-effective packaging solutions, like the good-natured 16 oz. Multi-purpose Clamshell Package available on Amazon.

Marketing Tools: Effective marketing tools can help you reach your target audience and boost sales. We may recommend digital marketing tools, including email marketing software, social media management, and SEO tools. “The money is on the list.” And it’s so true. Customers become clients when they continue buying from you. We use Convertkit, but MailChimp or Constant Contact is just as good for email marketing. We provide help with setting up and running campaigns on Convertkit. Send an email to marketing@microgreensworld.

Educational Resources: Knowledge is vital in the microgreens business. We may recommend books, courses, or online platforms that provide valuable information about growing and selling microgreens.

The “1-Page Marketing Plan” by Alan Dib is a must-read for every microgreens startup. So too, is “Farm Fresh” by Allan Nation.

While we do everything to ensure that the information on our web page is updated and accurate, we make no representations or warranties concerning the accuracy, completeness, efficacy, reliability, suitability nor availability of every product or service associated with this website.

Best Microgreens Growing Seeds

The Importance of Seed Selection for Organic Microgreen Farming

Seed selection is a critical step in organic microgreen farming. The quality of the seeds you choose directly influences the success of your crop, affecting everything from germination rates to the nutritional content of the mature microgreens. The selection of seeds to grow organically microgreens should take into account the following key factors:

Organic Certification

To ensure your microgreens are genuinely organic, starting with certified organic seeds is essential. These seeds are produced without synthetic pesticides and fertilizers and are not genetically modified. Seeds can carry pathogens like Salmonella or E. coli., even if certified organic. If you are growing sesame seeds, this is even more critical (Food Allergies: What You Need to Know | FDA).

The Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education, and Research (FASTER) Act 2021 added sesame to the list of major food allergens. The change took effect on January 1, 2023.

Source seeds from reputable suppliers and request a certificate of analysis (CoA). Find the best seed sources on the Seed Resources page.


Different microgreen varieties have different growth rates, flavors, and nutritional profiles. Choose a variety of seeds to provide a diverse range of microgreens for your customers or your consumption.

Germination Rate

The germination rate of a seed batch determines how many seeds will likely sprout. High germination rates (usually above 90%) are desirable as they indicate good seed quality and result in a fuller, more productive crop.

Disease Resistance

Seeds resistant to common diseases can save you much trouble down the line. It is especially important in organic farming, where you don’t use synthetic fungicides and pesticides.

Supplier Reputation

Purchase your seeds from a reputable supplier. Reliable suppliers provide high-quality seeds and can offer valuable advice on how to grow them successfully.

Seed Size

Larger seeds can be easier to handle and may have higher energy reserves, leading to more vigorous seedlings. However, smaller seeds often cost less and can produce a denser crop.

Remember, successful organic microgreen farming starts with careful seed selection. Choosing high-quality, certified organic seeds sets the stage for a healthy, productive crop packed with nutritional value. Request a Certificate of Analysis.

Planning the Farm Business Growth

Best Practices for Growing Microgreens Organically

Organically growing microgreens requires a keen understanding of natural processes and a commitment to sustainable practices.

Maintaining high-quality standards and ensuring food safety is crucial for consumer satisfaction and compliance with regulations. Contamination or poor handling practices can result in customer dissatisfaction or legal issues.

Here are some best practices to help you succeed in organic microgreen farming:

Process Step Actions and Justification Preventive Measures
Seed Sourcing Seeds can carry pathogens like Salmonella or E. coli. Use Organic, Pathogen-Free Seeds Start with certified organic seeds and preferably pathogen-free certified. These seeds are free from synthetic pesticides and genetically modified organisms, ensuring your microgreens are genuinely organic. Source seeds from reputable suppliers request certificates of analysis.
Seed Sanitization Inadequate sanitization can allow pathogens to survive Use appropriate sanitization methods, and monitor the sanitization process.
Planting Tools or hands can transfer pathogens to seeds. Use clean and sanitized tools, and workers wash their hands before handling seeds. Opt for organic soil or a soilless medium like coconut coir or peat moss. These mediums are free from synthetic fertilizers and pesticides and provide a healthy environment for your microgreens to grow.
Germination Warm, moist conditions can promote mold growth. Choose the Right Growing Medium Monitor temperature and humidity, and ensure good air circulation.
Growing Proper Watering: Water can introduce chemical or biological hazards. Use clean, potable water for irrigation. Overwatering can lead to mold and disease. Water your microgreens lightly but frequently, ensuring the growing medium is moist but not waterlogged.
Lighting Microgreens need plenty of light to grow. If you’re growing indoors, use full-spectrum grow lights. If you’re growing outdoors, choose a location with plenty of sunlight.
Temperature and Humidity Control Microgreens prefer a temperature range of 60-70°F (15-21°C) and relative humidity of 40-60%. Monitor these conditions closely to prevent the growth of mold and other diseases.
Pest Management In organic farming, synthetic pesticides are off-limits. Use natural methods like introducing beneficial insects, using organic sprays, or employing physical barriers to manage pests.
Harvesting Tools or equipment can introduce physical hazards. Use well-maintained tools and equipment, and inspect for physical hazards. Your microgreens should be harvested once they’ve developed some leaves. Use a sharp knife or shears to cut the stems over the soil line.
  Rotation and Diversity Growing a variety of microgreens provides a diverse product and helps break pest and disease cycles.

By following these best practices, you can grow healthy, nutritious microgreens while respecting the environment and promoting sustainability.

Microgreens Urban Farm

How to Harvest and Store Microgreens

Harvesting and storing microgreens properly is crucial to maintaining their freshness, nutritional value, and flavor. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you through the process:



Microgreens are typically ready to harvest 7-14 days after planting when they develop their first set of true leaves. You must harvest before the second set of leaves (adult leaves) start to grow.


To ensure the cut is clean and minimize any harm to the plant, use a sharp pair of scissors or knives.


Cut the microgreens just above the soil line. Be gentle to avoid bruising the delicate leaves.


Ensure your hands and tools are clean to prevent the spread of disease.

Storing Microgreens


Rinse the harvested microgreens gently under cold water to remove any soil particles. It would be best not to hurt the leaves and stems.


Wash the microgreens with a clean towel or use a lettuce spinner to eliminate too much water. They need to be thoroughly dry before storage to prevent decay.


Store the microgreens in a clean, airtight container. You can use a plastic bag or a container with a lid. Some prefer to line the container with a paper towel to absorb excess moisture.


Place the container in the refrigerator. You can store most microgreens at four °C (39°F) for 5-7 days. Some hardier varieties can last up to two weeks.


Use your stored microgreens immediately. The longer they’re stored, the more their nutritional value decreases.

Remember, the key to harvesting and storing microgreens is handling them gently and keeping them cool and dry to ensure they remain fresh and nutritious for as long as possible.

Marketing Plan Strategy Session

How to Market and Sell Organic Microgreens

Marketing and selling microgreens effectively require a strategic approach. Here are some critical steps to help you successfully market and sell your organic microgreens:

Identify Your Target Market Understand who your potential customers are. These could be local restaurants, farmers’ markets, grocery stores, or health-conscious consumers in your community. You will be better able to craft a marketing campaign that is successful in reaching them if you know your target market.
Quality and Variety Ensure your microgreens are of high quality. Offer a variety of microgreens to cater to different tastes and culinary needs. Unique or exotic varieties can often fetch a higher price.
Branding and Packaging Create a strong brand for your microgreens business. Your branding should communicate your product’s quality, freshness, and organic nature. Invest in attractive, eco-friendly packaging that keeps your microgreens fresh and showcases their vibrant colors.
Online Presence Establish an online presence through a business website and social media platforms. Share engaging content like recipes, health benefits of microgreens, and behind-the-scenes glimpses of your farming process.
Direct Sales Consider selling directly to consumers through farmers’ markets or a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) model. Direct sales often yield higher profits and allow you to build customer relationships.
Networking Build relationships with local chefs, nutritionists, and food bloggers who can help promote your microgreens. Attend local food and farming events to network and showcase your products.
Customer Education To promote your products using workshops, online content, or information leaflets to inform customers about the benefits of microgreens and how they are used in their meals.

Successful marketing builds customer relationships and trust and consistently delivers a high-quality product.

Key Takeaways: Organic Microgreens Farming

In this comprehensive guide, we’ve explored the fascinating world of organic microgreen farming. We’ve learned about the history of organic farming and the numerous benefits it offers, not just to our health but also to the environment. We’ve discovered the wide variety of microgreens that can be grown organically, each with its unique flavor profile and nutritional benefits.

We’ve delved into the importance of seed selection in organic farming, understanding that our produce’s quality starts with our seeds’ quality. We’ve also learned about the organic best practices for growing microgreens, from the right soil mix to the ideal growing conditions.

We’ve discussed harvesting and storing microgreens, ensuring that we retain their freshness and nutritional value. Finally, we’ve explored the marketing and selling of microgreens, understanding that a successful microgreen business requires not just quality produce but also effective branding, marketing, and customer education.

As we conclude, I encourage you to apply what you’ve learned in this guide. Whether you’re a home gardener, an urban dweller, a sustainability advocate, or an entrepreneur, organic microgreen farming offers immense potential. Start your organic microgreen farming journey today and reap the benefits of this green gold!

Build A Commercial Microgreens Startup

In this free 10-lesson email course, we explain why you shouldn’t create a “business plan.”

From there, we take you on a journey of discovery that has been trekked by tens of thousands of other entrepreneurs just like you.

We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at any time.

Related Questions

What are the benefits of organic microgreen farming?

The benefits of organic microgreen farming include enhanced nutritional value, the absence of harmful pesticides, and a positive environmental impact due to sustainable farming practices. Explore more in my post, Growing Microgreens Without Soil: A Sustainable Approach.”

How does organic farming affect the nutritional value of microgreens?

Organic farming can potentially enhance the nutritional value of microgreens by improving soil health, which in turn can lead to the growth of microgreens with higher nutrient content. In a recent study,[4] the authors discovered that various environmental variables, including temperature, humidity, light, and water, may affect microgreens. Explore more in my post, “Urban Gardening Revolution: How Compost Enhances Your Microgreens

What are the challenges of organic microgreen farming, and how can they be overcome?‌‌

Challenges of organic microgreen farming include managing pests and diseases without synthetic pesticides, maintaining soil fertility, and higher production costs. However, you can overcome these with proper planning, organic pest control, and efficient resource management. But there are also significant benefits. Explore how you can practice Environmentally Sustainable Microgreens Farming.

Share the Guide

We hope you found this guide on organic microgreen farming informative and inspiring! If you did, we’d love to hear from you. Remember to share this guide with your friends, family, or anyone you think might be interested in starting their organic microgreen farm. The more people we can inspire to adopt organic farming practices, the better for our health and planet!

If you want to stay updated with more guides like this, sign up for our newsletter. You’ll get the latest posts delivered straight to your inbox.

And if you’re looking for more in-depth information, check out Andrew Neves’ cookbooks. They’re packed with delicious recipes that make the most of nutritious microgreens.

Remember, every step towards organic farming is towards a healthier and more sustainable world. Start your journey today!


The following are relevant authoritative scientific sources supporting organic microgreens’ benefits. These studies show that organic microgreens have higher levels of nutrients than conventionally grown microgreens. They’re also a good source of antioxidants, which can help to prevent damage from free radicals in your body.

  1. Xiao, Zhenlei, et al. “Assessment of Vitamin and Carotenoid Concentrations of Emerging Food Products: Edible Microgreens.” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, vol. 60, no. 31, July 30, 2012, pp. 7644–7651,, study shows the abundance of vitamins and healthy nutrients found in many microalgae compared to their mature counterparts. To assess the presence of four groups of vitamins and phytochemicals, including vitamin C, K, and beta carotene, the authors analyzed 25 microgreen types. They found that microgreens were generally rich in vitamins and carotenoids, about five times as much as plants of their age.
  1. Alrifai, Oday. The Effect of Light-Emitting Diodes on Phytochemical Synthesis in Brassica Microgreens Grown in Controlled Environments. results of this study have shown that LED can be an excellent tool for growers who want to produce microgreens with high phytochemical content, such as glucosinolates, carotenoids, and flavonoids. The study also provides valuable information about the type of LEDs that are most effective for increasing the levels of specific phytochemicals.
  1. Zhang, Yanqi, et al. “Nutritional Quality and Health Benefits of Microgreens, a Crop of Modern Agriculture.” Journal of Future Foods, vol. 1, no. 1, Sept. 2021, pp. 58–66, contain high levels of vitamins A, C, and K and folate, potassium, and magnesium. They have a higher concentration of antioxidants than mature vegetables and can help to improve blood sugar control, reduce inflammation, and protect against cancer.
  1. Asomiba Rita Abaajeh, et al. Environmental Factors Influencing the Growth and Pathogenicity of Microgreens Bound for the Market: A Review. Vol. 38, 1 Jan. 2023, Accessed July 14, 2023.The authors discovered that various environmental variables, including temperature, humidity, light, and water, may affect microgreens. These factors may impact the growth of microgreens, yields, quality, and susceptibility to pathogens. One of the most essential environmental factors affecting the growth of microgreens is temperature. Different pathogens, such as bacteria, fungi, and viruses, can infect microgreens.
  1. Renna M, Paradiso VM. Ongoing Research on Microgreens: Nutritional Properties, Shelf-Life, Sustainable Production, Innovative Growing and Processing Approaches. Foods. 2020 Jun 24;9(6):826. PMID: 32599782; PMCID: PMC7353615.The authors conclude that microgreens are a promising source of nutrients and can be produced sustainably. They also suggest a growing interest in innovative ways to grow and process microgreens, which could further improve their nutritional value and shelf-life.
  1. Teng, Zi, et al. “Microgreens for Home, Commercial, and Space Farming: A Comprehensive Update of the Most Recent Developments.” Annual Review of Food Science and Technology, vol. 14, no. 1, December 16, 2022, authors conclude that microgreens are a promising source of nutrients and can be grown in various settings. They also suggest a growing interest in using microgreens in space farming, as they are a compact and efficient way to produce fresh food.” The Commercial Production of Microgreens.” HortTechnology, 2019.
  1. Noviandani Khairunnisa, Warnita, Dini Hervani et al.”Impact of Growing Media and Nutrition on Growth and Yield of Broccoli Microgreens (Brassica oleracea)”. International Journal of Environment Agriculture and Biotechnology(ISSN: 2456-1878),vol 8, no. 3, 2.
  2. “Growing Microgreens.” Penn State Extension, article from Penn State Extension provides information on how to grow microgreens indoors and outdoors, including what seeds to use, how to prepare the growing medium, and how to water and fertilize the plants.
  1. Benbrook, Charles, et al. “Organic Farming Lessens Reliance on Pesticides and Promotes Public Health by Lowering Dietary Risks.” Agronomy, vol. 11, no. 7, June 22, 2021, p. 1266,
  2. Letourneau, Deborah K, and Sara G Bothwell. “Comparison of Organic and Conventional Farms: Challenging Ecologists to Make Biodiversity Functional.” Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, vol. 6, no. 8, Oct. 2008, pp. 430–438, Accessed January 8, 2022.The study by Letourneau and Bothwell (2008) provides evidence that organic farming can help to improve biodiversity and is important because biodiversity is essential for the health of ecosystems and the provision of ecosystem services.
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