Archer Market Garden
Everyone knows vegetables are good for you, but how do you pack even more nutrients into your green stuff? The answer is simple: eat it when it’s small. Paul and Mary Hauser of Archer Market Garden discovered that secret four years ago when they moved up from South Florida and started their microgreens operation in Archer. “We thought we would grow a little of everything,” Mary said. “But we realized there’s quite a niche in what we’re doing.”
What they’re doing is microgreens, which look and taste very similar to sprouts you see at the grocery store, but they are different in a variety of ways. Sprouts are grown in water exclusively. When you eat them, you’re consuming the roots, stems and seeds of the tiny sprout, and they only have a three day shelf life. Microgreens, on the other hand, are grown in soil, are clipped from their roots before you eat them, and last about a week in the fridge. Though they are not certified organic, Archer Market Garden microgreens are grown from organic seed in organic soil.
Microgreens are packed with nutrients. Sunflower shoots contain protein, pea shoots are high in Vitamin C and F, and broccoli has 50 times the phytonutrients at the microgreen stage than if eaten as a mature head. Got more questions about micrgreens and health? Paul will be glad to tell you all about where the two intersect. “I get to combine my interest in health and farming in what we do,” Paul said.
Archer Market Garden grows a variety of microgreens, including broccoli, radish, wheatgrass and mustard. Mary claimed the pea, sunflower, and radish mix as her favorite. “We feel very fortunate that everything we don’t sell we get to eat!” Mary said.
Paul and Mary recommend eating microgreens on open face sandwiches, rice, pasta, and salads. You can ask them for serving suggestions, or you can visit some of the restaurants they sell to and let the chefs show you how to eat them. Look for Archer Market Garden microgreens at Sabore, the Jones, Tempo Bistro To Go, Embers Wood Grill, and Citizens Co-op in Gainesville.