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Boston-Based Urban Farm Specializes In Growing Microgreens

BOSTON (CBS) -- A futuristic farm based in Boston is looking to capitalize on a budding industry by bringing the farm inside. Boston Microgreens specializes in growing what are essentially baby vegetables.

Microgreens are plants harvested just above the soil line after the first tiny leaves sprout. They have a higher concentration of nutrients and flavor than their "grown-up" counterparts.

It all started in the apartment of co-founder Oliver Homberg.

The Northeastern graduate said the pandemic forced them to get creative.

"When pandemic started, we were heavily restaurant oriented business so when those restaurants started closing, our orders went from 100 to zero in about a week -- which was really sad but the whole world was collapsing so we didn't really take it personally. But what we did do is we set up a CSA program," said Homberg.

Customers could have a custom blend delivered to them, with free delivery in the city of Boston.

"We call it the nutrition mix and it's got a blend of all these different microgreens: kale, cabbage, broccoli, pea shoots, sunflower, beet, Swiss chard, and buckwheat are all in there. Not only are you getting condensed nutrition, and vitamins and minerals, but you're getting the variety from all these different plants so in each bowl you're basically getting your whole front garden."

Homberg said it can be put in smoothies, in salads, or just as a side.

Boston Microgreens is run out of a 2,000-foot facility in South Boston. There are 11 grow racks and everything is grown to order.

"We have two harvest days a week and everything that's at the farm has already been purchased or preordered by a customer. That's how we are able to produce a lot of food and make our 'in-city' operation feasible," said Homberg.

The urban farm has been up and running for four years.

Homberg said the focus is shifted toward growing operations and building a network of sister farms. One is planned to open in Beverly.

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