Nicole Harris' Tiny Greens Farm Grows Microgreens in Dutchess County
Buckwheat Microgreens at Tiny Greens Farm in Dutchess
Whole-food nutritionist uses Dutchess County homestead to produce
Microgreens—the tiny, powerful form of vegetables, flowers and herbs, harvested just after the first leaves develop—have become popular for adding color and flavor to dishes. They also punch far above their weight in nutritional value. So when whole-food nutritionist Nicole Harris decided to turn her Dutchess County homestead into a sustainable micro-farm serving the Hudson Valley, she started with microgreens.
“Microgreens are considered natural functional foods that contain nutrients beyond basic nutritional needs,” Harris says. “Food truly is medicine, and microgreens should be a staple in every individual’s health and wellness journey.”
Her “microfarm,” Tiny Greens, produces soil-grown microgreens from radishes, sunflowers, sweet peas and other plants, to add color and flavor to meals. It offers home and office deliveries, CSA seasonal programs, and wholesale menus for chefs and restaurants. Its products can also be found in local grocery stores, seasonal markets and farm stores. All its packaging is biodegradable and compostable.
Local home and office deliveries are offered year-round, while Tiny Greens Farm’s CSA Micro Share is offered seasonally for eight weeks (its next program will be for fall/winter 2021). Currently their products can be found at Adams Fairacre Farms, Fishkill Farms Farm Store and Obercreek Farm Stand, and are used by various local cafés, restaurants and caterers.
“We’re on a mission to feed busy families healthy and simple whole foods,” Harris says. “You can purchase them at a local farm or in the grocery store, or have them delivered straight to your door. They are convenient, functional foods that can be added to any meal you cook or order out.”
According to research published in the August 2012 Journal of Agricultural Food and Chemistry, “Microgreens contain 4 to 40 times more nutrients than their adult counterparts, depending on the variety.”
Each variety of microgreen contains different phytonutrients that support optimal health and wellness, Harris says. For example, buckwheat contains the plant pigments quercetin and rutin, which help create antioxidant activity in the body. Antioxidants promote good health in a variety of ways, such as helping the body neutralize free radicals, supporting the immune system and facilitating a healthy inflammatory response, she says.
“Most studies look at the brassica family vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, turnip, kohlrabi and arugula,” she says. “These varieties are ones I grow consistently for my home deliveries as well as chefs and restaurants.” Research has found that the phytonutrients in these cruciferous vegetables stimulate the body to produce more antioxidants and detoxification enzymes.
While soil-grown microgreens are the start and the heart of Tiny Greens Farm, Harris plans to grow the microfarm to include other offerings.
“We provide a high-quality, hyper-local product to our neighborhood and the surrounding community we call home,” she says.