Today I wanted to give you some insight on how a week in our microgreen business looks like. Starting with Monday 🙂
MONDAY’s we usually get up at 6.30AM and have breakfast together with our kids, then we take them to the kindergarten around 7.30. On Mondays we don’t have deliveries that’s why we arrived in the warehouse a little later. First we go through a list of seeds we have to put into water and what need to be sown (I am preparing the list on Sunday, depending on what events are being planned for the future weeks). In our warehouse we separate warm and cold parts (so that we can boost or slow down microgreens). We start misting the seeds in the warm part which are covered with lids. With that we keep high moisture under the lids, which is important for good germination. The ones that need to be uncovered ,we sort on racks. When we finish with this first phase, the second one starts – watering. We water them manually, so all microgreens on the racks need that ‘shower’ and then we sort them for next day delivery, or just take them in the cold part to slow down the growth. Boštjan starts preparing trays with soil for the seeding process.
In between, I need to send out an email with our weekly offer. With this I remind customers to send me orders. And each week we have something new to offer, because nature has always something new to ‘offer’. But because not all chefs are up to date, I agreed with them, to send them a SMS, and then my collecting orders for the next day can really start 🙂 After I manage to collect all who answered me back, Mateja (our colleague) is preparing the orders in the warehouse. We really are trying to tell customers, that orders have to go out in the mornings but some of the chefs don’t listen or they haven’t got time to send orders, so it is not unusual for us to get orders till midnight 🙂 We really are trying to get orders as soon as possible, because after this, we need to go into nature also and pick up fresh edible flowers and wild plants. Sometimes you just don’t know where they are growing, so you also need to find spots, and this takes time. After we pick them up in nature, the packaging phase starts. I am so happy to have my mom (& dad), because they are responsible for this part, and they save me a lot of hours. So that I can actually take care and create new business. When all the work is delegated, I need to prepare delivery notes, there is always a lot of online work (social media channels, new customers, labels, invoices, proformas, …).
TUESDAY is delivery day. That’s why Boštjan gets up at 5.40 and goes to the wearhouse where microgreens are already prepared but because some of the orders were sent too late he needs to prepare the rest of the orders in some cases. He puts fresh flowers and cutted microgreens in a termo box and loads everything in the van then returns home and eats his breakfast.
Around 7am he starts from home to deliver in the capital city of Slovenia, Ljubljana, which is 30 kms from our town. After my morning routine, and taking the kids to kindergarten, I go to the warehouse where all the ordinary work like watering ,seeding, preparing for the next day needs to be done.
Soil preparation for sowing microgreens.
WEDNESDAY is also like the same morning routine but the delivery area is different. We have delivery areas that are far away. One way is basically 170 km which means 340 km on both sides, but it is a very important market. This is our beautiful coast by the sea where there are a lot of hotels and fine restaurants. Specially when the season starts, from spring to autumn, this is a really good market. Meanwhile in our warehouse standard work needs to be done (misting, watering and preparing microgreens, edible flowers and wild plants for our last day delivery in the week).
I want to tell you a little bit more why we have a system like that. You already noticed that we have our first delivery on Tuesday and this is on purpose. This is a must, if you want your Sunday free. And at the end of the week, all roads are very busy, that’s why we decided not to deliver on Fridays. Even though we have a full time business we are trying to be with our kids as much as possible and definitely for the end of the weekend.
That is why our first delivery is on Tuesday and all preparation work is made on Monday. Our customers get used to it. All you need is to teach them how they have to handle microgreens. Now we opened a new area to deliver on Wednesday and that means I also need to go on the field and try to find new customers and deliver what was already preordered. Because Thursday is the most profitable day of the week, this means Wednesday is the busiest day for preparation. Picking and packaging takes a lot of time until everything is finished.
THURSDAY, I already mentioned, is the busiest day for delivery. In the top season Boštjan has over 40 deliveries. We are delivering to another area, which is also 120 km away from our home. That’s why he gets up early at 5.40 and goes to the warehouse before breakfast. Maybe he needs to do some small unfinished work and then load all the microgreens, flowers and wild plants, return back home where he eats breakfast with all of us. Around 7 am he starts delivering and comes back around 4pm. You have to have a really good loading system with these small paper notes and point to point organization otherwise you struggle too much on the field. And it is best to have an optimized route, so that you save time. In the capital city we have limited delivery until 10 o’clock in the morning. Then those submersible carts go up, and you can’t deliver there anymore. Having a good plan is crucial for this part.
ON FRIDAYS we don’t have deliveries that’s why Boštjan does all the regular work in the warehouse. Plus Friday is time for general cleaning. This means, we wash all the trays with delivered microgreens and the one that we got back, cleaning with a vacuum cleaner and in the end washing the floor. I am working at home as usual with all the paperwork and internet stuff.
We planned in advance to have Saturdays and Sundays left with as little as possible work. So it requires mostly just misting & watering. But if some seeds need to be presoaked and sown, then we also do that. But you need to understand that when it’s getting warmer outside, then you need to calculate this factor into your growing time. But we are trying to gather some of the work on the same days. Like sowing (usually during the week). If we are making some tests (on a regular basis), then we also are making them during the week, so that we are left with more time for kids during the weekend.
I hope this gave you a general overview of a regular week in our microgreen business. As you can see, microgreens do need daily presence of you, and it is better to have at least one person more, to help you. With this approach, you are definitely growing.
Some seeds require soil on top.
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