By: JoAnn Dahl, Owner #66
“I’ve become very passionate about the importance of good nutrition and fueling our bodies with healthy foods. I like knowing where my food comes from, and what’s involved in the farm to table process."
Ben Back, Owner #403
At the home of Ben and Zoe Back, the yard is menagerie of green leaves of every size, shape and hue. You might find a mini cantaloupe, vines of heirloom peas or a four year old rosemary plant, but the place Ben’s green thumb really shines is in his basement. That’s right, in his basement, Ben grows superfoods. Working from home, where Ben cares for his three children, he has used his passion for healthy eating and growing food to create Little Falls Microgreens. If you are not a foodie, you might not be familiar with these delicate, tender mini leaves and stems that are packed with powerful flavor and loaded with nutrients. Microgreens are a super food that can provide anywhere from 4 to 40 times the nutrient value of their full grown counterpart. Similar to sprouts, without the seeds and roots, they are grown in trays and pull water up from below. Just about any vegetable can be grown as a microgreen. Using mostly organic soil and following organic practices, Ben grows the microgreens indoors to control the environment. Then, at just the right moment, he harvests the ‘baby leaves’ before the plants mature.
For Ben and his wife Zoe, providing healthy, nutritious food for their family is a priority. They care deeply about the earth and having access to sustainably grown, ethically resourced food. That was a big reason they became Purple Carrot Market owners. The Purple Carrot Market community is one of the things they love about the Little Falls area.
Microgreens are a perfect way to power pack nutrients into the family diet. Whether sprinkled on a salad, dropped into a soup, or hidden in a smoothie, the three Back children get extra nutrients with no complaints. The greens keep in the refrigerator from two weeks to a month. Radish greens really jazz up a sandwich, or you could try red Russian kale microgreens on an egg scramble, or pea greens in a chicken stir fry. The possibilities are endless.
Visit Little Falls Microgreens on Facebook for some great ideas or order a clamshell of fresh greens. Ben also sells his greens to Sprout MN for their CSA program, in addition to local restaurants. If you are interested in growing some super food of your own, Ben sells kits as well. Click this link for more information on Ben and microgreens. Calm, earthy and disarming, Ben is just a super guy producing super food and we are so fortunate to have him and his family as owners/producers in our Purple Carrot Market community.