Thanks to the events of 2020, more Australians than ever before are focusing on personal wellness and sustainability, meaning restaurants and cafés have also followed suit. Growing your own produce is one trend in this area, but not all eateries have the space or time, which is where Micropod comes in.
Award-winning Kiwi start-up, Micropod, has developed a simple grow kit that allows you to easily grow healthy and nutritious microgreens indoors in small spaces simply by adding water – no soil required! And the good news is that it’s now available in Australia.
Microgreens, also known as ‘vegetable confetti,’ are the seedlings of leafy greens, vegetables and herbs. They’ve become increasingly popular with chefs and individuals because they can have up to 40 times more nutrients than their mature counterparts; and their vivid colours, intense flavours and array of textures can bring any dish to life.
While microgreens are normally quite tricky to grow due to their strict growth requirements, Micropod is a complete game-changer for those who lack the time, knowledge or appropriate conditions to cultivate these properly. It’s a simple growing system containing a bamboo fibre tray, honeycomb grills and seedmats (which are embedded with untreated and non-GMO microgreen seeds). Simply add water to your Micropod and in seven to fifteen days you can harvest fresh, delicious and highly nutritious microgreens – without getting your hands dirty.
“Micropod’s mission is to make indoor gardening simple, accessible, fresh and rewarding for everyone,” says co-founder and CEO Jeff Xu. “Our unique, sustainable hydroponic kit makes growing microgreens anywhere as easy as just adding water. It’s the perfect way for chefs to elevate dishes both visually and flavour-wise, while also packing a punch nutritionally, and what could be more sustainable than growing food right there in front of the customers.”
The Micropod comes in a variety of colours and its sleek, minimal design makes a chic addition to any café or restaurant interior. The patented seedmats are packed with nutrients and evenly spaced seeds to yield perfect microgreens every time, plus they’re also eco-friendly and compostable being made from all-natural paper pulp and coconut fibres. The seedmats are made locally in Australia and New Zealand.
Micropod Starter Kits are available now in Australia via the Micropod website for $59, with refill seed packs (6 seedmats containing 440 individual seeds on each mat) priced at $14 and Micro Snips (the perfect harvesting tool) priced at $10. The current seedmat variety range includes Rocket, Red Kale, Mizuna, Mustard, Pak Choi and Broccoli – with new varieties being added frequently. Free shipping nationally for orders over $25.
Micropod was founded by four friends in 2017. It began when CEO Jeff Xu had tried to grow microgreens after hearing about the superfood’s exceptionally high nutritional value and unique flavour profiles. Cultivating microgreens from scratch proved tedious and time consuming for Jeff, an engineer, so he set out to design the perfect way to grow them at home. He enlisted the help of friends Brian Lai, Oliver McDermott and Jonathan Good, who combined their design and entrepreneurial expertise to develop the initial idea. Numerous trials and refinements later, Micropod was born.
Since launching in New Zealand in February 2019, Kiwis all over the country embraced not only the Micropod but also the deeper values of growing their own fresh, spray-free, and sustainable food. In late 2020, Micropod launched in Australia with more countries on the horizon soon. As the start-up continues to grow, it hopes to encourage people to become more conscious of where their food comes from while maintaining a focus on caring for the planet.