A Manawatū farming family have seen so many benefits from their latest produce experiment that they have turned it into a business.
After growing concerns their family wasn't consuming enough vegetables, Sarah Stevens began learning about microgreens as a way to up the family's healthy food intake.
"We were both working fulltime and couldn't find the time to get the vegetables and nutrients in that we needed. We would buy a lot of vegetables and end up throwing them away.
"It sounds silly, but the time it takes to prepare them, cook them and juggle the kids, it didn't work very well for us."
Microgreens are considered baby plants, falling somewhere between a sprout and baby green. They are harvested very young, and only take 10 to 14 days to grow.
They have up to 40 times the nutrients than their mature counterparts.
The success and benefits she has seen from microgreens has lead to Stevens starting a business called Microtrition, solely dedicated to the seedlings.
"They have a lot more nutrients in them than adult vegetables, because they are smaller and so compact.
"It's just our way of getting in all the nutrients we were missing. It is so quick and easy."
Stevens expanded beyond supplying friends and family when she was made redundant in July last year because of Covid-19.
"Instead of spending 10 hours behind a computer, I was enjoying doing the farming and would rather be more hands on. Given we had the passion for the microgreens, we went exploring.
"We thought it would give us a bit more time with the family while doing something we really enjoy."
They ramped up trials on all things microgreens, from learning what tastes best, to how to grow them more efficiently.
"In the past 12 months or so, we have got to the point where we can start selling to people knowing the product is as good as we can get it."
Stevens hopes with their latest venture they can raise awareness around the benefits of microgreens and encouraging healthier lifestyles.
"Vegetables are getting so expensive and people are time-poor as well. This is just such a good way to get the goodness you need. To see other people benefit from it the way we have would be great."
Find out more on the Microtrition Facebook page.