There is almost nothing better than consuming fresh food, knowing exactly where it came from. This is the common thread in the “farm-to-table” movement that has taken over our food culture in recent years. This movement promotes serving food that is grown locally, and that people can truly feel good about eating. While Lisa and Justin Brocato both have little experience in traditional agriculture or farming, they are a prime example of what dedication and passion can produce- literally!
With an extensive background in the restaurant and catering industry, Justin is no stranger to the importance of locally grown produce. A spark was lit in his mind during a work conference in Las Vegas over five years ago that would soon lead him to growing his own microgreens right at home. He began to take a serious look into where the food he was eating and creating in the kitchen were really coming from. “I started to wonder why the microgreens I was using at the restaurant were coming from California! Why is something so fragile coming from halfway across the country?” Justin exclaimed. And so, the seed for a blooming business that would be known as “Rooted Locally” was planted. Justin and his wife Lisa would spend the next year testing a multitude of seeds to begin growing their very own microgreens. What at first started out as a small greenhouse in their backyard, has now grown into a 400 sq. ft grow space equipped with state of the art growing racks and lights.
So what exactly are microgreens and why are they so special? These little greens are essentially herbs and vegetables that are a smaller version of the larger plant. While microgreens may seem delicate, they really pack a punch with intense flavors and highly concentrated nutritional value.
For decades, microgreens have been used in restaurants to add a garnish or an aesthetic to a given dish, but in recent years have become prominent in more mainstream cooking. Lisa and Justin grow over 500 trays of these organic, non GMO microgreens a week. Through Rooted Locally, you can buy just one single tray of these microgreens and simply cut as you please. After about ten days of use, put the remaining microgreens in the fridge to last another ten days. “This gives people access to super fresh produce that is literally living on your counter. And it lasts 20 days which is longer than what you might purchase at the supermarket,” says Lisa.
But, Lisa and Justin don’t plan to stop at microgreens- after just purchasing 24 acres of property off of Millersport Highway that will be developed next year, they look forward to be doing more traditional farming as well.
Stop by the Elmwood-Bidwell Farmers Market or Williamsville Farmers Market every Saturday to grab a tray of microgreens from Rooted Locally to find out what even your favorite dishes have been missing.