Today we’d like to introduce you to Evan and Kelly Mimier.
Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
Upon moving to Colorado 10 years ago, we began growing organic vegetables for our own consumption while we worked in other industries. Tomatoes, peppers, garlic, onions, squash, cucumbers, legumes, corn, berries, apples, and plums were some of our top producers. We found micro-farming in this region to be very enjoyable- although the growing season was shorter, the lack of humidity decreased the amount of pests and diseases that can plague vegetables in other climates. Enjoying the mountain views made pulling bindweed more tolerable. Learning to preserve our harvest meant we could enjoy the taste of summer even as snow-covered our garden. But the extreme weather conditions including drought, hail, and wind required mitigation in order to ensure a good harvest each fall. Our first seven years of growing were highly productive and educational, but after two consecutive seasons of terrible hail storms that destroyed our entire micro-farm (which we had started from seed in the previous winter), we resolved to learn how to grow vegetables in a controlled environment so that we were no longer at risk of losing everything due to a single, isolated summer storm!
In the fall of 2019, as we canned our harvest and cleaned up our garden beds, we took our grow operation indoors to begin growing seedlings under solar-powered grow lights in a temperature-controlled environment. We learned that eating vegetables at the microgreen stage (7-21 days old) provided higher quantities of some micronutrients when compared with eating that same vegetables in a mature state. In January of 2020, as we continued enjoying abundant vegetable harvests throughout the winter, we decided to start a business to share these super nutrient-dense veggies with our community. We planned to make our first sale as the farmers’ markets started up in Spring of 2020!
Evan’s background in mechanics and construction and Kelly’s background in education contributed greatly to our engineering of a hyper-efficient hydroponic business. We originally taught ourselves how to grow vegetables in the traditional way in order to reduce our reliance on factory-farmed produce shipped in from hundreds of miles away and to avoid the use of non-organic chemicals in our practices. And although we are continuing to grow with those traditional methods during the summer months, we have found that our organic vertical farming methods have a miniscule water footprint in comparison with the traditional farming methods and require no chemicals! We now deliver our hyper-local and hyper-efficient living microgreens year-round in reusable containers to hundreds of foodies and nutrition enthusiasts in Larimer, Weld, and Boulder counties!
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
We filed for our LLC in January 2020 with the intention of making our first sales in Spring of 2020. COVID-19 forced to pivot early in the creation of our business, and it was challenging to keep a positive outlook for our business during these unprecedented times. We never considered giving up because we found that the demand for our health-promoting product began to increase when folks started focusing on boosting their immune systems with living nutrition from plants, and our home subscriptions started to take off with no-contact doorstep deliveries of fresh microgreens!
It has been truly inspiring to see how many Coloradans have been empathetic to the struggle of small businesses over the past two years and have continued to support their favorite small businesses with not only purchases but also social media love and recommendations to friends and family. We have felt so much support from our Northern Colorado community, but sadly that wasn’t enough to keep every local entrepreneur afloat during the pandemic.
We are thankful for a local business accelerator called EforAll which allowed us to take a step back during the first winter of the pandemic and work with fellow entrepreneurs and mentors to strategize how our businesses could not only survive, but thrive despite the economic odds in 2021.
We work closely with the incredible local restauranteurs and chefs and have seen the important role they play in the local economic ecosystem. Our local restaurants are the place for first dates, family/friend reunions, celebrations, etc. So much of the Colorado food scene is focused on locally sourced ingredients in addition to being warm and inviting community gathering spaces. Sadly, when restaurants struggle, so do the local workers and vendors who support them. However, we can tell you that form our vantage point, there are so many reasons to be optimistic for 2022!
We’ve been impressed with Forevergreen Farm, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
We specialize in growing living microgreens year-round, for delivery to homes, restaurants, and caterers in Larimer, Weld, and Boulder counties. This year, we are adding edible flowers and herbs to our repertoire with the help of our employee K’lee Garcia who is a horticulture student at Colorado State University!
We use vertical farming methods to grow over 20 varieties of microgreens at any given time, based on the demand of our customers. Our operation is 100% hydroponic, chemical-free, and solar-powered. We are most proud of our eco-friendly practices and the fact that we are providing an incredibly healthy product that promotes wellness at a cellular level.
We love hearing from customers that even the picky eaters in their families love nibbling on our mild-flavored vegetables! Microgreens help to increase the variety of nutrients in your diet, especially in the autumn, winter, and spring when local produce options may be hard to find. Focusing on eating a wide variety of plant foods helps you to meet your antioxidant, vitamin, and mineral needs for optimum wellness and disease prevention!
We offer weekly and bi-weekly subscriptions to home subscribers in Larimer, Weld, and Boulder counties. Readers can learn more about our environmentally friendly practices and superfood delivery services at http://forevergreen.farm
Do you have any advice for those looking to network or find a mentor?
We consider ourselves self-taught farmers and entrepreneurs, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t ask for a lot of help along the way! We met with mentors for free at our local small business development center in the initial stages of our business. We started out selling in a local farmers’ market where we networked with experienced local entrepreneurs weathering the COVID storm! We later applied for a local business accelerator which provided education, mentorship, and networking opportunities. The key to business growth is not being afraid to reach out to potential mentors and ask questions. There are so many free opportunities for entrepreneurs in Northern Colorado with Boulder and Denver being two of the top cities in the United States for startups. We probably spend too much time and effort on social media considering that we are simply selling vegetables, but it’s an excellent place to network and support fellow entrepreneurs!
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: http://forevergreen.farm
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/forevergreen.farm/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/noco.forevergreenfarm