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France : Microgreens with a maxi flavour

45 year old Englishman Chris Kilner lived in London, was amongst those that created the human robots, Nao and Pepper,and also lived in Paris and Marseille and “after seven years in Paris I was fed up”. He is now one of the rare producers in France to exclusively grow microgreens such as basil, rocket, cabbage, peas and agastache in the Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes. He moved with his wife and children into his parents old holiday home in Saint-Jean-en-Val, where at the bottom of the garden a 20m2 or so greenhouse houses the 250,000 plants. He grows 40 or so varieties of seeds that he buys in France, Italy and England and grows in organic soil, they include curly cabbage, green or red veined sorrel, mustard, coriander, mangetout, broccoli… 

Microgreens are very popular in England, a few leaves of his “spicy mix” with nibbles over drinks would definitely surprise guests ! Amongst the microgreens he grows is wheat grass, which is popular in the UK and consumed as a juice (more for its nutritious qualities than for the taste). Since launching in July, Chris Kilner very quickly went to meet local gourmet and starred chefs in Issoire and Clermont who couldn’t resist his products and regularly use them in their recipes or to decorate plates. Now that winter has come and the project is in it’s early stages, he will be at the local markets for a couple of months whilst waiting for the spring, when new shoots will grow and he promises “I will double my capacity” and “have more varieties”. The small plants are seeing big… 

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