Microgreens for the masses
Rusty Hyde delivers fresh product to local chefs.
Written by Katie Keever
Rusty and, his wife, Tricia Hyde stand out from average farmers. They deliver living microgreens to local chefs.
They started their business with herb plants, selling them at a local farmers’ market. They wanted to expand their season from producing only from May to August to growing year round. So they decided to start to produce microgreens.
Your tastebuds start tingling when you see microgreens, Rusty explains.
“The visual is very important to start the whole cycle of enjoying a meal,” Rusty says. “Microgreens serve to do that. They’re an accent; they’re an enhancement.”
A chef from the Peppermill Resort Spa Casino tried the Hydes’ arugula at a farmers’ market and began ordering from them. Their business started to take off. From there they started providing microgreens to more than 20 businesses from Reno to Carson City twice a week.
With the expansion of their business, they have added more shelves too, their 880-square-foot, finished growing area where they grow their microgreens. Rusty and Tricia have a producers certificate from the Nevada Department of Agriculture, which allows them to legally sell their microgreens to their buyers.
When asked how Rusty and Tricia feel about seeing their greens go from their garage to these beautiful dishes on plates around town, Rusty says, “We find that very rewarding. It feels good to be contributing in that fashion.”
Rusty’s delivery of living microgreens is unique and rare.. Jay Rathmann, owner of BJ’s BBQ in Sparks and president of the ACF HSCA, says “90 percent to 95 percent of everybody else is getting clipped microgreens, and that’s how I bought them for the longest time before I met Rusty.”
Microgreens are usually clipped and packaged, then sent out, which leaves a two- or three-day period before the greens are received. This is where Rusty takes it to the next level by delivering them live. The process allows the plant to be clipped by hand and served as fresh as possible by the chef.
Rusty also donates microgreens to the culinary schools around town. Rathmann says delivering them to local youths allows them to have fun with the dishes they create.
“We want them to experience these things because a lot of schools don’t get fresh herbs,” Rathmann says.
Not only do the youths get to use the greens in school but they also were given some to take to a cooking competition in Las Vegas at which they won first in the culinary classification. Rusty expresses how rewarding this was for him,
“They used all their skills but using the herbs allowed them to receive another plus mark,” Rusty says.
Microgreens have become popular in the culinary scene and are being used now more than ever.
“For the longest time when you boil it down, parsley, green onions, and chives were always on your plate,” Rathmann says. “When you take a step back, 10 years ago, microgreens are not what they are today.”
Microgreens aren’t exclusive to our area. They are shipped all over the United States, but this is what makes Rusty and Tricia’s business so successful.
“There are different challenges in the summer and winter, but our business is year-round,” Rusty says, “I think that’s what we offer, is consistency. We try to listen and understand what the chefs are looking for and match up with those needs.”
Rusty and Tricia’s love for their business shows in every tray that is delivered and on every plate that is crafted with their greens.
“I’m known for heart”, Rusty says jokingly. But that’s no joke, there’s heart in every root of every one of his microgreens.