A new storefront opened in downtown Huntingdon Friday featuring a familiar face, GreenSpace, which used to sell microgreens at the Huntingdon Farmers’ Market, and will now be operating out of 421 Penn St.
The store will primarily sell certified organic microgreens, which are plants that need minimal soil and light but still provide nutrition.
GreenSpace production manager Dan Klock explained that microgreens are part of GreenSpace’s parent organizations’ interest in space travel and sustainability.
“Part of our mission with microgreens is how do you turn over a quick, nutritious, low-watt light source of food, and that brought us to microgreens,” said Klock. He added, “they don’t need much soil, a lot of light, and they don’t need to grow out for a whole five months.”
GreenSpace is part of the nonprofit, Blue Marble Space, which encourages research and education around sustainability and space travel. As GreenSpace sells the greens, they are also considering what greens grow the fastest and healthiest. Klock said he had a radish microgreen that was only seven days old but already stood several inches tall.
“These (radish greens) are really nice and plump, but (in space) they may not want to waste a lot of time on these basil or arugula (microgreens), because they don’t seem to have a lot of (growth) to them,” he said.
Klock explained that education is a large part of their organization.
“We work with schools on farm-to-school programs, we do science expos all over the place, we host kids activities at farmers’ markets when they have kids days,” he said. They also created microgreens growing kits that are entirely recyclable, even the instruction card. Along with the kit is a lesson plans for 3-5 graders that are in line with the next generation science standards so teachers can teach their students activities corresponding with the growth kits directly out of the lesson plans.
They focus on environmentalism and sustainability. He explained that they are trying to learn to be more sustainable on earth so they can be more sustainable in space.
The storefront will also offer educational events once a month.
“Once a month we’ll do some form of educational activity,” Klock said. “Whether that’s bringing different groups in, someone who works with bees, reptiles or something along that line. Or we might host activities ourselves … once the milkweed gets growing we will begin our monarch butterfly conservation. So we’ll go out and collect eggs and raise butterflies, so we’ll probably have an activity on something like that as well.”
Along with the microgreens, the storefront will also be selling hydroponic greens, organic seeds and worm castings.
“Worm castings are super nutrient,” Klock said. “We also sell soil blends where we use the castings and different soils depending on what the needs are.” He explained that they will also have supplies for individuals to grow their own microgreens, with grow lights and garden supplies coming in stock later in the month.
“You can buy seeds, soil, trays and grow microgreens yourself,” he said. “Or we can do the work, and you just buy the greens.”
He said they have received a lot of interest in their store so far.
“A lot of people are talking about what’s going on here,” he said. “People are wishing us luck and a lot of people can’t wait and are asking when we will be open.”
He said his presence at the Boalsburg Farmers’ Market, Bedford Farmers’ Market and Huntingdon Farmers’ Market has also helped people become more aware of them.
During their time at the farmers’ markets, GreenSpace also developed some restaurant accounts.
“Hopefully we’ll get more once we get this storefront underway,” Klock said.
The store will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every Monday through Saturday.
For more information, visit www.growgreenspace.org.
Jesse can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.