By: Sarah Khalil
UMW students from the men’s rugby team started the business Mother’s Microgreens in early 2021. These student-athletes collect food waste, compost it and convert it into soil that is used to grow microgreens for the Fredericksburg community.
“Microgreens are like salad greens except far more flavorful, and they contain up to nine times more nutrients,” said senior rugby player and computer science major Jose Reyes.
Senior men’s rugby player and art history major Joseph Ritter works together with Reyes to grow these microgreens.
“We are very health-oriented, and we are constantly looking for the best way to get our proper nutrients in,” said Ritter.
They offer different combinations of greens; each mix is packed with different flavors and nutrients.
“We have several different blends like kale blend, Asian blend and many more,” said Ritter. “Each blend has different kinds of greens that have concentrated benefits.”
Composting is a big part of growing these microgreens because it adds more nutrients into the plants and helps the environment.
“Compost makes the plants much more nutritious when they are grown in compost soil,” said Ritter.
Mother’s Microgreens collects food waste from their customers to use for composting.
“We would go around and collect food waste from people who buy our microgreens, and recently we’ve partnered with Generation Compost,” said Ritter. “Now we are an official drop-off location for the company,”
Generation Compost is a waste management service located in Fredericksburg that assists with proper waste disposal and recycling.
Kaitlin Smyth, a senior biology major, found out about Mother’s Microgreens by coming across their business page on Instagram.
“This is a really unique idea to get the daily nutrients in, and not only is it a healthy meal, but you’re helping the environment as well,” said Smyth about microgreens. “It’s really impressive to see student-athletes doing more for the community outside of UMW, because not only are they managing schoolwork, but they also have to play sports, and I think that is a great way to give back to the Fredericksburg community.”
The business started with Ritter and Reyes growing microgreens for themselves.
“We were growing microgreens for our personal consumption,” said Ritter. “Then we decided that we can turn it into a business. We started growing them on a larger scale and selling them to family and friends. We are looking to start selling it to restaurants and businesses.”
These athletes harvest their microgreens every eleven days.
“Microgreens are nutrient-dense, quick and easy,” said Reyes. “People should try them because they’re fun and easy to throw into any meal. Both avid chefs and college students can give them a try in their smoothies, salads, sandwiches, etc.”
For student-athletes, getting the proper amount of nutrients daily can help improve athletic performance, according to an article from the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
“If you don’t like your vegetables, this will be perfect because you only have to get a small handful and you will get all your proper nutrients,” said Ritter.
For more information and product purchases, the direct way to reach out to Mother’s Microgreens company is by contact Mother’s Microgreens through their Instagram @mothersmicrogreens.