Meet the man who grows microgreens for city restaurants
TOOWOOMBA teenager Josh Paterson has traded a job at Doughnut King for his own microgreens business.
Mr Paterson, 18, said he quit his job one month ago to devote more time to Flare Specialty Produce.
He said his business specialised in microgreens, which were harvested 10 days after germination.
"At that stage they've got a lot more flavour in them and nutrition and a lot of colour," he said.
Mr Paterson has sold his microgreens at the My Local Feast farmers' market since December last year.
He now also supplies restaurants in Toowoomba including The Southern Hotel and Muller Bros.
Mr Paterson said it was hard to run the business by himself.
"I do everything," he said.
"I'm the builder, the marketer, the graphic designer, the lot."
The most stressful things for Mr Paterson were the weather and the tight deadlines.
"It's such a short turnaround and you haven't got a lot of room to get things wrong," he said.
"You've got the restaurants that are expecting you to produce a high-quality product every week."
Mr Paterson said microgreens had been around for a long time, but they were becoming more popular in Toowoomba because of the "foodie" culture.
"People are starting to see it (microgreens) more on the cooking shows and stuff and want to take that back to their house," he said.
"Most of my farmers' market customers use them in salads and sandwiches or burgers and stuff.
"My restaurants use them as more of a garnish and also to add some colour and flavour to the dish."
Mr Paterson said his interest in gardening started when he was very young.
"I've always had a veggie garden since I was little. Then I got a job a few years ago and started spending more money on my veggie garden," he said.
When it came to learning how to grow microgreens, Mr Paterson said he taught himself.
"YouTube was my best friend and I read lots of websites," he said.