NEW BUSINESS: Microgreens project sprouts in the Bay
A YOUNG Hervey Bay chef who created a thriving microgreens business in his own backyard has just one wish for his new venture - that it keeps growing.
Shohei Kishishita, 25, dreams of one day becoming a private chef but first he wants to see his business - SHO Production - sprout so he can bring his beloved mother over from Japan.
Not satisfied with the microgreens used in the kitchen where he's employed, Shohei Kishishita learnt to grow them himself and his business was born.
He now supplies to some of the best restaurants in the area including Coast Restaurant and Bar, Eat at Dan and Steph's, Oz Care and the RSL Group.
"My plan is to bring my mum over from Japan," he said.
"I want to sponsor her, so she can come and live here and by the time she comes, I will have a job for her, and then I want to be a private chef.
"I'm also looking into growing vegetables, but I need to go bigger for that, so it's in the future."
Microgreens are miniature shoots of salad vegetables and herbs like rocket, radish, cabbage, kale, basil, coriander and many more, and are believed to be rich in vitamins and antioxidants.
Shohei said he bought the nutrient-rich seedlings in small packets until he mastered the art of growing them.
"I started with (watching) YouTube (clips) and reading books... and just by doing it," he said.
"I didn't even buy proper trays, I got styrofoam boxes from cafes and restaurants and cut them in half.
"I filled them with coco pea at first, but it didn't work at all.
"It's good for hydroponics but not for microherbs, so I changed to soil.
"I'm still learning, and I still have a lot of issues.
"I think they need full sun, but not too hot.
"In winter it's not warm enough, so I had to build a wood fire stove at the back of the greenhouse because the herbs need to grow in temperatures between 22 and 24 degrees."
If you would like to sample Shohei's microgreens and edible flowers, they can be found at Fraser Coast Fresh Produce, starting from $5 a punnet.