Ross Orsucci, farm manager for Grateful Greens in Brattleboro, sprays water onto the sunflower sprouts in the indoor greenhouse on Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2023. Kristopher Radder - Vermont Country Magazine.
Ross Orsucci, farm manager for Grateful Greens in Brattleboro, sprays water onto the sunflower sprouts in the indoor greenhouse on Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2023. Kristopher Radder - Vermont Country Magazine.

By Bob Audette, Vermont Country Magazine.

Whatever the time of the year, you can get fresh greens at various locations across Southern Vermont thanks to Grateful Greens in Brattleboro.

Grateful Greens has been growing microgreens since 2019, sprouting up here in Brattleboro, first in an outdoor greenhouse, then to Grove Street and then The Stone Church before finding enough room to spread its roots at the Cotton Mill.

Ross Orsucci, farm manager for Grateful Greens in Brattleboro, shows some of the plants that are grown in the indoor greenhouse. Kristopher Radder — Vermont Country Magazine.

“Sunflowers are our main crop…It’s got an amazing crunch, the flavor is really wonderful and it complements a lot of different dishes very nicely. It’s also incredibly high in protein.”

Ross Orsucci, operations manager.

Microgreens aren’t sprouts, which are grown in water. Microgreens are seedlings grown in soil in trays and stacked on metal racks in controlled rooms with bright, artificial sunlight and moist air.

Orsucci and his crew have 4,600 square feet of space in which they are vertically farming, among other things, sunflower, radish, and amaranth microgreens, as well as pea shoots.

According to “Microgreens: Assessment of Nutrient Concentrations,” microgreens provide up to 40 percent more nutrients than do fully grown vegetables or herbs. They are packed with antioxidants and nutritional minerals.

“The yields are high, it’s cost-effective to produce and it’s incredibly nutritious,” said Orsucci, who said he started growing microgreens for himself in 2017 when he hit 300 pounds and was looking for a way to lose weight, get healthy and increase the nutritional content of his diet.

“And I used to hate vegetables. When I started growing my own, it blew my mind. I didn’t know vegetables can be so good.”

Orsucci, a 2012 graduate of Keene High School, started with Mighty Microgreens in Grafton, selling at the Brattleboro Area Farmers Market before partnering with Tom Smith, who recently became the majority investor. Prior to Smith, Bob Johnson, founder of Omega Optical, was the majority investor.

Shortly after Smith became majority investor, he also invested in Boston Microgreens, which Oliver Homburg started in 2017 in his basement apartment with co-founder Matt Alto, now in South Boston and producing 10,000 pounds of produce a year with over 75 varieties of microgreens, most of it for restaurants in the metro area.

“We service about 50 restaurants all within a 5-mile area in the city…The meat and potatoes of our operation is restaurants.”

Oliver Homburg

Grateful Greens has nine employees and Boston Microgreens has six. Smith said he expects to be hiring people as the business grows.

Graeme Fisher, farm worker at Grateful Greens in Brattleboro, cleans up the sunflower sprouts on Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2023. Kristopher Radder – Vermont Country Magazine.
Grateful Greens in Brattleboro grows micro greens for restaurants around town. Grateful Greens uses creative, low impact, state-of-the-art indoor farming technology.

In Brattleboro, the facility also grows cilantro, basil, dill, radish, mustard, arugula and broccoli in a proprietary mix of soil that includes Coast of Maine seed starter and Moo Start seed germinating mix.

“We don’t add any nutrients to our feed water,” said Orsucci. “All we need is soil and clean water and the microgreens get all their essential nutrients from the seed.”

Locally, you can find Grateful Greens in restaurants in West Dover, Wilmington, Brattleboro, Manchester, Newfane, Bennington and Bellows Falls and in New Hampshire in Peterborough, Keene and Marlborough.

Grateful Greens microgreens are also available for purchase at a number of stores and restaurants in the tri-state region, including co-ops in Brattleboro and Putney and in Keene, N.H., Commons Sense in Bellows Falls, Farmhouse Market in Wilmington, New Morning Natural Foods in Manchester, Snow Mountain Market in West Dover and Londonderry Village Market, and at Walpole Grocer in New Hampshire.


Bob Audette a cranky old white guy, is experiencing the world anew under the tutelage of an 11-year-old forest sprite. He’s been writing for the Brattleboro Reformer for nearly two decades.

Vermont Country magazine

Vermont Country has a hyperlocal focus on the Green Mountain lifestyle, its personalities, events, attractions and culture. The magazine appears six times a year, designed to complement the state and four-season living. VtCo magazine is a Southern Vermont publication of Vermont News & Media.

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