About

Our Approach

Our Approach

Since we like to eat fresh, locally grown produce, we work to provide the kind of produce we’d look for to purchase. As an urban farm-to-table grower, our business encompasses the best in fresh, garden-sweet product, grown clean and promoting the best practices in “green” living. 

Our Story

The Greensted is an urban farm-to-table grower located in Zumbrota, Minnesota. We are small, but have big dreams! We are two people tired of  working day jobs, want to exit the corporate world, and get back to what’s real, what has meaning, what feeds our family, and our soul.

Dean and Jayne – a sweet story.

We met in 2014 and began dating, knowing we were both serious about finding a life partner.  Three months into our budding relationship, Jayne had an unfortunate accident, resulting in a nasty tibia-fibula fracture. Ambulance, surgery, hospital stay and three days later, Dean brought her back home to her apartment. It’s quite an unusual way to grow a relationship.

While we’d never recommend this crash-landing trauma and drama style of relationship building, it allowed time for lots of conversation about life: our experiences, lifestyles, parenting style, financial challenges and most of all, our deep, abiding faith in God.

Broken leg mended, we married in September 2015 and began our life together in Zumbrota.  Frequently our conversations turned to farming. The summer of 2016 Dean planted a garden on a friend’s farm. The soil was sandy, hard and had a hearty crop of weeds. He watered, a lot, pulled weeds a lot more, and gave it his all. We got a few small, not particularly flavorful vegetables. With little to show for his efforts, his enthusiasm and excitement about growing things grew. He was not at all defeated, but rather was ready to do more. So we began looking at season extension and ideas.

As we researched, and watched hours of “dirty movies” – i.e. YouTube videos on composting, organic growing, soil composition, planting methods, watering methods, seeds and seed sprouting – microgreens kept coming to the forefront. We realized we could grow microgreens inside, in our heated garage, and maybe those could become the “seedlings” of a new business.

My Sweet Greens MN —> The GREENSTED ~regenerative project – a sweeter story

The Greensted was born in 2016. We bought a URL from Go Daddy, seeds from Johnny’s Seeds, flats and soil from Walmart and started growing trials. Combining Dean’s passion for farming and Jayne’s keen interest in marketing and promotions, a business sprouted. The rest, is history. Read on.

2021 The Greensted regenerative project – the BEST is yet to come! (update 02.24.21) Just like everyone else, we slammed the door shut on 2020. We survived. In some ways as a local food producer, we THRIVED. But nothing was easy. Whatever your take on the coronavirus, lockdowns, loss of every community events, and political outcomes of last year, we hope you found new and better sources for local food and products.  Because if there is a silver lining to be found, it was just that. Local small businesses found innovative ways to keep going, to keep producing, to keep food and products available to customers. And customers gave lots of love to their local favorites.  Curb-side pick ups, no-contact pick ups, ding-dong-dash deliveries, outdoor dining,  it all happened.  E-comm platforms exploded with opportunities for every type of small business. Grants and loans were made available and multiple organizations reached out to business owners, farmers, producers with these opportunities. It was a year of amazing growth and networking even if we all were home on the couch. We did it.  Late summer, The Greensted had an incredible opportunity open up to rent a large facility space, being built to suit to accommodate exactly what we needed for growing and packaging microgreens. In addition we are adding large scale market garden produce, CSA program, Reko market (watch for more)  and we will be opening a small farm store.  Current move date is first week of March – give or take a week. We will settle the microgreens enterprise into this new space, prep for planting the gardens, gather products and resources for the farm store, launch our first even CSA share program, and start up the Reko markets. We won’t be bored! See you at The GREENSTED regenerative project this season.  

2020 My Sweet Greens MN becomes The GREENSTED, LLC.   Big changes this year!  Due to a cease and desist position we found ourselves in, we jumped both feet into a new name and branding. The GREENSTED will continue to provide and distribute our My Sweet Microgreens products. Our company vision of Sustain, Regenerate and Connect is at the front and center of all we do. More products, more places to come throughout 2020. Please check out our video for the announcement. Watch our social media posts for the latest and greatest happenings here at The GREENSTED. 

2019 has started fast and crazy. (Update 04.26.19) In Dec. of 2018 we started stocking microgreens at the Barlow Plaza Hy-Vee in Rochester. In January we added the three remaining stores in Rochester, and a couple weeks later, Faribault and Owatonna. We participated in two indoor winter markets – Faribault Winter Farmers Market at the Paradise Theatre, Faribault, and the Rochester Farmers Market, Graham Park. These were fun to stay connected with customers one-on-one each month. Summer markets are starting in a couple of weeks, and that will launch a very busy summer. Stay updated with our daily/weekly activities by  following us on Facebook and Instagram

2018 has been a great year of getting out into several communities at farmers markets,  pursuing more retail and restaurant sales opportunities and increasing our knowledge base and experience. We have enhanced our product lines with additional microgreen varieties and some salad greens. It’s been a very busy summer, and we wouldn’t change it for anything.

2017 was a year of setting up infrastructure, developing processes and putting business foundation pieces in place. We both maintained full time jobs, making for busy nights and weekends tending to our business goals. As we grew our trial microgreens, experimenting with flats, seeding protocols, lighting, temperatures, Jayne began bringing in harvest samples to the Executive Chef where she worked. He would look them over, taste, compare with what he’d been buying from the local commercial produce vendor and share what he was looking for.

One day he asked, “You have microgreens to sell? I want to stop buying from the commercial vendor.”  Our first customer!

We participated in two exhibitor shows in 2017Radish Magazine Healthy Living Fair in August, and Feast! Sponsored by Renewing the Countryside in December. These were great experiences – learning how to set up our booth, share samples with attendees, produce educational materials, recipes, and start to introduce microgreen goodness to our local market. We hob-nobbed with other growers and small businesses – invaluable connections.

Dean set up a small greenhouse, with free and scavenged materials (upcycling!) and proceeded to move it to and fro in the yard, to allow for best sunlight, or best cooling depending on the progression of seasons. In the fall, Dean stripped sod off a spot in the yard, worked up the soil. Over that newly prepared bed, we added second and third season extension greenhouses planting spinach, kale, Cressida, Pok Choi, Mizuna, Arugula and a few various microgreens and herbs.

We grow 16 and counting varieties of microgreens many of which are incorporated into our custom blends. Check out our  products:

Arugula 

Broccoli

Cressida

Kale 

Red Acre Cabbage,  Michihilli Green Cabbage

Kohlrabi

Mustard Greens – Southern Curled, Tender Green and Red Giant

Sweet Pea Shoots

Sunflower Shoots

Amaranth

Our Signature Blends:

Classy Classic – blend of Broccoli, Kale, Red and Green Cabbages, Kohlrabi and Mizuna (a mild mustard)
Zesty Mix – a blend of Arugula, Tender Green Mustard, Southern Curled Mustard and Red Mustard
Just Broccoli – Broccoli.  Everyone’s favorite all around, healthy, delicious vegetable.  NEW in 2021, Just Broccoli microgreens.  Bright flavor, packed with nutrition.
 
Pizzazz – Pizzazz means “vitality with a touch of glamour.”  Our blend includes Arugula, Broccoli, Red Cabbage (USDA’s highest nutrient rich microgreens) and a touch of red microgreens.  Add Pizzazz to all your favorite foods!
Herb Microgreens available upon request,  month lead time.

 

Meet the Team

Dean Bredlau, Farmer 

All things soil, compost, plants, animals – Raised (and loved!) working on his family’s dairy farm.

Bachelors in Chemistry – 10+ Years Quality Assurance Experience – food safety, food quality

Dad to Hannah  and Rachel.

 

Jayne Bredlau, Farmer’s Wife

All things digital – Website tech, company branding, email, marketing, etc.

Many things production – harvest line worker, QA Enforcer, packaging pro

Mom to four grown children: BJ & Rachel Clare (granddaughter Shaelyn), Rachel Joy, Christopher & Taylor (grandson Braxton) and Heidi

Step-mom to Hannah and Rachel B.