New Riggston greenhouse to offer hard-to-find herbs with a modern twist


RIGGSTON – A greenhouse used to grow herbs and vegetables may not be anything new. But a greenhouse being built by a Scott County resident has a modern twist — one that allows customers to buy herbs, vegetables, and microgreens that are hard to find in most stores at a self-service checkout.

“I want people to feel like they’re shopping in my own greenhouse,” says Jenny Sauer-Schmidgall. “I started growing crops three years ago just to do it.”

Today, her husband’s construction crew is building a greenhouse at 1237 Old Route 36, where Grab ‘n’ Grow Greenhouse will have a permanent home. What makes Grab ‘n’ Grow unique is self-service, where people can select herbs, plants or vegetables, scan and pay at checkout with a provided tablet, or pay with cash and then take them home to start theirs own growing.

“I made it where I don’t need to be,” Sauer-Schmidgall said, adding that she also farms full-time and is dedicated to planting at this time of year.

Any surplus paid in cash will be donated to Winchester FFA. For example, if someone buys $18 and someone leaves a $20 bill, then $2 will be donated. People can also leave suggestions for other items for sale.

“It’s like a vegetable department, but in a greenhouse,” said Sauer-Schmidgall.

Sauer-Schmidgall offerings include borage microgreens, which have thick and crunchy leaves and taste like cucumbers; tomatillo; pink pompas grass; mini wildflower gardens; English Lavender; black tip wheat; the brussel sprouts; Spinach; Chives; and pink celery.

“I want to grow weird things,” Sauer-Schmidgall said, adding that she will also be selling carrots, green beans, broccoli and cauliflower, to name a few.

“I’m just starting, they’re done,” she said, explaining the sense of accomplishment people get when they can go into the backyard, pick an herb or vegetable from their own garden, and then cook with it. “The taste is so much better” than store bought products.

But what started out as a hobby has had its share of challenges.

“I’ve had a lot of failed plants,” Sauer-Schmidgall said, adding that she lost about 70% of her original batch.

But after some research, Sauer-Schmidgall set up a separate, temperature-controlled environment with grow lights.

“These grow lights saved me,” she said while perched on a bucket surrounded by hundreds of microgreens.

When people shop at Grab ‘n’ Grow Greenhouse, they see tables lining the perimeter of the 12-foot by 24-foot greenhouse with a larger table in the middle. Trays can be taken home and returned at a later date.

“They are cleaned and disinfected,” said Sauer-Schmidgall.

Trays of starter plants – in 4″ and 5″ sizes – will be available for people to buy and take home to plant. Sauer-Schmidgall uses minimal dirt with a layer of hemp material for their planting.

“That way the dirt doesn’t get everywhere,” says Sauer-Schmidgall.

A soft opening with drinks and snacks is planned for Sunday at 4 p.m. The official opening will take place on April 30th. The opening times are daily from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

In addition to microgreens and herbs, Sauer-Schmidgall also wants to sell simple plants, pots and watering cans. Prices range from $5 to $10 for microgreens and $15 for pots.

“I’m not a florist and we won’t do weddings,” says Sauer-Schmidgall with a laugh. “People have to go to professional florists for things like that.”

The appeal of this new profession lies in her love of just seeing things grow.

“Essentially, I create life,” she said.


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