S3E37: Thomas Oberlin - Micro Greens: A Gateway Vegetable
Vertical Farming PodcastJune 18, 2021x
01:05:4460.22 MB

S3E37: Thomas Oberlin - Micro Greens: A Gateway Vegetable

Episode Summary

Join Harry Duran, host of Vertical Farming Podcast, as he welcomes to the show, co-founder at Fazenda Urbana, Thomas Oberlin. Fazenda Urbana is the producer of the MightyGreens brand of vegan microgreens and mushrooms. Today, Harry and Thomas talk about the origin story of Fazenda Urbana and how Thomas became involved in controlled environment agriculture. Thomas provides his thoughts on the evolution of entrepreneurship and why that spirit is so prominent in Brazillian culture. Finally, Thomas speaks to what excites him about the future of micro greens, the Mighty Greens brand and the AgTech industry as a whole.

Episode Sponsor


Key Takeaways

  • 02:37 – Harry welcomes to the show Thomas Oberlin, who shares the story of how he
    ended up living in Brazil and how he got involved in controlled-environment agriculture
  • 11:33 – Thomas speaks to how shocked he was to learn about food deserts in many wealthy countries
  • 13:49 – Thomas reflects on the origin story of Fazenda Urbana
  • 18:00 – The initial response Thomas and his team received after launching their micro greens
  • 24:43 – Thomas explains why he approached chefs and restaurants first and foremost
  • 28:28 – Thomas speaks to the evolution of the entrepreneur movement
  • 34:27 – The relationship between Fazenda Urbana and the Mighty Greens brand and how Thomas and his company got involved in mushrooms
  • 53:31 – Thomas explains the difference between fogponics, hydroponics and aeroponics
  • 56:19 – What excites Thomas the most about the future of micro greens and the vertical farming industry
  • 1:01:21 – Harry thanks Thomas for joining the show and let’s listeners know where they can learn more about Fazenda Urbana and connect with Thomas

Tweetable Quotes

“The reality is I grew up on a farm. Rodrigo’s a vegetarian. But beyond that, we didn’t have any touch with agriculture.” (15:32)

“And so, our restaurant business grew literally by going door-to door in the start. And then combined with word of mouth from one well-known chef and then another well- known chef.” (26:09)

“I think entrepreneurship is very strong here. Brazilians always have this spirit of figuring out a way to do something.” (28:44)

“The best thing that happened to us when we started is that we didn’t raise a whole lot of money. It forced us to be extraordinarily disciplined in what we’re doing. We just learned so much. In two and a half years we cut our labor cost per unit by seventy-five percent through mechanization and processes. And I’m not sure if that would have happened much faster with a lot of money in our pocket.” (31:51)

“I believe that we can create micro greens as the gateway vegetable for kids.” (46:52)

Links Mentioned

Thomas’ LinkedIn

Fazenda Urbana Website

Mighty Greens Instagram

Sponsor Info:

Cultivatd Website

Cultivatd Instagram

Cultivatd’s Twitter

Cultivatd’s Facebook


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