By Michelle M. Sharp, Founder and Content Creator of Meet the Minnesota Makers
Dean and Jayne Bredlau have built a regenerative space—both for agriculture and their community—on a tranquil hilltop in Zumbrota, Minnesota.
Just a few blocks from the downtown, The Greensted is a welcoming place where neighbors enjoy a cup of ice cream on the porch in summer or swap recipes as they peruse the curated collection of regional goods available in store. “People can feel like it’s a retreat, a destination, even though we’re close to the downtown,” shared Jayne. “There’s about an acre in front of the building that is our garden. We have well water from the original farmstead and visitors come up a gravel road. It’s a mini-vacation—a chance to just breathe for a minute.”
The Greensted started out as My Sweet Greens MN in 2016 specializing in microgreens. By 2018 Dean and Jayne had stands at area farmers’ markets. As their products and growing space expanded, they soon offered their vitamin rich shoots at Hy-Vee, Kowalski’s and Lunds and Byerlys grocery stores. Jayne explained with great pride that all of their products are double washed so that customers can eat them straight from the package. They’re also dried and packed in a way to ensure as long a shelf life as possible, generally over two weeks. When customers have problems with the products, the contact information puts you directly in touch with Dean and Jayne who may just invite you down to their farm to see where the products are grown.
Dean and Jayne began plans to build a designated growing space that no longer relied upon their garage or spare bedroom for their fresh produce. This new space features The Farm Store, which opened the summer of 2021, to celebrate the local makers who they met through area food shows and markets.
In 2022 they added a CSA for the summer. This November they just introduced their farmers’ market signature Wacky Salad with microgreens into area grocery stores. The Wacky Salad is a custom blend of hand cut greens—amaranth, beet, kale, chard, lettuce—mixed with microgreens. It’s double washed and packed in a reusable bag. They’re excited to offer this salad blend year round to customers who value locally-sourced produce grown with long-term soil health in mind.
This celebration of local food and regenerative agriculture is part of a greater love story. Dean and Jayne married seven years ago, blending their families and their passions. Dean grew up on a Dairy Farm and missed farming. Jayne, who discovered her interest in marketing and publicity while working in event planning, longed to create her own brand. Their joint venture led them to the budding world of microgreens and has expanded to celebrate a wider swath of Minnesota’s regional food innovators.
The Greensted’s name means “the green place”. The name is inspired by the microgreens and salad greens grown on site, their pastoral landscape, and the desire to set a more sustainable process on their own farm. “Sustainable and regenerative farming is what we do. Regenerative community is our base, our mission,” shared Jayne. “We want our community to feel restorative. We want to be part of the reconstruction of our economy.”
Jayne’s favorite is their Zesty Mix, a bold blend of mustard, arugula and collard micro greens, while Dean prefers the crunch of their Sunflower Shoots. The consistent customer favorite is the Classy Classic—a tasty blend of brassicas including broccoli, kale, and red and green cabbage, along with a kohlrabi flavor burst.
Whether you visit their Zumbrota Store or find their microgreens at your favorite Minnesota store, know that everything from the Greensted is part of Dean and Jayne’s quest to build community. “My favorite part is connecting people with their food. I want to shorten the journey from the field to their plate,” shared Jayne. “I love the joy that it brings people, the way their faces light up when they taste the freshness in the products we grow.”
Supporting local and appreciating the value that comes from products made by real people is the cornerstone of this Zumbrota small business. “I wish customers understood more about the difference in pricing for locally-sourced goods. Local makers aren’t living a life of luxury. Their margins and razor thin and they’re pouring themselves into what they offer,” explained Jayne. “That price is a reflection of the care with which it was made or grown. When you buy it, you’re supporting a real person and allowing them to pursue their passion.”
Visit The Greensted Farm Store at 45820 190th Ave Unit A in Zumbrota.
Peruse the great local products available in store at https://thegreensted.com/.
Follow @thegreensted on Facebook and Instagram to see what’s new in store.