A BUSINESS born out of lockdown in Chepstow is proving that good things really do come in small packages.

Naturally Green Micros, founded by former aerospace engineer Richard Cox from his dining room, specialise in sustainable, eco-friendly health foods.

While the business is small-scale at the moment, he hopes that - with environmentalism a hot topic at present - he can expand to more customers.

Mr Cox, while working as an aerospace engineer, suffered an industrial accident and was off work for months.

Then came the first coronavirus lockdown which saw him furloughed.

"I started growing stuff during lockdown." he said.

"You reach a point when you think “I must start being healthier”.

"I sort of knew what micro greens were and did some research online.

"It’s been a business born out of lockdown, literally."

Microgreens are small greens quickly grown from vegetable and herb seeds such as radishes and sunflowers.

Only the stem and leaves are eaten, but the plants are prized by top chefs for their dainty appearance and surprisingly powerful taste.

"Many of the microgreens look quite the same, but when you taste them, you’ll find the differences," Mr Cox said.

"For mild, sweet taste, try pea shoots and for a more, stronger, peppery taste you might want to choose rambo radish, which goes really well with salads and gives an extra kick to your sandwich or burger."

However, Mr Cox aims to promoting his crop as a health product rather than a gourmet restaurant ingredient.

"Everything about the business is eco-focussed," he said.

"Health food is the main goal.

"For example, there is the same nutritional value in one of the salad boxes as in a lettuce many times over."

The plants are mostly grown in Mr Cox's dining room which he says is more sustainable.

"All the packaging is plant based and biodegradable," he added.

"I think it’s better than plastic for the food too, as it lets it breathe."

Despite losing a number of customers during the most recent lockdown, Mr Cox remains optimistic that -working as part of the Wye Valley Producers network - his business can continue to grow.

"It has potential," he said.

"You’ve got to give yourself time to build, but it’s promising.

"I think I’m about a year away from food festivals. Until I have a fixed premises, it doesn’t make sense financially to make that step."

Premises may also be in the pipeline as Mr Cox said that Wye Valley Producers are working with Monmouthshire County Council to secure a collaborative space from which a number of smaller producers from the area can work.

"It’s exciting to be part of that," he said.

People have been able to order their Wye Valley Producers products throughout the week to click and collect from the Drill Hall in Chepstow. However, Mr Cox said that as lockdown ends this space will likely be rendered unavailable.

He said that a collaborative space would be “amazing”.

Naturally Green Micros are available to order at naturallygreenmicros.co.uk