Passion for Plants: Roeland Park teen grows tomatoes to pay for future farm

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ROELAND PARK, Kan. — A Roeland Park teen has turned his love for gardening into a small business. 

With help from his parents, Micah Reighard started his first garden when he was 8 years old. Three years later in 2019, he launched Passion for Plants, a small business selling organic heirloom tomatoes that Micah grows himself. 

“My business started out really small. I just had a couple pounds of tomatoes. I’d sell them at my church. I’d go anywhere and sell them,” Micah said. 

The teen starts his colorful crops from seeds. Micah said he grows the seeds inside under LED lights, then moves the plants outside to his garden. He said the tomato vines can grow to be nearly eight-feet tall.

13-year-old Micah Reighard shows were he will grow approximately 40 tomato plants this summer.

Heather Reighard, Micah’s mother, said her son has always had a passion for gardening and is proud of his commitment to growing organic produce. 

“He’s always wanted to do organic, that’s been number one for him. He’s done a lot of research and talking to experts and seeing what works best. It is just trial and error with figuring out what works best,” Reighard said. 

Tomatoes grown by Micah in 2020. Photo provided by Passion for Plants.

Micah said he wants to make a career out of farming. This year, his garden will be filled with roughly 40 tomato plants. When the fruit is ripe, he’ll sell the tomatoes for $4 per pound. 

Micah said he makes roughly $600 a year selling his tomatoes with most of the money going into a savings account to purchase his future farm. 

Micah recently started his own YouTube channel to help other people start gardens of their own. 

“I’ve been starting educational videos about how to start a garden. How to plant seeds, just the basics of starting a garden. Later on in the season I’m going to do more advanced videos,” Micah said. 

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