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Eat your wheatgrass

Abington Journal Photos/Ben Freda

Ellen McGlynn, whose parents are both gardeners, founded Wheatgrass Grower, located at 419 Carbondale Road Clarks Summit.

CLARKS SUMMIT - When you hear the word ‘grass’ in a name of a food, you may not think that it is something edible. But there’s a new edible health food that has been growing in Clarks Summit - wheatgrass. Wheatgrass is the grass of hard, red, winter wheat. Highly fortified in chlorophyll and living enzymes, it can be consumed by either chewing it or running it through the juicer and drinking it. It contains over eighty nutrients including a high content of Vitamin B. It also has antioxidants to increase the number of red blood cells in the body.

Ellen McGlynn, whose parents are both gardeners, founded the wheatgrass business called Wheatgrass Grower, located at 419 Carbondale Road Clarks Summit. She owns and operates a micro-eco farm in Clarks Summit, where she grows wheatgrass indoors. Outdoors, wheatgrass could only be grown in the fall and harvested in the summer. Therefore, Ellen plants wheatgrass indoors so she can grow yearround and harvest every ten days. Prior to opening the business, Ellen, who was originally from Peckville, lived with her husband Michael McGlynn, in a town just outside of Philadelphia. There, Michael and Ellen owned a historic American restaurant called the General Lafayette Inn.

“I got my gardening skills from my parents and my entrepreneurial skills from my husband,” said Ellen. In 2002, Michael became terminally ill from melanoma. So, Ellen began to grow wheatgrass to treat her husband until his death in June 2003. Ellen moved to Clarks Summit to be near her family. In April 2005, she started the Clarks Summit business.

“Clarks Summit is good for agriculture because it’s in the middle of North Abington Township and South Abington Township,” said Ellen. Wheatgrass Grower participated in the University of Scranton’s Small Business Development Center, which Ellen said helped streamline her online ordering and provide business leads. The center also invited her to meetings that were relevant to the agricultural industry such as the “Buy Fresh Buy Local” campaign.

Ellen has also been invited to Harrisburg to showcase the wheatgrass at the Legislator’s Expo. She has made wheatgrass into centerpieces for weddings, culinary events and environmental events. Due to the shortage of high quality grain, the farm of Wheatgrass Grower will be closed during the summer, starting May 26. But Ellen will have classes and consultations on how to grow wheatgrass and use it creatively. Classes will be set up by appointment only.

The farm will reopen in September. Wheatgrass can be found in the specialty food stores Everything Natural and Caravia Fresh Foods, both located in Clarks Summit. Ryan Cognetti, manager of Caravia Fresh Foods, said, “Most people who buy wheatgrass are health conscious. It’s terrific for juicing and it’s growing in popularity.”

Wheatgrass can also be ordered online. For more information, go to www.wheatgrassgrower.com.

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