Roughly five years ago I started on a journey ... in search of Wellness. I had traveled to Boston to meet up with an inventor to talk about a revolutionary growing material that was like a foam block but contained everything necessary to grow extraordinary plants in vertical walls. The plants that were growing in his media were strong, healthy and tasted great. I then decided to figure out what the key to this might be.
The material was patented so I researched the patent and besides the polymers that created the block, there was nothing different other than Dead Sea Solids. Here is the key excerpt from his patent app “ Sea solids, which are typified by sea salt, may be used to provide a variety of chemical elements, some in trace quantities, which have been shown to be beneficial to plant growth. Particular Sea solids, such as salt from the Dead Sea in Israel, have been analyzed and found to contain almost all of the mineral elements, and in the same concentration, as in human blood. “
I then researched many topics on the internet and it seemed to all revolve around landmark work by Dr Maynard Murray, M.D. that started in the '30s and spanned decades as he basically believed that natural sea solids were a key to health and wellness. Probably the most striking anecdotal fact was that sea inhabiting species included warm blooded mammals that never experience debilitating cancers and heart issues that we land species do. In fact, they seem not to age when in constant interaction with the sea and its unique blend of 90+ minerals and nutrients. Also striking was the particularly constant mix of the nutrients regardless of where on the globe the samples were taken.
Dr. Murray then posited and proved that plants could benefit greatly from this complete spectrum of nutrients and defied conventional wisdom that salt would not allow anything to grow. Dr. Murray proved that in the proper dilution, the sea solids (sea salts) not only allowed plants to grow, but they flourished ... they were stronger, disease resistant and produced bountiful harvests of some of the best tasting produce imaginable. He also showed that plant matter grown with the sea solids and then consumed by foraging livestock of all kinds produced superior results on the livestock and their associated products.
The “father of fertilizer”, Justus von Liebig, in the 1800's developed the “Law of the Minimum” which states that plant growth is determined by the scarcest “limiting” nutrient; if even one of the many required nutrients is deficient, the plant will not grow and produce at its optimum. Conventional fertilizer programs focus on the macro-nutrients like Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K). However, if one of the essential trace elements is deficient in the soil or media, the plant will not perform at its optimum.
Chapter II - Microgreen Experiments ... to follow soon
Sea Solids ready to harvest ....
We are approaching a week now in Down to Earth here on Maui. Our new kits have gotten great display space and we are tweaking both the labeling and selection. The first week showed great interest from the public and several trays did move at retail pricing. We are encouraged that we may have our design now for selling LIVE microgreen trays.
Here is a picture of our display on the produce shelves and some other crops that we supplied ...
We have also gotten the materials now to create a kit for home used to grow these trays and the final key for growth, sea solids. I will be unveiling new kits later today and will blog more regarding the decision and use of sea solid fertilization on our live microgreens.
Here are the pictures of the new Live Trays that we are delivering today. These initial crops will be fine tuned, but it appears these will be included in our catalog. The tricky thing for delivering these crops is the difference in growing times. The quickest crop can be closed up for delivery in as little as 4 days while others can take as long as 7-8 days. Thus the planting matrix must be established to plant the proper mix of seeds to all mature at the same time so our delivery will be of plants at the same stage of growth.
Earlier this year, we produced our first living microgreen product. After a run of several hundred units, we discovered some issues with our first iteration that we delivered and incorporated a lot of feedback to bring to you living microgreens 2.0.
Here are actual photos of a package of red arrow microgreens in our new packaging. We are currently testing other crops and will be delivering the first units for sale this coming week. Notice that we are now using a sea solid nutrient source and we will have more on this in another blog coming soon. Delivering LIVE Microgreens from store to table raises the bar for FRESH !!!
Another idea on what to do with a crop of microgreens. Trying to max out the Vitamin K profile so we came up with this blend of great ingredients for a summertime treat. We were trying to make a takeoff on cole slaw to create a cold side dish rather than a salad. Behold our Super Food Side ...
We took some young kale as the base ingredient to start the dish. Chopped the kale into small pieces and added chopped red onion and green bell pepper. Harvested some red garnett amaranth, white leaf amaranth and purple sprouting broccoli microgreens cut into 1/2" lengths. Took some sea asparagus and cut into smaller sections. We then took a couple of spoons of mayo and added a spoon of capers with the juice (the mayo and capers combine to give this the creamy texture of the coleslaw). Tossed it in a bowl and added some radish and more red amaranth and a stalk of sea asparagus to garnish ... really refreshing side with an incredibly unique taste. Vary the ingredients to taste, but include as many of these superfoods that you can ... big time nutrition in a small side !!!
Our third new Square Inch Garden is aptly named Field of Greens. You will need to look closely at this photo as there are actually 4 varieties of microgreens represented in this incredibly robust garden. The FOG garden consists of Pak Choi, Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Golden Acre Cabbage and Kale. This could actually be labeled as a super food mix when you look at what is in the kit. Like all our kits, there are 4 distinct packages of seeds so you can mix and match to create your own garden patch of greens. This FOG garden was done like the other two previous in that each seed was planted in quadrant sketched out on the media and seeded as each square.
You may choose to use our four square method or you could simply mix in several and create a mix, like broccoli and kale or western and eastern cabbage. You could plant 1/2 a tray of each or you could mix them all up or ??? FOG Square Inch Garden is available now in our web store.
Our second Square Inch Garden we call the Radish Patch ... included in this mix are Sango, White Stem, Red Stem and Red Arrow radishes. This is a great mix that grows fast and tall while providing spectacular color to your dishes and an impressive zing to your tasebuds !!!
The first photo is our garden after just 7 days of growth ... this view shows the Sango Radish on the right and White Stem radish on the left. The sango provides the deepest coloration of the radish patch while the Red Stem and Red Arrow provide pinkish red stems to the mix. This second kit is now available for purchase in our store - Radish Patch Garden.
Urbaform is a technology integrator and developer specializing in food production in the urban environment ...