In searching for microgreens that can deliver nutrition and taste we found a great little tool provided by Whole Foods for their shoppers. Their ANDI (Aggregate Nutrional Data Index) is an attempt to quantify all sorts of nutrients contained in foods. A good discussion on the method and interpretation can be found here. Even with shortcomings, it is interesting to note that answers to this question also were also arrived at by taking a measure of what they isolated as the 17 powerhouse nutrients and ranked the 41 most nutrient dense fruits and vegatables.
Sitting at the top of both lists was watercress and our microgreen of the day, upland cress. A large European and American supplier of micro vegies, Kopperts Cress finds "Upland Cress has more vitamin C than oranges, and more vitamin A than broccoli! It is said that Upland Cress can be used as a cancer preventative since it is rich in antioxidants.In the old world, Upland Cress was used to heal wounds since it has an abundance of Vitamin E, iron and calcium. During colonial times, it was consumed in the winter, when its natural full bloom was most effective for warding off scurvy."
Our new Super Cress kits provide you with home grown super nutrition on a year round basis. Kits come in two sizes, starter and deluxe and contain all the supplies needed to get growing.
The Mighty Micro Romaine lettuce is amazing. To give you a sense of how the micro crop grows we put together pictures today of the crop all the way from seeding to the first true leaves. The romaine can be harvested anywhere from 10-20 days of growing and the tray should allow for multiple crops as you harvest it. Finally you can simply put all of the remaining soil and seed from your micro produce crop into your garden to grow out more lettuce! Mighty Micro Romaine Indeed!
Kits are ready to ship, see listing on our home page for orders.
Our Might Micro Romaine is now on store shelves. Delivered this week to Down to Earth, Maui. These new live romaine lettuce microgreens have proven to have great taste and texture while delivering superior nutrient content. Shelf life of at least 7-10 days makes this a great product.
Our normal growing time on our microgreens is in the 7-10 day area. Today we'd like to highlight a few of our longer grown out micro produce. You can see the more defined primary leaves on all these crops and wonderfully deep coloration. You can only see the photos, but believe me the tastes are more intense also!
We are packaging several of these in our kits that will be rolling out this weekend. Note that with the much longer growing times, the addition of nutrients in our growing media is essential for great produce.
The three basils in particular have great primary leaves that you can see are simply small basil leaves, the flavor pop from these micro plants adds a real zing to dishes. One of our restaurants here uses the basils on deserts, especially on sherberts. The red komatsuna is a hybrid spinach and mustard with some of the most interesting and beautiful leaves of anything we produce. The flavor is extremely refreshing and clean. Just a wonderful garnish.
We are pleased to unveil our newest and most complete MicroFarm kit. Our new kit has all of the tools and supplies that we have been highlighting in our recent blogs. Our new kits are based on our larger growing trays (measure approx 6 1/2" square) and come complete with all the necessary tools and supplies for growing multiple crops of MicroProduce right in the home.
Our kits have our custom blended coir based growing media that includes both worm castings and kelp. Our newly highlighted hydration bags will allow for simple hydration of the wafers and storage of any unused media. Also recently highlighted is our seed spreader that efficiently allows for optimal seeding of any of our included Non GMO seeds.
The kits are now available at Urbafresh.com and our etsy store. We provide complete instruction and support via emails and downloads.
Seeding is an extremely important process when growing microgreens. Since microgreens are grown at extreme densities it is very important that your seeding can give spacing but yet allow for dense seeding patterns. When seeds overlap you can get non growing sections as the plants compete for the space. So knowing this we have tried many seeding processes to ensure this.
We have found that using this container can be an effective tool and makes the task a lot quicker and effective. Here are some pictures of me using our seeding container that will be included as part of our deluxe kit that we are going to unveil this weekend. You can see how evenly the seed is spread using our seeder. You simply add your seeds to the seeder and tap the unit while moving the shaker above the growing surface.
By using this simple system we have saved enormous amounts of time and frustration. The seeding is almost always as your see above and the plants will show that!
Leading up to the introduction of our deluxe kits this weekend, I'd like to highlight a few small additions to our kits that remove several crucial stages for success. Our own production and needs has driven our journey to continually add value for the beginning and experts alike. Our new kits will all feature these enhancements that make life far easier for you, the farmer.
Hydrating and storing any unused growing media can be an exercise if you do not have the right mixing containers or way to store it. We realized through our extensive review of products that some producers of coir products included large bags for easily hydrating their products. I searched for a similar bag (a lot smaller) to handle our Wonder Soil wafers and found these gusseted plastic bags that we now include in our kits (gusseted bottom is extremely important so you can pour the water easily in an upright bag position). The first picture shows our single wafer in a new hydrating bag. The second shows the bag with a partially hydrated wafer (approx 6 oz of water). The third photo shows both the initial wafer and a bag of fully hydrated media that is ready to plant. You can easily store any unused media in this locking bag that will keep the media from drying out. You would use 10-12 oz of water that can be gradually poured into the bag to make sure you don't over hydrate. Finally, you can manually fluff the media by simply massaging the bag to optimize your air spaces for your new plants.
Here are the first photos of our new Micro Lettuce live trays now being tested for shelf life in stores. This new packaging of lettuce (romaine) promises to deliver an enormous nutritional punch. Photos are of the lettuce grown out for approximately 2 weeks. We are aiming for a 10-15 day shelf life on our final product.
Knowing that each micro lettuce plant contains all the nutrients of the fully grown variety, it has been estimated that the lettuce contains anywhere from 7-30 times the nutritional density vs what you normally buy in the store. By adding just a small section of the tray in to any salad or dish will deliver all the raw nutrition power of significantly more grown out leaves. You could even add that little amount to your morning smoothie for a wonderful start to your day.
The first and last shot are of the live tray as it has grown out. The middle and top photos are of the live tray with it's top on and ready for product testing for shelf life.
Urbaform is a technology integrator and developer specializing in food production in the urban environment ...