I checked in with our store displays yesterday and was alarmed when I noticed our LED system was without Farm. A quick inquiry found our tray in the trash as they thought it had died. When you look at the first photo, this is what was given to me and it looked like they may be right.
Well, I figured it was worth a try to try and save the Farm since this was using our new No Water bottom watering system that has a fiber mat specially designed to retain moisture and feed the plants as they need it. For that reason I thought it may be that the roots were still good and could feed and hydrate the radishes to save the tray.
I got home and added enough water to resoak the matting and this morning I awoke to this! Totally amazing save by the system. The stems were bent from the collapse of the Farm but they hydrating soak REALLY brought back strong stems and leaves. Just look at the before and after pictures. I took the tray back to the store and the managers enjoyed a healthy salad for lunch today.
We also had another grower have her husband put her farm out at noon here trying to be helpful. Needless to say since it was an 80+ degree day here with no clouds, the holiday mix immediately did the same as picture 1 above. She was about to throw it out but asked and I told her what happened on earlier trays (see previous blog entry). She proceeded to add water the same way and got the same results.
Sounds contradictory but actually not, let me explain. Our new No Water MicroFarms are designed to grow out a crop of microgreens without having to add any water to your growing trays. We had planted our Holiday Radish Mix and this picture is of the Farm now at 9 days. Depending on how big you want your crop, you could have harvested this tray at 6 days without any additional water and it would be a great harvest. We wanted to see how much more we could grow out the radishes so we added enough water to resoak the pad (you can tell by the weight of the tray that the pad is holding water) and are growing them more. Radishes are one of the thirstiest of the varieties, so this is a good baseline to see how much water is taken in by the plants.
Pictured below is our Chinese Broccoli and Upland Cress that have also had one additional dose of water. These two trays are now 14 days old and are still in great shape and growing extremely strong and vibrant.
Adding water is very simple as the pad sits below the soil, so simply add additional water from the sides of the tray to refill the pad for more days of growth. We are also experimenting with leaving on the LED lights for 24 hours as the area the Farm is in is at best a dimly lit room. So far, using only the LED's the plants are robust and happy. I added that second soaking of water to the other crops and things are working like the Holiday Mix, great growth and healthy microgreens!
Our first in store display of the new No Water system in live at the Down to Earth, Maui. The display has several farms along with Down to Earth branded MicroFarms with a display of assorted varieties and a live growing example of the holiday mix under our single LED light farm. The pictured MicroFarm is a No Water Farm that contains our holiday mix as pictured growing. You can order the Farm online here, it contains all the materials and seeds to grow out two crops of this wonderful holiday radish mix.
We are able to private label this MicroFarm, contact us if interested. Our Farms contain our new water retaining mats, custom blended WonderSoil and organic and Non GMO seeds. Our reusable growing tray and top are made of 100% recycled plastic bottles. We will customize the instructions, etc with your logo and information for a minimal extra charge.
Growing microgreens is easy, right? It depends on your definition of easy, and now we believe we have changed that definition for the better. Back up again and think about this, growing microgreens is simple, simple like growing any kind of crop. Give plants water, light and food (nutrients) BUT for all those black thumbs out there, simple does not equate to success.
Growing anything well is a delicate balancing act to provide the right amounts and timing of the three basic components. Success is never guaranteed and in many cases is cause for celebration. We started creating kits to grow microgreens several years ago and we have developed several innovative twists. We developed with our partner and supplier WonderSoil a blend specifically to create a natural growing mix that provides great nutrition for the plants while being friendly to our environment.
Our new units now feature another twist to turn the whole operation upside down. We now offer an extremely efficient bottom watering system that basically ELIMINATES WATERING for your micro crop growing. Testing has shown that you can grow crops from seed to harvest without having to water which takes care of one of the biggest problems previous kit owners had, when and how much to water their tiny plants. With our new systems, you simply plant and harvest. You can use a windowsill to provide sunlight or put your farms in one of our LED systems to grow your crops. Pictured below from left to right are our Holiday Radish Mix, Red Amranth and Chinese Broccoli growing in our NO WATER Farms. Units are now available in our store.
Urbaform is a technology integrator and developer specializing in food production in the urban environment ...