Lately we've been working on new techniques of growing microgreens and since we had an extra tray of organic broccoli microgreens, we decided to share them with our neighbor who happens to be The Maui Cookie Lady.
She sent me this picture and was delighted with the great taste of the broccoli and a novel way of using microgreens. When asked for her method she replied, "We essentially made a microgreens pesto using olive oil, black truffle salt, garlic and fresh parmesan. Blend in a vitamixer then spread on garlic bread and baked at 350 degrees for 15 min."
What a glorious way to add broccoli flavor and extra nutrition to your next meal!
Since we started on this journey over 7 years ago, we have always wanted to do some sort of charitable giving based on our sales. With the launch of our new store microfarms.xyz we have been empowered to realize that dream. Our new store is powered by Shopify and there is an app that allows us to donate a share of all sales to a charity or cause.
Our initial effort in this direction will be to power a group of charities that provide nutrition to global populations. We intend to broaden our scope of giving in the future and welcome any inputs you might have.
You can click on the screenshot of the store below to be redirected ...
Indoor microgreen growing presents challenges that are similar but yet different from other indoor challenges. We are basically dealing with two phases of plant growing, germination and early leaf production. We have researched and adapted multiple systems and present three distinct systems for your indoor growing pleasure. Microgreens are a great source of fresh food and nutrition, our MicroFarms give you a convenient was to grow them.
You can see these offerings in our store and order now to grow your own microgreens. They take only days to grow and give you year round fresh and nutritious food!
In our sister website, Urbafresh we posted today a much requested idea for unique uses of microgreens. We have posted on two such cases, a pesto made with cilantro and some bread baked with a tray of our basic salad mix. Go to the blog here ...
True leaves are the first actual leaves past the first or cotyledon leaves in microgreens. True leaves are the set of leaves that are what you will see in mature vegetables.
Here is an example of some true leaves grown from our Red Russian Kale microgreens. These appeared at about 30 days of growth and normally indicate a transition from microgreeds to baby greens. The flavor profile will change at this stage along with the more fibrous stems so we normally harvest quite a bit sooner than this stage. Some of you might like this look so we encourage you to experiment.
What if we could engineer a better plant without having to do all the exotic things normally associated with modifying foods. We thought that by combining the profiles of similar microgreens might produce a better result nutritionally than from a single crop like broccoli (which by the way is considered a superfood because of the nutrients).
Here is a screenshot of our analysis by taking info from skipthepie.org which uses data compiled from most recent USDA information. This combined spreadsheet points points to a simple 50/50 mix of broccoli raab and red cabbage microgreens that yields a more balanced and complete profile for our crop. Thus the birth of our Better Broccoli mix of broccoli raab and red cabbage.
You can order our Better Broccoli kits now, click to order
In an earlier blog "Cress to Supercress" published back in 2016 we described creating an even more potent microgreen by using blue single sourced LED lights. Our original light system finally failed so we replaced them with larger (24W vs 10W) blue LED lights. With our new growing systems we have also cut down the grow times considerably.
Our new test setup was done growing dahong pak choi or purple chinese cabbage. We chose this plant due to quick growth and the purplish colors which are markers for anthocyanins in the plants. These anthocyanins are believed to help prevent CVD (Cardio Vascualar Disease), cancer, and may help cognitive function.
Our initial tests were run on the cabbage grown for 10days under the same conditions and planting density. The only difference is that the sample on the left was exposed to the blue LED lights for the final 3 days of growing. There is a significant size and color difference between the blue crop and the control. Notice how much stronger the plants were (the leaves on the blue were so dense that the leaves were fighting for space) and the colors showing the deeper and stronger purple coloration. Note that both samples were grown under red/blue LED's initially and for the duration on the control sample.
We will be running further tests and production under the blue LED's and look forward to increasing the nutritional value of our microgreen crops.
Not often seen but spectacular Tokyo Bekana cabbage has been called the japanese version of chinese cabbage. The beautiful lime green micro provides a striking contrast to the deep greens of most of our crops. It has a nice crunch and sweeter flavor that gives you a nice flavor boost in your microgreen arsenal.
Recently chosen as a leafy green for space travel, Tokyo Bekana is introduced in a recent blog entry from NASA. "The crop was chosen after evaluating several leafy vegetables on a number of criteria, such as how well they grow and their nutritional value. The top four candidates were sent to Johnson Space Center’s Space Food Systems team, where they brought in volunteer tasters to sample the choices. The Tokyo Bekana turned out to be the most highly rated in all the taste categories."
Here is NASA's take on it, "For the first time, a Chinese cabbage variety named Tokyo Bekana will be grown in space. The cabbage was chosen as a good candidate because it is a quick growing leafy green that is rated highly from a nutritional and taste perspective. "
So we offer you a way to have the benefit of NASA research and space agriculture to bring this superior microgreen to your table ... no need to be in space!
See our Tokyo Bekana microgreen kits here.
Long a european and asian favorite, the young pea plant stem, leaves and tendrils known as pea shoots are quickly becoming a darling for those looking for new sources of nutrients and amazing taste and textures. Disrtibuted food production at its best, our micro farm unit will provide a nice supply of pea shoots that you grow and harvest right in your home, bringing a farm to your windowsill.
The nutritional benefits from pea shoots are truly amazing. Did you know that pea shoots provides more than seven times the Vitamin C of blueberries and four times the Vitamin A of tomatoes. They are also an amazing source of Vitamin K where one cup provides 66% of the daily value as prescribed for adults.
Our pea plants are specially bred to provide pea shoots with graceful tendrils and leaves. You harvest the shoots by cutting just above the second leaf on the plant and the plants will branch another set of tendrils and leaves to harvest. Typically you will get multiple shoots from every plant in your tray. One tray will provide you an ongoing supply of pea shoots bringing a farm to your windosill. We recommend a pre soak of the peas and you should be ready to harvest your first shoot in 8-10 days.
The Grow to Eat Pea Shoot Kit contains supplies for three complete crops of peas specially bred for tendrils and shoots. Also included is our Grow to Eat self watering trays for easy windowsill farming. The WonderSoil coco peat compressed growing media is specially blended and contains worm castings, trace minerals and kelp to promote superior plant growth. Pea seeds are all Non GMO. All supplies are sourced from US suppliers.
You can purchase it here.
We have talked a lot about the process of growing microgreens but have rarely given you a glimpse of how we use them. Our new Grow to Eat kits provide a great vehicle for growing microgreens and this particular tray has our tasty salad mix (broccoli, kale, arugula, kohlrabi and cabbage). This particular tray was ready to be harvested at 8 days from seed to our table.
We made a southern style ham and bean soup (leftover christmas ham bone) with a kale and red cabbage salad. My son and I used half of the tray to garnish both the soup and salad to get our dose of microgreens. Incidentally, we harvested and used the remaining half on our salad tonight.
Our self watering trays make for really great way to grow microgreens. We take a 4-6 serving per tray measure depending on the crop. We are creating deluxe home kits that will give you 2 servings a day with continuous production (5 growing systems) one that gives you 4-6 servings a day (10 growing systems) depending on your family size. Both kits include a supplemental LED grow light that we use to actually grow out our trays. Kits will be available this weekend in our store.
Urbaform is a technology integrator and developer specializing in food production in the urban environment ...