What is a Microgreen?
Microgreens are young vegetable greens that are usually 1-3 inches tall. They have an aromatic flavor and a rich nutrient content and come in a variety of textures and flavors. They can contain up to 4 to 40 times more nutrients than their fully-grown counterparts.
Microgreens are baby plants that fall between sprouts and baby greens. When the seed makes its first set of leaves known as cotyledons you have a microgreen.
What is the difference between a microgreen and a sprout?
Because of their size microgreens are mistaken for sprouts. They are not sprouts. Sprouts are germinated seeds grown in water with the seed, root, and stem attached. Microgreens are grown in soil or soilless growing medium and can also be grown hydroponically.
What are the benefits of eating Future of Food Microgreens?
Studies have shown that many microgreens, such as red cabbage, broccoli, and radish often contain up to 40 times more nutrients than the mature plant. According to professor Qin Wang at the University of Maryland, microgreens are 4 to 40 fold more concentrated with nutrients. His research team tested 25 different commercially grown microgreens and consistently found high levels of nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin B, vitamin E, vitamin K lutein, and beta-carotene. Dr. Gene Lester, a USDA researcher, says, "All of these nutrients are extremely important for skin, eyes and fighting cancer and have all kinds of benefits associated with them. To find these high levels of nutrients, I find that quite astonishing."
What does Future of Food use to grow the microgreens?
Future of food offers veganic microgreens, meaning that our microgreens are grown with no animal products. We use a soilless growing medium that contains peat moss and mycorrhizae, which creates a fungal network that effectively expands the plant's root system — Mycorrhiza aids in the plant's ability to intake vital nutrients. Certain varieties need a bit of a kick so, for about 10% of our microgreens, we use kelp as a supplement nutrient.
Where do you grow the microgreens?
We are based out of Menomonee Falls Wisconsin and serve the Southeastern region of Wisconsin. We have a micro-farm indoor facility that we built in an unused section of our home.
It is very sustainable in the aspect that we use a "vertical rack system," which allows us to grow multiple levels of microgreens in a smaller space than a traditional one level setup. It's the same theory as a skyscraper. Build upward, and you'll have a large number of offices using a small footprint. All lighting is done using LED grow lights that use far less energy than tradition indoor horticultural high-intensity discharge lighting. Microgreens thrive in a particular temperature and humidity range so, it's important to have a controlled, sterile environment for optimal microgreen growth. This also gives us the ability to serve fresh microgreens throughout the entire year to all of our customers.
Do the microgreens grow back after they are cut?
No, once the microgreens get cut, they will not grow back. However, this is great for Future of Food because we take the leftover soilless mix and compost it. To make good compost, you need earthworms. Future of Food also produces and sells earthworm castings as well as the worms themselves. Earthworm castings are packed with minerals that are essential for plant growth, such as concentrated nitrates, phosphorus, and magnesium. So we use our leftover worms to make premium compost which then can be used in gardens. So nothing is wasted!