Tag Archives: fresh

hydroponics

3 Organizations Sprouting the Urban Food Revolution

The face of agriculture is rapidly changing around the world as urban spaces are being transformed to grow greens. It’s true that there are economic benefits associated with urban farming as dollars circulate through the local community, but the true value in urban farming centers on food quality and health. The existence of farms in urban spaces will mean greater access to fresh and local foods as produce will not have to travel far distances to get from farm to plate. Let’s take a look at organizations in 3 cities across the world that are transforming urban spaces and bringing on the food revolution.

 

Zero Carbon Food in London, United Kingdom

The tunnels under London that served as safe havens during World War II are now being repurposed into underground farms. Zero Carbon Food has descended 100ft underground to develop an expansive system for growing salad leaves and herbs. The two founders, Steven Dring and Richard Ballard, have opted for a hydroponic growing system in their underground farm and keep a keen eye on the temperature, light, and nutrition – all equally important parts of growing healthy and delicious hydroponic greens. Dring and Ballard are set on creating a hi-tech farm that cuts down on the food miles bringing food from harvest to plate and improve freshness. Chefs are taking notice as restaurants are eagerly waiting for fresh local produce to populate their menus. They’re currently serving up eight different microgreens including celery, mustard, radish, and coriander. 

Zero Carbon Food is growing leafy greens, herbs and microgreens in a World War II bomb shelter in London.

Tokyo Salad in Tokyo, Japan

You will find more under Tokyo than an intricate conglomeration of subway lines. Tokyo Salad is the underground farm operated by Tokyo Metro after an employee suggested underground farming as a way to repurpose the space underneath the train tracks. This subterranean urban garden currently grows six kinds of lettuce and four kinds of baby leaf. Without the traditional methods of growing that uses soil or sunlight, these greens are grown with artificial sunlight and employ hydroponic technology by having plants float in nutrient-rich water. These plants are pesticide-free and Tokyo Metro even reports that “You can eat the vegetables without rinsing them, and they will keep for an extended period.”

Tokyo Salad

Edenworks in New York, United States

Edenworks brings hi-tech to urban growing in their rooftop farm in Brooklyn. Located on top of a metalworking shop, the team works tirelessly to bring fresh and locally grown greens to restaurants in the area. The entire ecosystem uses the concept of vertical farming so plants are stacked high on inclined surfaces throughout the space. By using an aquaponic system for greens and herbs, Edenworks remains soil-free and plants take their nutrients from fish manure. Wastewater from the fish travels through a system where bacteria are allowed to convert it into plant food for the farm. Along with their aquaponic system, the rooftop garden uses sensors to capture environmental conditions and water chemistry and uploads it to a large database of information about gardening. The “Farm Management System”, as they like to call it, learns from human farming data and runs algorithms to present the farmer with a daily task list in order to predict and suggest the best growing practices.

Edenworks

Be a part of this food revolution by attending the next community garden event in your area or learning more about one of the many indoor gardens to grow your own fresh greens.

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health

Herb Spotlight: Mint

 Mint is an herb that has been used for hundreds of years because of its remarkable medicinal properties. In modern times, science has discovered that mint has one of the highest antioxidant capacities of any food, but this herb is still most well-known through its applications as a mouth and breath freshener. We look deeper to find that mint has far more to offer than meets the eye.Mint-leaves-2007Health Benefits

Originally used as a medicinal herb to treat stomach aches, we now know that mint is an extremely versatile and antioxidant-packed herb when it comes to its health benefits. Along with its ability to sooth cases of indigestion or inflammation, the refreshing aroma of mint is a quick and effective remedy for nausea. As a natural stimulant, the strong smell from mint has the ability to encourage increase in brain function. Moreover, research has shown that extracts from mint leaves function as natural anti-histamines when seasonal allergies and hay fever come into play. There are a myriad of other health benefits to using mint and more can be found here.

Growing and Cultivation

Mint is an herb that makes few demands and can tolerate a wide range of conditions. This perennial herb thrives in partial shade, but can also be grown in full sun. As a fast-growing herb that only requires a small space to grow, even only one plant will provide more than enough mint for home use. According to Medical News Today,

When preparing mint, use a sharp knife and cut gently. Using a dull knife or over-chopping will bruise the herb and much of the flavor will be misplaced onto the cutting board surface.

Although mint can be frozen in batches for use at a later time, fresh mint is usually preferred over dried mint for the highest nutrient factor and the freshest taste.

Let’s Eat More Mint

mintAdding mint is a great way to add flavor to a dish or beverage without adding extra calories, fat or sodium. Mint leaves are tender and have gentle stems, so it is best to add them raw or near the end of cooking in order to maintain their delicate flavor and texture.

Chop fresh mint leaves and scatter them over a tossed green or grilled chicken salad. Incorporate mint into a fresh fruit salsa with chopped apples, pear, lemon or lime juice, jalapeno and honey. In these mixtures, the mint leaves will add trace amounts of nutrients as well as a bold flavor. Add chopped or muddled mint leaves to brewed iced tea or lemonade for a refreshing treat.

Check out our Facebook page for more ways to incorporate mint into your diet!

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