In the last 5 years there’s been a huge uptick in people caring about where their food comes from, since the fewer the miles ingredients travel between harvesting and cooking, the more nutritious they are.
Couple that feel-goodyness with a return to how food was harvested in the olden days (i.e., without pesticides) and you’ve got folks craving the purity of organic produce just as much as The Juice Standard does. So in this occasional feature, “Who Are The Bees In Our Hive?” we’re introducing you Bees to the farmers and purveyors who help TJS do the deliciously good work that we do.
Urban Hydro Greens: Go Small or Go Home.
Know those delicate, frilly little greens that started topping salads and sammies a few years ago? Hardly for show, they’re called microgreens and they’re harvested for more than cuteness.
The threadlike shoots that veggies like broccoli, kale and peas produce just after they sprout are massively nutrient dense: A handful of broccoli microgreens actually has the same vitamin and mineral content as a pound and a half of its full-size cousin. (Imagine the chewing you can save!) Plus, their size makes them easier to digest than the full-fledged veg…so people who have trouble tolerating typical, gas-inducing culprits like broccoli or kale do much better with littletons greens.
TJS uses micro greens in our Field Greens Salad and our newest juice, Bee Resilient. And we buy them from right here in Las Vegas from Urban Hydro Greens, founded by farmer Chelsea Dora and her partner, Dennis Vitali, where thanks to their hard work, within 24 hours Urban Hydro Greens’ greens go from soil to TJS salad plate, wrap or bottle. Can’t get much more local than that. Here, Dora shares some ins and outs of this farm just five minutes off the Las Vegas Strip.
US (The Humble Bee): You’ve created a vertical farm, indoors, in the desert…and a very successful one, at that. You must still get weirdo looks.
THEM (Urban Hydro Greens): We have birthday parties. We teach classes. We sell “Garden In A Bag.” Most microgreen farmers you speak to are [growing] for specific restaurants, and we do that too; but we have a different take. I’m in business to teach people. I’d like to “Mary Kay” this, where mothers can start their own farms as a source of income and feed their own communities.
US: You sell microgreens at farmers markets. Is the home cook savvy enough to buy them?
THEM: When I first started going to farmers markets, maybe one in 50 people knew what they were. Now? About one in 15 do.
US: What’s making them more popular?
THEM: Microgreens are more gentle on the digestion…and their live, active enzymes break down easily, so the body is more capable of absorbing them. One handful of microgreens is up to 40 times more potent than the vegetable itself. They’re like live multi vitamins. We like to say, “Don’t just garnish your food; garnish your life!”
US: What’s in the TJS blend you grow for our salads and juice?
THEM: We call it our “Local Superfood Microgreens Blend.” It contains micro broccoli, kale, pea shoots, red cabbage, bok choy, and amaranth, and it does everything from fights cancer and increases immunity; delivers plant protein and amino acids; makes hair, skin and nails shine; and even detoxes the liver and gallbladder. The mircogreens in the blend were carefully chosen to crate the ultimate meal booster…[and] the easiest way to get your daily vitamins and minerals in one serving!