At any point in time, we are growing upwards of a dozen different crops. However, our mainstays include tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, basil, and spinach.
Tomatoes: We began with tomatoes in 1997 and they are still our biggest crop. We grow a beefsteak variety because we feel they are the most flavorful. Superb on sandwiches, in salads, diced in salsa, broiled, grilled, or stuffed, perhaps the most classic way to sample the delights of the beefsteak tomato is simply to serve juicy tomato slices between two pieces of bread slathered with mayo – sprinkle with salt and pepper and enjoy.
Our tomatoes are grown using rockwool – the cubes are placed on 3 foot rockwool slabs, which the roots extend throughout. Each tomato plant is fed via its own drip irrigator. The amount of nutrient-rich water the plants receive is a factor of light, heat, and humidity. During hot, sunny summer days, the plants will transpire more and will need more water – just like us!
Cucumbers: We grow Persian cucumbers Smaller than the cucumbers traditionally grown in the US, they have smooth, edible, thin skin, that doesn’t require peeling. They’re basically seedless, with a few tiny undeveloped seeds. Most important, they’re tender and crunchy, with a delicate, very pleasant, mildly sweet flavor.
Our cucumbers are grown very similarly to the tomatoes – rockwool cubes and slabs provide the growing media and the plants are fed using the same light/heat/humidity factors as the tomato plants.
Lettuce: we grow Boston Bibb lettuce, a butterhead type of lettuce that forms rosette shaped heads and large, easily separated leaves that have sweet, nutty and mild flavors paired with textures both buttery and crispy.
The lettuce seeds are planted in rockwool cubes and then the seedlings are transplanted onto styrofoam and floated on nutrient-rich pools – the roots are submerged in the water. The pools are aerated to ensure the roots receive adequate oxygen.
Sweet Italian Basil: What’s not to love about the flavor of fresh basil added to your favorite pasta dish just before it is pulled off the stove?!?
Our sweet Italian basil is grown just like the lettuce – the seedlings growing in the rockwool cubes are transplanted to pools, where the plants are nourished through the roots submerged in a nutrient-rich pool. When the plants are ready for harvesting, they are plucked from the pools and packaged with their roots, enabling the basil plants to live long after harvesting if the roots are submerged in water in your home.
Spinach: There is a reason Popeye ate spinach: this “superfood” has more demonstrated health benefits than almost any other food. It is amazingly high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. And, wait until you taste the difference when it is freshly picked!
We grow our smooth leaf spinach in towers, using a coconut/perlite mix as the media. Nutrient-rich water is fed to the plants throughout the day, the water dripping from one bucket to the next