What are microgreens?
Microgreens (not to be confused with sprouts or baby greens) are juvenile plants harvested just after their first leaves have developed. These tender young greens are produced from various kinds of vegetables and herbs.
Are microgreens nutritious?
Three of our four founders are herbalists and one’s just a health nut. That’s why we grow microgreens. Microgreens are packed with nutrients. Most varieties tend to be rich in potassium, folate, iron, zinc, magnesium, and copper and are a great source of antioxidants like Vitamin C. Though amounts vary by plant variety, several studies have shown that vitamin and antioxidant levels measured in microgreens were up to 40 times higher than those recorded for more mature versions of the same variety.
Our broccoli variety was specifically bred for high levels of antioxidants, in coordination with Johns Hopkins University. Specifically, it contains 200X the precursor to sulforaphane, a type of sulphur compound that very effectively helps cells detox and supports long-term cell health.
How and where are Gorge Greens microgreens grown?
Our microgreens are certified organic and grown in our state-of-the-art, “smart” climate-controlled greenhouse facility located about an hour east of Portland in the breath-taking Columbia Gorge. From seed to plate, we pay careful attention to every detail in order to provide the freshest, most nutritious and delicious microgreens available.
What’s the responsible thing to do with our packaging?
Like many, we hate making garbage. Our choice in packaging was a difficult decision because we know that no packaging is the best packaging. Our packaging is plant-based and compostable, yet many industrial composting facilities struggle with plant-based plastics #(7) because of multiple reasons. When a package says (7), it doesn’t mean it’s always plant-based plastic, the number 7 is a catch-all for “everything else”.
In a hot composting system, one that reaches at least 150F for several weeks, our clamshells would break down quickly. In a home composting system, it may take several years before the bacteria are able to break it down. Please remove our sticker before composting to ensure no plastic enters your compost. Local industrial composters are not accepting bioplastics at this time. There are no industrial hot composting options around the Portland and Vancouver Metro areas or the Gorge, so our recommendation to you in order is:
1) Reuse the container – it’s great for leftovers and meal prep and easy to see what’s inside and to neatly stack. Keep reusing them. Give away leftovers to dinner guests.
2) Compost our container in your home compost where it will take a couple of years but will ultimately turn back to soil.
3) Put our containers in the trash where they will not break down into microplastics unlike the plastic clamshells. Even though most plastic clamshells are made of PET, at this time, as far as we can tell, no plastics recycler is taking them.
What is aquaponic agriculture?
Aquaponics is a combination of aquaculture (growing fish) and hydroponics (growing plants in water). By recirculating the water, fertilizer from the fish waste feeds the plants and the plants filter the water for the fish. It’s an ancient method developed independently by Aztec, North African and Chinese civilizations thousands of years ago. Today, modern technology has taken Aquaponics indoors and is solving some of the biggest challenges posed to 21st century farmers such as water scarcity, costly inputs and pollution while improving growth rates and nutrient density.
What is Biochar?
Biochar can be thought of as the “bones of soil”. The production of biochar from wood allows 50% of all carbon to be stored long-term. It acts as a systems support mechanism – creating conditions for life to thrive while locking carbon in the soil for thousands of years. Biochar is carbon-dense charcoal made by pyrolysis of organic material, typically from forestry and agricultural wastes. Pyrolysis is a process that utilizes very high temperatures in the absence of oxygen producing wood-gas with similar properties to natural gas or propane. This wood-gas can then be used to produce heat and electricity for the grid as well as our greenhouses while also using the carbon dioxide to increase plant metabolism. This process limits harmful emissions and creates energy as a byproduct that can be captured and used.