Not often seen but spectacular tokyo bekana mustards have been called the japanese version of chinese cabbage. The beautiful lime green micro provides a striking contrast to the deep greens of most of our crops. It has a nice crunch and sweeter flavor that gives you a nice flavor boost in your microgreen arsenal.
Recently chosen as a leafy green for space travel, tokyo bekana is introduced in a recent blog entry from NASA which highlighted the choice and the initiation of grow trials in space. The amazing plant was chosen by NASA since it is like a lettuce or cabbage but fast growing and contains a potent array of nutrients to provide for life in space.
Here is NASA's take on it, "For the first time, a Chinese cabbage variety named Tokyo Bekana will be grown in space. The cabbage was chosen as a good candidate because it is a quick growing leafy green that is rated highly from a nutritional and taste perspective. "
Photos below are of our Tokyo Bekana hydroponic microfarm available now for you to grow in your own home ... space cabbage on your table!
There has been a surge of renovation and construction featuring a new class of apartments for urban dwellers, micro apartments. These new breed of apartments create a much higher payback for developers and opens up basic city living for a whole new generation of city people. These micro apartments pack most of the amenities of a normal apartment into a tiny 250 square foot space. They range in size from tiny to small in metropolitan areas and the per square foot rent is higher, but since the size is smaller, the overall rent is more affordable. Realizing that less can be the new more, millennials are finding these alternatives attractive.
Micro living spaces are nothing new globally as you can visit most asian destinations and find them more the rule than the exception. Micro living creates less waste and increases efficiencies in the use of all resources. Urbafresh believes that one of the answers to health and wellness is the increasing use of local, even the localest produce in the city. We further posit that future living will dictate some form of "farm" in your apartment to not only give you fresh and live food, but to bring the nurturing and calming of growing plants into this space.
Good examples of items that could be used now are our new MicroFarms that feature units that can produce microgreens, herbs and shoots. Units capable of delivering food rapidly and without regard to location and weather will become the norm in the future. You can experience the future today by ordering a unit and becoming a micro farmer in your own home. See the selection of units in our store.
Looking to the future, our partner Terra Farms Mumbai advised some students who produced their own micro farm for a recent school science exhibit, the future is alive and well.
Here are the first photos of our display in the Down to Earth Maui store. Our first display of our Live MicroHerbs trays are now on display. We included 14 different crops with several pictures below. The different herbs are just past the germination stage and provide customers with a simple MicroFarm that is planted, germinated, and growing. Customers simply take their choice home and pop off the cover and allow the tray to get either sunlight from a convenient window, artificial light or room light to grow the crops out. Depending on the choice, it can take an additional 5-15 days to get to harvest. The MicroHerbs are intense and full of nutrition and the colors are incredible. We are trying to get customers to buy and grow the freshest and most potent plant based nutrition that can be gotten. Live Trays 2.0!!!
We are pleased to announce our New Live Trays that will be at Down to Earth Maui on Tuesday of this week. Our new Live trays are a culmination of months of tests and trials and create a new paradigm for delivery of Live and Fresh foods for you. Our new MicroHerb trays will be available in several varieties on the first day.
The new trays are made to be used alone as a single Micro Farm ... simply take the humidity cover off and all the plants to grow using available light from your windows or home. The trays will be displayed in our LED unit in the store and the MicroFarm ONE unit will be available this week through our MicroFarm website for delivery at the end of July.
I just read this wonderful article on the way Microsoft has taken on the challenge of providing the finest of fresh foods by going one better and using on site growing to provide live foods that go straight into the food that they serve in their cafeterias. No mean feat as the size of the Microsoft campus being served is larger than most small towns in the US. In their Microsoft Blog of June 4, 2015 entitled "As local as it gets: why Microsoft has farmers growing vegetables in the office" the blog shows how microsoft is using current technology and bringing to bear resources of the tech giant to help feed the braintrust. Know that this is not just an exercise by a commitment that can save serious health costs and provide for better productivity and mental acuity. It all starts with the food we eat and the tech giant has shown that there might be a better way.
Urbafresh through its MicroFarm operations is poised to unveil another system that can bring Live Foods to your home and restaurant. We will be announcing our new MicroFarm MicroHerb Station in the coming week as first live tests are being conducted now. What you see pictured above at the Microsoft cafeteria will be now available for your countertop or in your favorite restaurant or store ... details to follow. SOON ..
We waste a LOT of food, that is an understated and remarkably under appreciated fact. It seems that we, as a population in general believe that we waste less than the average and thus feel we are doing our part. New research suggests that we acknowledge food waste but 75% of Americans believe they waste less than the national average. This is a classic case of perception falling far short of reality and thus reinforcing this waste cycle.*
There are many ways to combat this and not wasting as much food in our own households can be a key. There is a new company in the markets called Re-Nuble that is taking food waste and turning it into nutrients for plants. We will be testing some of these products in our MicrogreenFarm operations and are excited about the prospects this may hold.
One of our initial products we endorsed, The Garden Tower (see illustration to the left) uses a vermicomposting housing in the middle of their vertical garden to allow the bio-conversion of food waste to nutrients in the growing media. This wonderfully simple and natural process will allow you to grow fresh produce that is nourished by food scraps.
It is great to take positive steps to address this incredible stream of waste. This is not the phenomena that we want to lead the world in, food waste is everybody's problem ...
* Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. "Americans may be wasting more food than they think." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 June 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/06/150610143626.htm>.
In a great article entitled, "The Top Jobs in 10 Years Might Not Be What You Expect" in Fast Company by Michael Grothaus, he highlighted Urban Farming as one of them.
"Though technology continues to move the world into the virtual space, the 21st century may see the return of local farming due to the number of people living in urban areas and the increasing awareness of the detrimental environmental impacts of industrial farming. "Small artisan farmers will continue to grow in numbers as urban farming becomes a small but significant part of the food chain," says Tankersley, who believes that individuals and companies will spring up to teach and assist amateur urban farmers lead a healthier and more eco-conscious life."
Local Greens is one the last two standing in a competition to obtain a grant from Whole Foods in a unique vote off. Please help Local Greens grow and deliver their unique brand of live fresh foods right from their indoor growing facility.
You can VOTE FOR THEM HERE ... thanks for supporting our efforts !!!
We have acquired a new capability of design innovation through Terra Farms India. The unique designs will enable our Urbafresh technologies an new dimension of visual design. This new capability raises the bar of our offerings.
Our Bay Area grower Local Greens has just announced availability of their produce in the Andronico's Community Markets, a wonderful food boutique providing a spotlight on local producers. This expands on the business already in several local Whole Foods markets and creates an even larger footprint to this rising star in the local supply chain, and one showing how indoor agriculture and local, fresh production and supply can succeed.
Unique in it's offerings are a handy mix of potent sprouts and microgreens that can serve as a fresh functional base to a truly wonderful green smoothie - just grab, blend and go.
Urbafresh has accepted the challenge to bring fresh food prouction and supply to our urban centers through the use of innovative vertical farming installations.