Kick off 2019 with fresh, green, flavorful salads filled with local, hydroponic lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers.
But really, what is hydroponics anyway? And what makes these veggies so special?
The term hydroponics comes from Latin, meaning “working water.” It’s a way to grow greens, tomatoes and other plants in greenhouses, in nutrient-rich water without soil. As a result, the plants don’t have to use any energy for their roots to reach water and nutrients, as they do in soil.
Growing plants this way makes it possible to control the heat, light and nutrients inside to improve growth, and keep away pests and bad weather. The result is plants that are naturally free of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides.
That means it’s possible to grow fresh, healthful greens locally all-year-round … greens that reach the produce sections at Brothers Marketplace – and your cart – within days or less of being harvested. And they last longer in your refrigerator, too.
In our kitchen at Brothers, we use hydroponic greens for our salads and sandwiches! These buttery, crisp, sweet, tender, baby greens come from lēf Farms in Loudon, NH.
At home, make a salad with hydroponic Boston Lettuce or a blend of green and red leaf greens. Add sliced hydroponic tomatoes and cucumbers. And drizzle with your favorite dressing or homemade vinaigrette.
Learn more about some of the local hydroponic veggies we have available in our produce section:
Little Leaf Lettuce
Little Leaf Farms in Devens, Mass., grows baby greens hydroponically in a 3-acre greenhouse, with sustainability built in at the design level – from the use of renewable energy to power growing lights to their rainwater collection and reuse systems. The greens are grown in 100% captured rainwater with an advanced fertilization and irrigation system that uses up to 90% less water than field-grown greens.
Their natural gas-powered heating system operates with over 95% efficiency. It both heats their greenhouse and captures CO2 to use within their growing system.
The non-GMO greens never come in contact with chlorine-based cleaners or chemical washing agents.
Try the Spring Mix, with a blend of red leaf, green leaf, and blond leaf, lettuces, and arugula, the Red & Green Leaf Mix or the Baby Crispy Green Leaf. Find these greens at all Brothers locations.
FreshBox Farms’ greens — grown exclusively in indoor hydroponic farms — often comes to Brothers the same day it was harvested! It’s grown in Millis, MA, just down the street from our Medfield location. These greens are grown purely, without ever using any chemicals. Their crops are never genetically modified, and are verified by the Non-GMO Project.
Grown in climate-controlled, clean, indoor environments, these greens grow in just the right temperature, humidity and lighting, using 99% less water than field farming.
FreshBox use an indoor growing system to grow vertically on shelves, meaning they use a much smaller footprint than farmland. Each of their 320-square-foot hydroponic enclosures operates on its own as a fully sustainable farm, with its environment carefully managed through mechanical and digital controls.
Their non-GMO seedlings are grown in a clean growing environment with auto-regulated, filtered water and carefully craft nutrient blends for each type of plant. They designed their own lights customized to each plant as well. And then all plants are harvested using a proprietary system.
Select from the Fresh & Tender Spring Mix, the Fresh & Hearty 50/50 Blend and more.
H2O Farm Lettuce
Available in our Medfield and Weston stores, the leafy greens from H2O Farm are grown in a state-of-the-art automated hydroponic greenhouse.
Their produce is all grown in a closed greenhouse, and is never washed with chlorine and other harmful chemicals. Actually, these greens are never washed at all. With hydroponic greens, there is no need for washing!
Try the Butterhead and Romaine.
Backyard Farm Tomatoes on the Vine
When Backyard Farms began, their mission was to grow the freshest, tastiest tomatoes around and deliver them to stores ready to enjoy. Their Tomato on the Vine was the first variety they started growing in their greenhouse.
With their sweet, juicy flavor and rich texture, these tomatoes grow on a thick green vine that lives in their greenhouse up to 48 weeks. They are left on this vine to soak in the plant’s nutrients until they are fully red and ripe and picked in clusters of 4 to 5.
Vermont Hydroponic Tomatoes
East Thetford, VT
Vermont Hydroponic Produce grows the Torero variety of beefsteak tomatoes and the Favorita variety of cherry tomatoes. Both varieties are non-GMO and are relatively new hybrid seeds.
Chop them up with olive oil and balsamic vinegar or add fresh mozzarella. Find these tomatoes at all Brothers locations.
Enjoy safe and sustainable, local salads all winter with hydroponic veggies!