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They’re adorable, tender, and fun to eat. Microgreens have 5-10x the amount of nutrients contained in the whole vegetable counterparts and they’re such an easy way to eat raw fresh greens. Our vendor, Arizona Microgreens, brings flats of their microgreens (and a pair of clean scissors) to snip off a pinch of the greens for customers samples and they also bring packaged harvested shoots in both a 2 oz and 4 oz size for market goers to purchase each week. We visited their greenhouse located near 32nd St and Broadway recently and we’d love to tell you more about their story.
Arizona Microgreens was started by brothers Joseph Martinez and David Redwood in August 2014. They lease space inside a Roosevelt School District greenhouse which also contains a few other greenhouse/aquaponic organizations. Arizona Microgreens grow their greens on flats in soil. They do this without the use of any chemical pesticides, fungicides or herbicides. Organic certification is not in their business plan but consider themselves beyond organic and invite the public to come look and see how they operate. For them, part of being clean means reducing or eliminating waste: they compost, harvest the greywater and even reuse the seed runoff water, too. We asked how they like to eat microgreens. Joseph explained that many mornings he throws a big handful of arugula sprouts over a poached egg. And for breakfast that morning, he tossed a bunch of broccoli sprouts on top of his bagel and cream cheese. After trying the tender sunflower sprouts, we were hooked. “Those have protein, too” called out Joseph. We walked about 20 paces along the entire “farm” which is basically two stacked rows or bunk beds of micro-arugula, micro-broccoli, micro-bulls blood beets, micro-popcorn shoots, among others. They offer around 18 varieties of shoots. Find their entire list of microgreens here.
In addition to selling at farmers markets, they sell their microgreens to popular restaurants around the Valley including House of Tricks, Binkley’s, Wright’s at the Biltmore, Tarbell’s, Sierra Bonita, FnB and Virtu. Typically, restaurant chefs use microgreens as a garnish but Joseph encourages home cooks to toss microgreens into their morning green smoothie, inside sandwiches or tacos and anywhere you might use bigger leafy greens.
They’re always looking for ways to make a positive impact back to the community and they’re doing this several different ways already. They’ve invited several ASU colleges to collaborate on projects. Some of the colleges including the School of Sustainability and the WP Carey School of Business and the Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering. And they’re even planning to help the migratory patterns of monarch butterflies by planting native milkweed en masse. They describe their business as a social enterprise. It’s a nice feeling to know that buying Arizona Microgreens, you’re not just making an impact on your health but you’re helping make a difference in the community.
We encourage you to come see for yourself what Arizona Microgreens has to offer and find out which shoots you like best. Learn more about Arizona Microgreens on their website: http://www.arizonamicrogreens.com/