What are Microgreens?
Bigger than a “sprout,” but smaller than a “baby green". Microgreens are young seedlings of edible vegetables and herbs harvested seven to fifteen days after germination. Bearing a wide variety of flavors, colors, and textures, microgreens are nutrient-dense powerhouses!
During early development, vegetables need a full array of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to support their growth. Harvested when so small, all of those nutrients are concentrated.
Starting with humble beginnings during a brainstorm on a small jungle farm—the Moonlight Labs team sought to grow local and nutrient-dense food for the people of Maui. Microgreens presented as the perfect option, because they grow quickly, require few harvesting elements, and are packed with vitamins.
Countless iterations were spent delightfully testing twenty-five seed types, watering schedules, environmental requirements, combatting mold, germination methodologies, and various growing mediums. In the end, we decided to further test the combination of seed, hemp mats, ceramic tiles, water and LED grow lights because this system proved most effective.
Additionally, significant research was done regarding state and federal regulations for growing, packaging, and selling produce. Next, prototyping of what would become the “Box Farm” began. The goal was to create a perfectly controlled environment to mechanize the growing process.
The Moonlight Labs team designed, engineered, and maintained a custom-built shipping container. This space includes automated temperature and humidity controls, air/water purification, restaurant-grade stainless steel shelves, and timed LED grow lights. The Box Farm proved to be an ideal and pristine environment to grow microgreens, where the entire cycle from germination to harvest could occur. In addition to being automated, there is an ever-present human element. Keeping a watchful eye, and nurturing each crop with attention and care.
Starting with twelve varieties we were confident would consistently grow, experimentation continued using simple baking sheets as the foundation for the hemp mats and seeds. In the end, we narrowed down the list to seven seed varieties that grew the most consistently and had complex flavor profiles.
As experimentation is a continual process, we also explored automated watering by prototyping an aeroponics system that was built into the shelving units.
Although small in size microgreens provide a wide array of intense flavors, vivid colors, and complex textures. To showcase the unique properties and flavor profiles of each microgreen, a Seed Portfolio page was created.
This portfolio helped retailers, chefs and customers envision the many ways microgreens can brighten any dish by enhancing color, texture, and elevating flavors.
Additionally, it highlighted the nutritional components of each type of microgreen. In general, microgreens contain considerably higher concentrations of vitamins and carotenoids than their mature plant counterparts—specifically vitamins A, C, K, beta carotenes, and lutein.
For more information, please visit the “Varieties” page at mauimicrogreens.com.
Packaged in clear compostable containers, which display the uniqueness of each seed type. Designed exclusively by the Moonlight Labs team—the labels mimic the water droplet shape of the Maui Microgreens logo and nest in the natural indentation of the container lid.
The hemp mat can be easily removed to snip just the amount you’d like to enjoy. While the remaining microgreens stay alive for weeks in the refrigerator, equally as fresh as the first day they were purchased.