Yield: 1 quart

3 ½ cups chick-pea sprouts (or peanut sprouts)

1 cup water from steaming

Juice from 2 lemons

1 cup tahini

1 cup dried parsley (optional)

1 tablespoon curry powder

½ cup radish sprouts

Place the chick-pea or peanut sprouts in a steamer for 15 minutes. Then, transfer the chickpea sprouts and the water from the steamer to a blender, along with 6-10 tbsps of lemon juice. Stir in 1 cup of tahini. Add parsley and stir again to thicken sauce, if you wish. Add 1 tbsp of curry powder and ½ cup of radish sprouts and enjoy.

Clover Cover Salad Dressing

Clover Cover Salad Dressing

Yield: 1 quart

1 quart clover sprouts, tightly packed

½ cup lemon juice

½ cup water

2 celery stalks, coarsely chopped

½ cup tahini

1 tablespoon fennel seeds, ground (or anise)

1 tablespoon kelp

Place the clover sprouts, lemon juice, and water in a blender. Blend, add the celery stalks, tahini, fennel seeds, and kelp, and blend a second time.

Using the AquaTree to Improve Your Diet

Using the AquaTree to Improve Your Diet

Using the AquaTree™ on a regular basis can have a positive impact on your life in many ways. And the most prominent one is by helping you on your health journey. It’s well known that eating green can improve your well being, but in this post, we want to explore several reasons why produce grown in the AquaTree™ is particularly beneficial. 

It Gives You Complete Control

With our system, grow what, when, and how you want. Our goal is to connect people to their food, by enabling them to grow it themselves.

It’s Guaranteed Pesticide and Fertilizer Free

Traditional farming in the US employs frequent usage of pesticides which can be dangerous and harmful to everyone from the farm workers down to the consumer. When using the AquaTree™, your produce is guaranteed pesticide and fertilizer free.

Fertilizers are another potentially harmful additive as they can be deadly if accidentally ingested by humans. Although visually inspecting and cleaning your produce properly can go a long way, you can eliminate the worry when you grow with AquaTree™.

It Can Produce Higher Quality Foods

The quality of produce bought in your local grocery store will fluctuate. Depending on where you live and your shopping availability, you may find produce that’s adequate, or in most cases, subpar. Over and underripe produce is common, meaning you either have to rush to consume your fruits and veggies before they go bad, or you have to wait until it reaches its peak. 

With the AquaTree™, there’s no guessing. You can see when your produce is ripe for the picking, and your harvest is guaranteed fresh every time!

Fresher produce is better. But many Americans do not have the time, energy, or resources to grow their own food, with many more living in food deserts. (A subject we’ll touch on another day). Without access to nutrient dense food, or the time to go source other options, Americans across the country are suffering from ailments that can be improved with a few simple changes to their diet. This is where AquaTree™ can help. 

It Saves You Money

With an AquaTree™ you don’t have to buy all of the traditional gardening supplies such as special soil and treatments, stakes, cages, etc. Our system allows you to grow seedlings with as little as water. You just put the seeds in, and there’s food in less than a week. It’s that simple! Treat yourself with the extra cash you just saved!

When you add in the cost of not only the vegetables themselves, but also the cost of either driving to your grocery store or the cost of delivery, growing at home could save you money in the long run.

It Helps You Eat Veggies More Consistently

Of course adding veggies to your plate is great, but making it a habit can be difficult. Our system offers you the perk of CONSISTENCY as well as convenience. And if you practice succession planting, you’ll be able to have a fresh crop everyday!

By adding veggies on a daily basis, your health can improve dramatically. For example, Wheatgrass and Broccoli Sprouts, among others, can potentially reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. Mung beans can protect against heat stroke and aid in a healthy digestive system. Spinach and Kale Sprouts are both rich in nutrients and antioxidants and can improve your skin health and support your immune function.

It’s Convenient

The AquaTree™ is like having a garden in your kitchen. You can order groceries online… or you could reach across the counter to grab a handful of fresh leafy greens to add to your plate. With an AquaTree™, you’re able to grow your own vegetables right at home, so you don’t have to waste time shopping, or spend money on delivery.

These are just a few of the many ways that using an AquaTree™ can help improve your wellness, and ultimately, your lifestyle. The set up is easy, and maintaining your crops will be effortless. Get started today!

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Succession Planting

Succession Planting

Succession planting can be simple. In traditional gardening, it is the practice of staggering your planting in a way that extends the life of your garden, allowing you multiple harvests.

Techniques include growing larger crops with smaller ones, fast growing crops with slower ones, or starting seedlings indoors and immediately transplanting them outside when a previous crop is harvested. 

This sowing method is helpful for locations that have a limited growing season, however, it can also be beneficial to you as a user of AquaTree™. In the post below, we’ll give you pointers as to how you can implement succession planting into your lifestyle and start reaping bountiful harvests!

How to Start Succession Planting With Your AquaTree™

Getting started with succession planting is an easy process. Begin with enough seeds to last you through a few weeks so that there will be no gap in your rotation. If you’re using the Mau Mats™, make sure to have enough on hand as they are one time use only. 

Whichever way you choose, you’ll need to stagger the planting of your seedlings. Since our sprouts only take a few days until they’re ready for harvest, you should essentially start new seedlings a few times a week, so you’ll have a fresh crop in just as much time. 

You can use this sowing method with whatever size AquaTree™ you have, whether it’s one level or more! More levels gives you the option to facilitate a wider variety of crops. And when done right, daily harvests are possible!

The Benefits of Succession Planting With Mau Mats™ and the AquaTree™

One of the main benefits of growing with the AquaTree™ is that you can do it year-round. Succession planting is an effective way to get the most out of traditional gardens, but very few plants will grow in the winter. With the AquaTree™, there’s no need to worry about a surprise overnight frost- your seedlings are protected from danger. 

Another benefit is the quick turnaround. Sprouts and microgreens are ready to eat in just a few days, and this process can happen even faster with our patented Mau Mats™!

Mau Mats™ are a seed mat, and are composed of fibrous, highly engineered material. It consists of nearly 100% biodegradable components, and is proprietary to Grow Local™. Their main purpose is to accelerate germination and promote rapid growth which means regular harvests for you and your family. 

Using Mau Mats™ is simple as well. Place the mat into your tray, and sprinkle it with seeds. Attach the tray to your AquaTree™ and watch your seedlings grow.

Using Your AquaTree™ With Traditional Outdoor Gardening

Although the AquaTree™ allows you to grow indoors year round, we know that many of you also enjoy outdoor gardening too! If you’d rather grow your veggies past the microgreens stage,  you can absolutely transplant them into your outdoor garden instead of harvesting them. If you’re practicing Succession Planting outdoors, the AquaTree™ is the perfect  tool for getting your veggies ready for your garden.

Use the AquaTree™ to have a continuous batch of seedlings ready to go whenever you’re about to harvest from your outdoor garden. This cycle of harvesting and replanting will ensure that you make the most of your outdoor garden and increase your yield during the summer months.

No Need to Plant According to Seasons

If you stick with a typical outdoor garden, you plant in late spring, harvest throughout the summer, and lay your garden to rest in the fall. 

What’s great about the AquaTree™ is that you don’t have to adhere to the current seasons for your crops. When gardening outdoors, certain crops can only be planted during particular parts of the year, according to your climate. And if you live above a certain USDA Plant Hardiness Zone, the winter may be completely lost to you for growing anything. 

Another obstacle would be the hot, dry weather of summer. Excessive heat can destroy what you worked so hard to establish. And outdoor plants need more attention to ensure that the soil they’re in does not dry out, which can be time consuming. 

The AquaTree™ gives you control. You’re growing and harvesting your crops indoors, so you have the freedom to plant whatever you like whenever you like. You can enjoy Spinach sprouts in the winter, and Kale seedlings in the summer. It’s up to you!

For more tips on how to maximize your AquaTree™, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok!

Sustainability / Sustainable Farming: What it is and Why it Matters

Sustainability / Sustainable Farming: What it is and Why it Matters

Sustainable Agriculture

As our world continues to develop and industrialize, there have been more and more demands for sustainability and environmental justice. One area in particular need of sustainable action is the farming industry, but what exactly is sustainable agriculture? Although there are a myriad of definitions, agriculture can be considered sustainable if it contains three key components: it is environmentally safe, economically viable, and socially just.

Over time, industrial agriculture, a more mechanized form of farming, has grown exponentially in the United States. Although industrial agriculture can produce high quantities of products at low costs, it does so at the expense of the environment. Soil degradation and pollution are two of the many harmful consequences produced by industrial agriculture. Contrarily, sustainable agriculture promotes agricultural reforms that come with little or no cost to the environment.

Tractor driving across a field

Sustainable farmers, and farmers in general, are an integral and important part of society today simply because without farms we would not have food. Sustainable agriculture is thus necessary in the world today if we want to feed our growing population and be able to do so for years to come. Healthy, nutritious food is a necessity, and such food can be produced without threatening the natural environment.

Traditional agricultural practices are often harmful to the environment because they result in disastrous consequences such as nutrient deficiencies in the soil, which prevents future farming, and the loss of important wildlife as forests are converted into expansive and inefficient farming grounds. Much of modern farming, especially in countries like the US, is more focused on making money and increasing profits than producing healthy food for people to consume. Sustainable farmers work to fight these issues by implementing agricultural practices that grow produce without threatening the safety or health of the environment, plants, animals, or people. 

Some of the main challenges in promoting sustainability are convincing farmers to switch from traditional agricultural methods to sustainable practices, overcoming communication barriers, and adequately instructing people on how to properly maintain sustainable systems. Many farmers have been accustomed to farming a certain way for a long time, so it is difficult, as a result, to convince such farmers to change their way of doing things. Because of this understandable resistance to change, it is incredibly important for sustainable farmers to be able to communicate the benefits and advantages of sustainable agriculture and thus be informed enough about sustainable farming to do so.

In order to communicate knowledge effectively, people must be able to communicate effectively. Certain sustainable practices are straightforward, such as water conservation and composting, while others may be more difficult to explain, specifically those that require more technology such as solar panels or wind turbines. Farmers who want to spread the use of sustainable practices must fully understand the practices so that other farmers will adequately comprehend them.

Sustainable farming is additionally beneficial because it yields raw, healthy crops without the use of dangerous pesticides or inorganic fertilizers. Industrial farming commonly employs pesticides as a means of producing pest-free crops. However, the use of pesticides has historically shown harmful effects on human health. It is estimated that pesticides cause 10,000 deaths and two million poisonings every year according to the United Nations. Some pesticides can also cause various cancers and produce long term effects such as increased risk for cancer and various complications to major body systems.

The processing of foods by industrial farms also poses detrimental health effects such as pollution, decreased antibiotic effectiveness, presence of mutated pathogens arising from food, and new allergens that may be harmful to the immune system. Hydroponics, Aquaponics, and Bioponics, contrarily, avoid all of these issues as they do not require the use of pesticides or fertilizers and do not involve the processing of food.

In fact, the use of such pesticides can threaten the stability of some systems as they may include chemicals that are toxic to the fish within the system. Consequently, these systems function more effectively without the use of pesticides that could potentially harm the organisms within the system. Fertilizers are considered nonessential to Aquaponics, Bioponics, and Hydroponics because all of the nutrients needed by the plants for growth are sufficiently provided in the water due to cycling and the added nutrient solutions. Food processing is also absent from these systems as they generally produce only organic fruits and vegetables that do not require such processing. Hence, they successfully avoid the major negative hazards produced by industrial farming because these systems can produce crops without the use of dangerous chemical fertilizers or pesticides. 

The techniques involved in typical sustainable farming pose little to no environmental dangers and can offer a variety of benefits to the environment. Typical industrial farming contributes largely to the world’s pollution, thus also affecting climate change, and the degradation and depletion of soil and its naturally occurring nutrients. Because of this, methods of sustainable agriculture are becoming necessary as advantageous means of providing crops. For example, Aquaponics, Bioponics, and Hydroponics do not contribute to soil degradation or nutrient depletion in any way. All of the water in the systems is cycled through the system, and water changes are limited when needed. Consequently, stable systems do not require excessive amounts of water input and do not release harmful water into the environment. 

The products of Hydroponics, Bioponics, and Aquaponics can be produced without considerable inputs from the external environment. This is a benefit to the environment in comparison to other forms of farming that are highly resource-intensive and produce large quantities of pollution. These systems can additionally be utilized on both large and small scale farming, ranging from large greenhouses to even smaller systems you can use in your own home! Sustainable farming is, therefore, an applicable alternative to industrial farming that functions without consuming and destroying the world’s resources.

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Agricultural Education

Agricultural Education

In our ever-industrializing world, consumers are moving further and further away from their source of food. To many people, this increasing distance is relatively unimportant as long as the source of food remains consistent. To most Americans, however, this apparent food source is primarily grocery stores and supermarkets that offer everything pre-packaged and processed, both easily located and obtained. Although people know that the food products found in the supermarket are grown on farms, their only contact with said farms is in the grocery stores where the consumer’s primary focus is typically on price and availability.

Distancing themselves from actual farms and farmers, however, poses a number of dangerous consequences for both the farmers who supply the food and the consumers themselves. Bridging the gap between our food sources and consumers is thus a necessity in our current world, and this is only going to be possible through the continued improvement of agricultural education. Agricultural education benefits consumers, farmers, and the environment as it increases both knowledge and awareness of current agricultural problems, practices, and potential advantages. 

Onions growing in the soil

By improving agricultural education, more consumers will be able to identify and purchase food that is not only healthy and nutritious but also grown with environmental considerations in mind. Most consumers today pay less attention to the labels and ingredients and more to the price. This is an understandable consideration, but it fails to take into account the environmental and social price that cannot be seen with the mere purchase of a cheaper product in the supermarket.

Although some companies can provide food products at a lower cost, they do so at the expense of the environment and, in some cases, the health of their farmworkers. Larger corporations often utilize heavy amounts of pesticides and fertilizers which can have detrimental health effects on both the consumer and the worker administering the chemicals. Overuse of these pesticides and fertilizers can also negatively impact the natural environment by increasing soil degradation and leading to a rise in more resistant pest species and disease strains. If consumers are educated on these practices and the companies who utilize them, they can make smarter choices in regards to their food purchases, benefitting both their own health as well as the environment. Conscientious consumers also benefit farmers who do choose to grow their products sustainably or organically.

Large irrigation system watering a field

Agricultural education enables farmers to better their farms through the implementation of more sustainable practices and economically viable alternatives to conventional agriculture. As our world develops, technology develops along with it. Most American farmers, however, have fallen behind in keeping up with the spread and application of these technological and mechanical advancements. Agricultural education resolves this issue by making the knowledge and resources necessary to improve modern agriculture accessible to more farmers, thus allowing for the increased use of innovations in agriculture like newly-developed sustainable practices.

Farmers can implement these methods to promote a variety of sustainable issues such as soil health, water conservation, pesticide and herbicide use, and pollution. These practices can in turn increase productivity without threatening food quality or having a negative environmental impact, thereby helping farmers remain economically stable while promoting safe food production.

Leafy green vegetables growing in the soil

While improved agricultural education has a number of benefits for consumers and farmers, one of the best ways to bring people closer to their food source is by growing their own food. Another key benefit of agricultural education is that it can enable people to grow their own food in their homes or yards. By growing their own food, more people will see firsthand the benefits of fresh produce and growing something by their own effort.

They will additionally understand the difficulties and hardships that can arise when growing food that most people are unaware of unless they have worked directly on a farm themselves. Better understanding the difficulties of growing food can also lead to greater respect and appreciation for farmers which will in turn lead to even more conscientious consumers when it comes to their next grocery store purchase. 

Sprouts growing indoors

Agricultural education is a necessity in our world today, especially when considering our rapidly growing population and dwindling natural resources and land space. Thus, it is incredibly important that we continue to raise awareness of agricultural issues in the world today and take advantage of opportunities to learn more and continue educating ourselves. The closer we are to our food source, the better prepared we can be to make smart choices and protect our farmers and the environment.