Sunday Food: Hydroponic Greens
(Picture courtesy of wikipedia commons.)
In growing importance in our food chain, hydroponic growth has given viability to fresh greens that it has never had before.
Space in the attic or cellar can be put to use, and production of greens begun.
Hydroponic Lettuce is becoming more popular as consumers expect more than just iceberg lettuce in their salads. Field grown product is often dirty with grit and other problems that make it a high labor cost item for the food service industry. Lettuce and herbs grown in a NFT hydroponic system do not suffer from these problems. In many cases, a hydroponic head of lettuce can be quickly rinsed under running water, shook and drained. The base can then be cut off, and the head split in half, and put on a plate.
Another valuable aspect of NFT lettuce is that the shelf life is greatly increased since the root system can be pulled out of the channel, trimmed and shipped with the product. This “living lettuce” maintains it’s quality all the way to the consumer’s mouth.
Space that couldn’t be used before, factories that have gone beyond usable status, are being used to grow what we need.
The greens grown in hydroponic facilities have an increased measure of sanitation, and are safe for more uses than soil grown food.