Paradise Acres Farm
Paradise Acres Farm
In the earliest spring days when fresh local produce was still weeks away, only one item in our produce department boasted a local origin, microgreens from Paradise Acres Farm in Kingsley. Lucia Tiffany and her husband Jim started their certified organic business in 2012 and plan to expand to vegetables in the near future. The two work as a team with Jim working on infrastructure, watering and harvesting and Lucia involved in research, marketing, planting, maintenance and harvesting.
Microgreens are different from sprouts in that sprouts are seeds that have germinated after simply soaking in water. Microgreens come from seeds that have been planted in soil. A microgreen has two fully developed cotyledon leaves (the first two leaves on a sprout) and usually one pair of very small, partially developed true leaves. Sprouts can be harvested within a week but some varieties of microgreens can take up to four weeks.
The tiny, fresh greens grow in a greenhouse during summer and an indoor growing facility in winter. The Tiffany’s make their own soil mix from coconut fiber, rice hulls, and veganic (no animal products) fertilizer. The plants require 12 hours of light a day.
“I like seeing the daily changes in the size, shape, and colors of the microgreens. It’s such a miracle!” says Lucia. She is a nurse and health educator with a passion for helping people understand the relationship between food and physical and emotional health.
Delicate microgreens have robust, deep colors and intense flavors, making them an excellent garnish or addition to salads and sandwiches. A study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry suggests that microgreens may contain even more nutrients and vitamins than their more mature versions. The varieties the Tiffanys currently grow include: Brassica Mix with green kale, broccoli raab, mustard, arugula, garnet amaranth or bull’s blood beet, as well as Asian Greens with Pak choi, tatsoi, mizuna, and purple radish. They also grow microherbs – opal basil, lemon basil, and cilantro.