Garden of Eden Urban Farming
Health and Nutrition
Microgreens: Beyond Organic
Living plants to enhance your cuisine
Our newest activity is assisting developers of complete microgreens farms in purpose-built structures and/or repurposed shipping containers in cooperation with local growers, who may be individuals or non-profit organizations. Our roles include training, business planning and startup support.

We grow microgreens hydroponically, and we believe they offer superior health benefits. We think they're beyond organic. Hydroponics eschews herbicides and pesticides and chemical fertilizers* often used in soil-based agriculture, and soil-borne pathogens are non-existent.

Our indoor gardeners maintain high standards of cleanliness and strive to employ "Good Agricultural Practices" as defined by the US Department of Agriculture, including personal and environmental hygiene, safe handling procedures and quality packaging.

No Soil
No Pesticide*
No Herbicide*
No Fertilizer*

That said, there are also good arguments for soil-based cultivation, notably the presence of micronutrients in soil; however, it should be noted that along with micronutrients comes other chemistry that could mitigate against that approach. Each farmer must make an independent decision about growing media, and these matters should be transparent for the benefit of consumers. In this case, we've opted to specialize in hydroponics. It's a business decision, not a religion.

We deliver produce from our training programs as living plants or small packages to institutional kitchens, food pantries and non-profit organizations who "harvest" their own food whenever meals are prepared and provide nutritious alternative foods to their constituents.

Nutritional Benefits

Microgreens are young seedlings of edible vegetables and herbs typically harvested less than 14 days after germination. They are usually about 1-3 inches (5-7 cm) tall and come in a rainbow of colors, which has made them popular with chefs in recent years as garnishes. But they offer much more!

Researchers have found that microgreens like red cabbage, cilantro, and radish contain up to 40 times higher levels of vital nutrients than their mature counterparts. Although nutritional claims about microgreens abound on the Internet, this study is the first scientific evaluation of their nutritional content. Researchers say they were astonished by the results. (MORE)

While they have been available for quite some time in health food stores and some specialty farmers markets, microgreens have recently become more widely available in large supermarkets. Their increasing popularity is due partly to their ability to pack a lot of flavor in a small amount, as well as their flexibility in being included in a dish. Mix them to create a small, flavorful and delicately textured salad, or use only one or two greens to give a plate a final touch. Microgreens, in addition to their strong flavors, are also lauded for their health benefits, which can vary depending on the type of microgreen. (MORE)
Seven hundred million rabbits can't be wrong!

Choices Abound

Some of the most popular types of microgreens include: Arugula; Chives; Mizuna; Chard; Cabbage; Beets; Cilantro; Mint; Garden Cress; Sunflower; Kale; Parsley; Dill; Orach; Carrots; Celery; Basil; Chia; Mustard; Fennel; Amaranth; Radish (several varieties); Watercress.

According to the Website the following are the ten "best" or most popular microgreens.

Chives √
These flavorful tidbits enhance any dish.
Broccoli √
Cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli, are super nutrient-dense foods and can supplement your diet with tons of vitamins, minerals and health benefits.
Radish √
Numerous varieties are available, each with a unique flavor.
There are numerous benefits of sunflower microgreens, including their rich nutrient content. They are especially high in zinc, folate and vitamin E.
Mizuna √
As a popular ingredient in many microgreen mixes, mizuna has a mild taste and can be easily incorporated into a variety of dishes.
Beets √
The vibrant red and purple stems of beet microgreens can brighten up just about any dish and make a great garnish.
Kale √
This superfood is brimming with vitamin C, an essential nutrient that can help boost immunity and help keep you healthy.
Basil √
Full of flavor, this herb is great for bumping up the taste of everything from pasta dishes to salads.
Chia √
With plenty of protein, healthy fats and fiber, chia is packed with nutrients and is one of the healthiest microgreens available.
Garden Cress √
This microgreen is incredibly versatile and is an excellent way to spice up sandwiches, soups and salads.
English Peas
May help to control your blood sugar levels and reduce food cravings.
Items marked by √ are available by ordering from our Catalog. Lead times average 14 days.
compilation photos microgreens
Various microgreens and culinary herbs are available. Order on line.


"The National Center for Biotechnology Information advances science and health by providing access to biomedical and genomic information. NCBI is a research unit of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). In a study published in 2012, the researchers discovered high concentrations of important nutrients were much higher than in mature plants of the same species.
"Abstract: Microgreens (seedlings of edible vegetables and herbs) have gained popularity as a new culinary trend over the past few years. Although small in size, microgreens can provide surprisingly intense flavors, vivid colors, and crisp textures and can be served as an edible garnish or a new salad ingredient. However, no scientific data are currently available on the nutritional content of microgreens. The present study was conducted to determine the concentrations of ascorbic acid, carotenoids, phylloquinone, and tocopherols in 25 commercially available microgreens. Results showed that different microgreens provided extremely varying amounts of vitamins and carotenoids. Total ascorbic acid contents ranged from 20.4 to 147.0 mg per 100 g fresh weight (FW), while β-carotene, lutein/zeaxanthin, and violaxanthin concentrations ranged from 0.6 to 12.1, 1.3 to 10.1, and 0.9 to 7.7 mg/100 g FW, respectively. Phylloquinone level varied from 0.6 to 4.1 μg/g FW; meanwhile, α-tocopherol and γ-tocopherol ranged from 4.9 to 87.4 and 3.0 to 39.4 mg/100 g FW, respectively. Among the 25 microgreens assayed, red cabbage, cilantro, garnet amaranth, and green daikon radish had the highest concentrations of ascorbic acids, carotenoids, phylloquinone, and tocopherols, respectively. In comparison with nutritional concentrations in mature leaves (USDA National Nutrient Database), the microgreen cotyledon leaves possessed higher nutritional densities. The phytonutrient data may provide a scientific basis for evaluating nutritional values of microgreens and contribute to food composition database. These data also may be used as a reference for health agencies' recommendations and consumers' choices of fresh vegetables."
Microgreens: Production, shelf life, and bioactive components.
"Abstract: Microgreens are emerging specialty food products which are gaining popularity and increased attention nowadays. They are young and tender cotyledonary leafy greens that are found in a pleasing palette of colors, textures, and flavors. Microgreens are a new class of edible vegetables harvested when first leaves have fully expanded and before true leaves have emerged. They are gaining popularity as a new culinary ingredient. They are used to enhance salads or as edible garnishes to embellish a wide variety of other dishes. Common microgreens are grown mainly from mustard, cabbage, radish, buckwheat, lettuce, spinach, etc. The consumption of microgreens has nowadays increased due to higher concentrations of bioactive components such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants than mature greens, which are important for human health. However, they typically have a short shelf life due to rapid product deterioration. This review aimed to evaluate the postharvest quality, potential bioactive compounds, and shelf life of microgreens for proper management of this specialty produce."
Top 10 Microgreens
"Recent research has shown that these mini greens pack in a major punch when it comes to nutrition and contain even more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants than their full-sized counterparts."
Broccoli Sprouts (aka microgreens) the Healthiest Vegetable You Can Eat?
"What if I were to tell you that there was a food that had between 10 to 100 times the nutrient value of broccoli? Well in fact, when it comes to microgreens, this is exactly the case. One of the primary benefits of eating broccoli is it's concentration of a known cancer-fighting compound called sulforaphane, and a 1997 study confirmed that in broccoli sprouts just 3 days old, concentration of this compound could be found in amounts of 10 to 100 times that of the full grown adult plant. And it's not just cancer-fighting, sulforophane has plenty of other known benefits, too."

So what?!

"Organic" is a term much disputed in the US, less so other places. Some say that "organic" should refer only to crops grown in soil. Others accept hydroponic gardening. Our take is that this argument exists primarily to promote one production method over another for economic reasons, as it is hard to make a case that the plants know the difference.

Microgreens straddle the fence. Because they are usually grown only to the "pre-nutritional" phase, the innate potential of the seeds carries the energy needed for growth, and no fertilizers are required. Because they are preferably grown indoors, pesticides are rarely if ever needed. Isolated indoor gardening also means they are not subject to the vagaries of soil content; they have exactly the chemical makeup of the parent plants back at the seed farm.

Frankly, we don't care, and we don't call our product "organic." It's beyond organic. [More]
*Some products grown over two weeks may receive small amounts of organic fertilizer during the final stage of growth. These constitute a small fraction of our production.