Introducing Our zerO Label Products
We’ve evolved to the place where we can produce this much Butter Lettuce on our Vertical Lettuce Wall every 4-5 Weeks. But this is only half of the story. We’re showing you our Proprietary Agri-Tech that we are sharing here as you can only see WHAT we are DOING not HOW we are DOING IT! We’ll be sharing the HOW as soon as our Provisional Patent comes through.
Here’s the other half of our Vertical Lettuce Wall. This is the Romaine side of our Lettuce Wall. We’re looking for outlets for our Lettuce, as it’s plain to see there is no way we can eat all of this Lettuce by ourselves.
So we now need to Name and Package our Aquaponics Lettuce Product, and we created our zerO Label just for that!
This Label says a lot about what we think is important when it comes to growing food. First, we believe the ability to preserve refrigerated food as long as possible is important, and with that in mind, we keep our Lettuce Roots attached to the Lettuce, which is why we can label it “Living Butter Lettuce” because it’s alive and will last up to 3 weeks in cold storage.
Unless you’re growing your Lettuce in a water only System without Grow Bed Media, you cannot grow Living Lettuce with the Roots attached because the roots get tangled up in the Media making it impossible to leave them attached.
The next thing unusual on our Label are the words, “Certified Aquaganic™”. We have an “Aquaganic™” Trademark which we created ourselves complete with a Certification Certificate, which we also created that holds Aquaponic Growers to rules that are more stringent than “Organic” requirements.
Then comes the statement that our produce is “Locally Grown”. The Grow Local Movement is taking the agriculture industry by storm and large chain grocery stores are purchasing and featuring Locally Grown produce more than ever. Any time food miles are reduced, freshness, longevity and health are increased.
And finally, the words, “Shielded from Radiated Rain, Snow & Soil” bring to mind the unpleasant fact that Fukushima happened and is still happening and affecting the entire world. Growing food in protected, covered Greenhouses and Grow Houses is the only way to insure against radiated food.
Above is one of our Living Butter Lettuce Heads jammed into a Shell for sale. I use the word “jammed” here quite literally because our Butter Lettuce is so huge it barely fits in the Shells.
Our Lettuce Product is the easiest to deal with. You plant the seeds, move the Seedlings into Stage 1 Horizontal (a Proprietary Agri-Tech Horizontal Growing Area), move the more mature Seedlings into the Vertical Agri-Tech Growing Area pictured above and wait until it’s time for harvest. At harvest you wash the Lettuce and place it into a Shell for Sale. Wah Lah!
But dealing with the other Veggies like Swiss Chard and Tomatoes is a very different story and way more time consuming to turn the veggies into packaged Products. Let’s start with the Swiss Chard.
Swiss Chard grows like weeds in an Aquaponics System, and it’s very forgiving. By that I mean, you can leave it in the Deep Media or Vertical Growing Area for a long time before harvesting it. While I’m writing Blog and Social Media Posts, conducting Tours or soon Classes in our up and coming Classroom, the Swiss Chard will not spoil. It will patiently wait to be harvested while simply getting bigger.
And it will grow Horizontally like above or Vertically like below.
You can only eat so much Stir-fried Swiss Chard, which is delicious. But we had to come up with another way to process our Chard and created a freshly juiced Swiss Chard & Apple Juice using our Jack LaLanne Juicer.
Below is the processing table set up in front of the TV because it takes a while to do this job. There’s a wooden tray with a cutting board inserted into it. You also need a colander, a bowel, a large measuring cup to receive the juice, the organic apples cut into quarters (need to remove the seeds), the juice bottle and a funnel for pouring the juice into the bottle. It took some trial and error to come up with the ratio of Swiss Chard Juice to Apple Juice, and finally, we added some sweetener, which is about 8 drops of Stevia into every bottle.
Two standard garbage bags full of Swiss Chard and several hours of work results in five bottles of delicious Swiss Chard & Apple Juice like the one pictured below. Now this juice is not like Orange or Apple Juice. You don’t guzzle down an entire glass full of it. A little bit goes a long way and Does The Trick (if you know what we mean).
For our next Juice Product, we’ll be juicing Bok Choy, which also grows like weeds in an Aquaponics System. And, Yes, it’s a time-consuming job to juice down a couple of bags of Bok Choy or Swiss Chard, but the juice is so healthy it’s worth it. The cardinal SIN of any Aquaponics Grower is to grow food and either let it rot on the vine or throw it away because you don’t want to deal with it, or worst of all, actually processing the food and then letting it spoil in the refrigerator.
In our next Blog Post we’ll share the process of turning a massive Tomato harvest into Salsa and Spaghetti Sauce. Oh, YES, we had to learn to use a Pressure Canner.