Has this ever happened to you? You buy greens at the market with the best of intentions ➙ Forget about the greens ➙ Discover the muck formerly known as greens ➙ @#%!* ➙ Experience locally grown greens guilt ➙ Vow to do better next time.
Circumvent this vicious cycle by changing your salad game with Radicle Farm Company. Forgotten greens are what propelled the founders of Radicle Farm to look for an alternative. Eating fewer greens wasn’t the answer, but changing the system was. Radicle’s greens are beyond fresh—they’re still alive. This mixed baby lettuce, Shanghai spinach (tatsoi and komatsuna blend) or California Peppergrass (mix of red and green mizuna, baby kale, tatsoi and romaine) ($4 for 4.5 ounces) comes to your door in recyclable containers from a farm in Newark with roots attached, ready to be cut, rinsed and served.
Managing Director Christopher Washington says, “When we did our research, we saw that some retailers throw out nearly 70 percent of bagged salad before they can sell it. Everyone knows about bagged salad’s horrible food safety record and massive recalls, but we also began to see that the only way to prevent those outbreaks is to bleach the salad before it hits the bag, which is, of course, gross.”
Not only does their system cut waste at home, but it stops waste at the market and in the growing cycle too: Radicle salad has twice the shelf life of bagged salad products. Growing the lettuce in coconut fiber trays uses one-tenth of the water in comparison to traditional agriculture and 50 percent less electricity in comparison to hydroponics. Instead of spraying harsh pesticides and chemicals, Radicle Farms uses an army of ladybugs and beneficial nematodes and is in the process of becoming certified organic. Chefs around the city are already on board: When you eat salad at Locanda Verde, Little Park, Gramercy Tavern and others, you are eating Radicle salad.
At home, we love leaving the salad out on our counter as a living centerpiece, watering the roots of the plant daily to keep the compost moist and grabbing a leaf or two every time we walk by.