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US (CA): Malaia's Microgreens prepares for harvest

Young minds are continuing to shine in our industry, such as Malaia Martinez and Jaebin Yoo. The pair founded the newest hydroponic farm in California's Orange County, called Malaia's Microgreens. Already, the specialty farm grows over 50 varieties of organic microgreens, edible flowers, and specialty herbs at its indoor hydroponic lab at 17971 Skypark Circle, Irvine, California.

Malaia Martinez, Co-Founder, Malaia's Microgreens "Our goal is to collaborate with chefs to cultivate the exact products they're looking for. If a chef wants a rare product with larger and more vibrant leaves and a bolder flavor, we have the technology to do that," commented Martinez. "What really interested us in hydroponic technology was how it could be an effective and sustainable solution to put nutrient-dense food on the table in places that need it the most."

Equipped with rows of tall shelves illuminated by bright grow lights, the company's hydroponic system is built with scalable sustainability in mind. The farm is 90 percent more water efficient than traditional farms producing the same yield, noted the release. Every drop of water used for farming is collected, filtered, and recycled, helping the indoor growing environment to produce peak-of-season produce year-round.

The Irvine indoor farm is open to the public and operates on a grown-to-order model, allowing Martinez and Yoo to adjust the growing cycle and nurture each crop to meet their clients' desired specifications in color, size, and flavor. Offerings include basils, cilantro, dill, and parsley to eye-catching offerings like vibrant pink amaranth, red-veined sorrel, and multisensory edible flowers like the buzzy toothache button.

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