+ What is hydroponics?
The cultivation of plants by placing the roots in liquid nutrient solutions rather than in soil.
+ What are the advantages of hydroponics?
It's a great way to grow plants in places where space is at a premium
+ What are the advantages of hydroponic versus soil grown plants?
- It's a great way grow plants in places where space is at a premium
- Chemical-free, eco-friendly farming at its best
- Shorter harvest times and higher yields
- Reduces water usage by 95%
+ When was hydroponics started?
The history of hydroponic gardening is believed to date back to the ancient Babylonians who used hydroponics around 600 B.C. for their famous hanging gardens. In our society, this soil-less method of growing plants has really taken off only recently.
+ What types of plants can be grown hydroponically?
A number of fruits and most vegetables will thrive in a hydroponic system. The most ideal hydroponic plants do NOT include: corn, zucchini, summer squash, melons.
+ Do you really get better yields in less time?
Yes. We are giving the plants the exact nutrients and water they want in a perfectly controlled environment. This makes for some happy plants!
+ Are plants produced hydroponically considered organic?
In 2010, the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) made a clear recommendation: hydroponic systems should not be eligible for organic certification. As of March 2015, the National Organic Program (NOP) has not issued a proposed rule or established regulations based on this NOSB recommendation, nor has the NOP issued guidance to certifiers. This means that certifiers must interpret the regulations on their own. This leads to a lack of uniformity, with some accredited certifying agents (ACAs) choosing not to certify hydroponic systems as organic, while others accept organic hydroponic systems.
+ What about taste? Will the flavor compare to produce from my outdoor, organic garden?
Absolutely. Our plants are fed pharmaceutical nutrients when they need them. We only grow happy plants. Happy plants taste better.
+ What is the best medium to use?
There is no clear cut answer to this question. Different mediums work better for different plants. The mediums that we use are proprietary and vary from plant to plant.
+ What are food miles?
Food miles are the distance that food travels from seed-to-plate. In the United States, over 95% of all leafy greens (including lettuce, kale, spinach, arugula, etc.) are grown in California and Arizona. The average head of lettuce travels over 1,800 miles in this country from see-to-plate.
More Miles = Food Waste + Large Carbon Footprint + Shorter Self Life
Locally Grown = Fresh Produce + More Nutritious + Longer Shelf Life
+ What are food deserts?
Food deserts are urban areas in which it is difficult to buy affordable or good-quality fresh food. Over 22 million Americans live in locations defined by the USDA as "food deserts." Since these food deserts most often overlap with high levels of poverty, retailers and healthy restaurants are not incentivized to open locations in them. Our first farm is located in a food desert. We strive to locate our farms directly in food deserts, working with local markets, retailers and other organizations to provide access to affordable produce and education of its health benefits where it is needed most.
+ Why is the produce more nutritious?
We allow our plants to reach full DNA potential by supplying exactly what the plant needs. Being in a controlled environment has allowed Urban Seed to create 'happy plants' that are free from stress and grow to their maximum potential.
We are able to harvest at peak ripening, as our clients are less than 3 miles away!
Shorter distance traveled equals less nutrient seepage.
+ How is your carbon footprint reduced?
Urban Seed reduces the traditional farming footprint by creating the following:
Urban Seed cuts down on the significant amount of fossil fuel consumption necessary to transport, package, and sell food. The average meal has traveled 4,200 miles just to get to your table, where Urban Seed travels less than 5 miles!
Urban Seed helps our clients reduce their “foodprint” by providing them the opportunity to purchase food that was grown within their community.
+ What is a Locavore?
A locavore is a person interested in eating food that is locally produced, not moved long distances to market. One common definition of "local" food is food grown within 100 miles (160 km) of its point of purchase or consumption. The locavore movement in the United States and elsewhere was spawned as a result of interest in sustainability and eco-consciousness becoming more prevalent.
Join the Locavore movement with Urban Seed!
+ How quickly do your vegetables grow?
That depends on the crop.
But normally we grow produce 30% - 50% faster than conventional outdoor farms. The plants do not need any chemicals or scary additives to grow this much faster. Instead, we provide them the perfect growing environments for our plants to thrive. This means we customize airflow, nutrients, humidity, pH levels and all other environmental factors required to grow safe, healthy produce.
+ Who will you be providing food for first?
Our Founding restaurants stem from our Culinary Advisory Board:
- Mina Group
- Batalli Group
- Border Grille
- Sparrow & Wolf
- DW Bistro
As our operation expands so will our clientele, keep posted as we continue to grow!
+ Do you use artificial lighting?
We use the greatest tool and cheapest tool around, the sun. Here in Las Vegas we capture 350 days of sunlight. This is how we are able to keep capital costs to a minimum and become a sustainable business.
Oh by the way.....we have a patent on a LED light. Just incase we want to grow indoors.
+ How do you use 95% less water than conventional farming?
With our closed loop hydroponic system we only lose water from root uptake. Once the water goes through a cycle it is treated and then sent back to our happy plants.
For example, conventional farming uses about 14 gallons of water per head of lettuce. Urban Seed only uses 22 ounces, thats a 97.5% difference!
+ Do you use fish? Is your system Aquaponics?
Nope. While we very much appreciate the hard work of aquaponics farmers, we investigated the technology in detail and decided to pass for now.
- Higher capital costs
- Less control over the plants
- Most aquaponic systems have a higher profit selling their fish than the produce
+ Why does produce look fresh at a supermarket in a food desert?
Produce is often picked long before it is ripe (think green bananas) so that ripening can ideally occur in the retail store or in your fridge. But many studies have shown that produce has the highest nutritional content when it’s ripened on the vine or tree. This explains part of the reason why our produce is more nutritious than conventionally grown products.