A small farm in Warwick won’t see their fields freeze over this winter – in fact, fields aren’t even part of the equation at the indoor facility where green sprouts pop up year round. “Not all farms are down long winding rural roads,” says Jen Tanner, who owns Fern Farm with Jason Santos. “You can foster community and sustainability in cities as well. We’re not your typical farm with tractors, cows, and acreage, but we are avid gardeners who really enjoy using the produce we grow in our cooking.”
Microgreens are Tanner’s and Santos’ crop of choice. Their love for the nutrient-rich produce stemmed from a deep desire to prolong the growing season. “We were always disappointed when our fall garden came to an end every year,” says Tanner. “In 2019, we started researching the benefits of growing microgreens all year round and experimenting with different organic seeds and growing mediums. The benefits of growing microgreens got us so excited we wanted to share it with friends and family, which then led us to starting our small business.”
Now Fern Farm’s greens are delivered to homes across the state, and their winter availability makes it easier than ever to add a healthy spin to the holiday table. “Microgreens are vegetable greens just after the stems and leaves develop. They are harvested at their peak nutrient levels,” says Tanner. This means the small-but-mighty sprouts have up to 40 percent more nutrients than mature vegetables, and they’re full of beneficial enzymes.
“During the colder months in Rhode Island, microgreens are a great way to still incorporate local produce in your dishes,” says Tanner, and greens from Fern Farm are harvested the same day they’re delivered.
Along with growing microgreens, Tanner and Santos develop recipes to showcase their harvests. “Each variety adds a different mood and flavor to your dish,” shares Tanner. Pea greens, for example, are an elegant finishing touch. “If you’re looking for a more festive look with a hint of spice, radish microgreens with their intense red stem and vibrant green leaves add that holiday burst.
“Whether you want to create a sophisticated soiree or a whimsical evening, microgreens can help elevate those appetizers. They are so easy to use and make all dishes look more beautiful.”
4 cans of tuna (drained)
1 cup crushed almonds
¼ cup flour
3 tsp brown mustard
½ cup diced red onion
2 egg whites
1 Tbsp garlic powder
½ cup plain Greek yogurt
3 Tbsp olive oil
½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp pepper
1½ tsp Italian seasoning
Lemon Dill Aioli
1½ cup Greek yogurt
1 tsp lemon zest
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp diced fresh dill
1 cup of dill and amaranth microgreen
½ cup blood orange juice (about 2 blood oranges)
½–1 tsp fresh lime juice
½–1 tsp agave
Splash of sparkling water
A slice of blood orange and microgreens to garnish
Note: For a cocktail with spirits. Add 1 ounce of vodka or gin to the shaker.
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