Our Salads (Image)

Inside the Greenbelt Microgreen's Greenhouse

Your Salads Are Assured To Be Fresh

Your Salads Are Assured To Be Fresh

Freshness is our key ingredient

  • Locally grown for daily Toronto deliveries
  • Certified Organic for your confidence
  • Carefully hand-harvested for your convenience
  • Meticulously washed and chilled for your safety
  • Grown in soil and sun for full flavour and nutrient density
  • Greenhouse grown for consistent year-round supply

You Can Taste the Difference (Image)

A beautiful assortment of colourful organic living lettuce

You Can Taste the Difference

You Can Taste the Difference

Baby (immature) lettuces are used in most packaged salad mixes. These grow quickly and are conveniently ready to harvest before weeds and diseases become an issue. But being immature they lack full flavour, firm texture, and bright colours. To avoid this shortcoming, we have chosen to grow “multi-leaf” varieties which maintain bite-size leaves, even when grown to maturity. At this stage they have naturally rich flavour, firm texture, bright colours, and increased nutrient density. To further enhance these benefits, we gently stress the plants by avoiding excess fertility, water, and heat. This slows growth and increases costs; but we feel your added enjoyment makes this worthwhile.

Our Lettuce Production (Image)

Fresh living lettuce being prepped to grow in our facility

Our Lettuce Production

Our Lettuce Production

We grow our lettuces in generous amounts soil lightly fertilized with biologically active plant-based compost. We use individual pots to facilitate spacing them out as they grow in order to eliminate crowding. They grow with full-spectrum natural sunlight; and are watered with rainwater (retrieved from our greenhouse roof). When fully mature, some of these pots are sold for pick-your-own salads.

Care Instructions (Image)

Lettuce pots getting a fresh drink of water

Care Instructions

Care Instructions

1.

lettuce care

Harvest whole head or pick outer leaves

2.

lettuce growing in a pot

For watering, place pot in bowl, maintain half-inch of water

3.

compostable pot

Pots are compostable

Some of our fully mature leaves are harvested for packaged salad mixes. These are meticulously cleaned in our state-of-the-art European washing system. Chilled well-water vigorously (yet gently) agitates the leaves while continuously filtering to remove soil, insects, and fines (broken leaves that tend to initiate decay). For added safety, the clean leaves are briefly sanitized with an environment and employee friendly blend of peroxide and vinegar. After a final rinse, the leaves are blown dry and promptly chilled. The chilled leaves along with a selection of attractive and nutritious Microgreens are hand-packed into clam-shell containers. Within hours they arrive on Toronto area store shelves.

Our Salad Mixes

Organic Spring Lettuce Mix

A blend of colours, shapes and textures

Spicy Micro & Lettuce Mix

Lettuce, arugula, daikon radish, & red mizuna

Fresh Micro & Lettuce Mix

Lettuce, arugula, red mizuna, pea shoots, red choi & radish

Pest Prevention (Image)

A ladybug searching for pests

Pest Prevention

Pest Prevention

Since food safety, consistent availability, and desirable aesthetics are important, we proactively prevent pests. Healthy plants are not only more colourful, crunchy, nutritious and longer lasting; they are also less susceptible to insects, fungi and bacteria. We keep our plants healthy with balanced soil fertility, full-spectrum natural sunlight, and constantly moving low-humidity air. We also prevent introduction of pests by never using animal manures and by preventing bugs, birds and animals from entering the greenhouses. Frequent monitoring allows us to take prompt steps should we observe a problem developing. We can introduce predator insects (ladybugs), and occasionally apply Organic insecticidal soap. We support our soil’s natural beneficial fungal and bacterial organisms with seaweed and yucca extracts so they can effectively control any harmful fungi or bacteria. Our pests may not be appealing, but they are safe to eat.

How Imported Spring Mix is Produced (Image)

California’s laser leveled desert fields facilitate subsidized flood irrigation and labour-saving harvest machines

How Imported Spring Mix is Produced

How Imported Spring Mix is Produced

Fields are laser-leveled for flood irrigation with subsidized water delivered by the Army Corps of Engineers from far away mountains. These fields are lightly fertilized with compost then densely seeded with salad greens. Crops are quickly grown to an immature “baby” harvest size. Large band-saw harvesters cut everything growing in the beds at ground level and dump the leaves into totes. These are trucked to a processing plant where product from various farms is visually inspected and samples checked in a laboratory for pathogens. After acceptance, harvests are combined and agitated in large tanks of chlorinated water. [Certified Organic must also use this process.] The cleaned and sterilized leaves are spun dry. After chilling they are packed into clam-shells or modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) pillow-packs to extend shelf-life until you open the bag. Finally, they are loaded into refrigerated trucks for deliveries to stores across the continent.

The Toronto Link to Packaged Salad Greens (Image)

Ingredients in the original Expo86 Ontario Pavilion’s Celebration Salad blend that was designed by Toronto’s Franco Prevedello

A Brief History on Packaged Salads

A Brief History on Packaged Salads

The Greeks and Romans loved eating raw vegetables marinated in salty dressings, which they called salata (“salted things”). Saladisi is the modern Italian version that Toronto restaurateur Franco Prevedello and Vancouver Glorious Organics farmer Herb Barbolet introduced in Ontario’s Trillium Restaurant during Vancouver’s Expo 86. Celebrity Chef Alice Waters encouraged the fledgling community of California chefs, farmers and writers to visit this “Ontario” Restaurant to experience what could become “California Cuisine”. In 1987, Herb attended the California EcoFarm Conference and taught farmers how to grow what Alice wanted to call French mesclun (“mixture” of greens). Too similar to mescaline, this moniker was changed to “Spring Mix”. In 1988, packages of mixed salad greens began being produced near cities around the world; including David Cohlmeyer’s Cookstown Greens near Toronto.

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