These aquaponically-grown Leaf Lettuces are supplied by our newest local veggie grower – Fort Orchard Aquaponics (Gold Beach) – and like the name implies, are grown with organic methods in a closed-loop, aquaponics greenhouse. Store in your crisper (preferably in a lettuce keeper) and use within the week.
The varieties will vary from week to week, but will usually include the following:
Green Sweet Crisp: sweet flavor and crunchy, crisp, succulent, medium-dark green leaves with a very defined, three-dimensional shape; sweet, almost romaine-like flavor; creates an attractive leaflet on the plate and adds wonderful texture to your salads
Green Batavia: scalloped, semi-savoy leaves with a crunch juicy texture; a very authentic type of lettuce and the precursor of the well-known Iceberg lettuce; typically sweet and crisp
Red Batavia: has all the attributes of its green counterpart with the added glory of deep red leaves that fade to a pretty green center
So what is Aquaponics? Simply put, it is a system whereby plants grow in water instead of soil, using the waste that fish produce to create the nutrients that the plants need.
An aquaponics system works by creating a nitrogen cycle. In this cycle, the three main elements, the fish, the plants, and the bacteria, share the water. In the fish tank, fish produce high ammonia wastes. The pump carries this waste into the growing tubs, where the bacteria convert these wastes into nitrites and then into nitrates. Those nutrients then flow under the “rafts” to be taken up by the roots on the plants.
These nitrates become food for the plants to grow, and in return, the plant roots clean the water in the growing tubs before it returns to the fish tank for the fish to live. It’s a continuous cycle, where the bacteria convert fish wastes into food for the plants, and the plants clean the water for the fish.