Our team: *outstanding in our field.* Stop on by! The farmstand is open Wednesday - Saturday, 9:00 - 12:00 pm. 36474 Osburn Rd. Purcellville.
Growers of hydroponic lettuces, gourmet greens and herbs in Purcellville VA
Gourmet lettuces, speciality greens,and culinary herbs are grown hydroponically without pesticides 365 days a year in a controlled agricultural environment. Several varieties include living butterhead, green and red oak and romaine lettuce as well as arugula, watercress, and basil.
Our team: *outstanding in our field.* Stop on by! The farmstand is open Wednesday - Saturday, 9:00 - 12:00 pm. 36474 Osburn Rd. Purcellville.
This week's lettuce special is our Dark Green Oak. A densely packed, dark green head, with perfectly sized leaves, and a sweet, succulent flavor. She's a great summer grower, $5 a head, bring one home for dinner!
Our farm stand is open Wednesday – Saturday, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm, 36474 Osburn Rd. Purcellville.
"Heads up"—our living heads are gorgeous right now! Come on down to the farmstand from 9:00 am - 12:00 pm, Wednesday through Saturday and grab one.
This week's featured item is our beautiful green Butterhead. Specifically two Butterhead for $10. The perfect green rose from our garden. Buttery, smooth, and mellow, our green Butterheads are our flagship lettuce head. They are waiting for your use as a wrap or salad. Butterhead (aka: bibb, Boston bibb, buttercrunch) is a favorite of all our ESH family. There are plenty to go around, so preorder yours today! 2 heads for $10. endlesssummerharvest.com/shop
Nothing like a FAN CLUB and some FAN MAIL to help keep us cool in this weather! Stay safe, we love you, hope to see you at the market this weekend!
Good morning from opening day at our new bin washing station at Endless Summer Harvest! Team Clean ready to take on the day 💪✨🧽
Hello again, Friends and Fans of ESH! It's great to see you this beautiful day! Today, Lettuce Chat about hydroponics. What makes hydroponic food production special? Why choose hydroponic food production?
Hydroponics is a term coined by W.F. Gericke from the Greek word "hydro" (water) and "ponos" (working). Literally translated into water working. At ESH, we put water to work in a large way.
In the event that you have seen our fancy poster, but haven't had time to digest it, or if you haven't seen our fancy poster, here it is below! I am going to hit all of the bullet points and expound on them a tad. Thanks for indulging me... this is a long one, dear fans, settle in.
Conserves water: Hydroponic systems are fantastic at conserving water by preventing evaporation and runoff. Our system is a re-circulating system that uses about 10% of the water required in conventional farming. We do not need to irrigate or use flooding techniques, where the water may or may not reach each plant's roots. Our system ensures that a stream of water flows across the roots of every single plant. This delivers to each plant exactly what it needs to survive and thrive. What the plant does not use, flows down to the next plant, and so on, until it flows back into the recirculation system. And the circle continues.
No fertilizer run-off: Hydroponic food production has the advantage that we are not spraying or otherwise topically applying fertilizers onto the plants. Our plants receive their nutrition through the water supply, flowing directly across the roots. The plants take in only what they need, and we aren't wasting nutrients or potentially contaminating water sources with unnecessary additives. This is also a way to conserve the nutrition elements that we have, and they are also recirculated, until they are used up. All in all, we do no harm to the Chesapeake Bay watershed. We think that's pretty great.
Local food production year-round: Hydroponic production has the ability to allow food to be grown year-round, depending on the environment. At ESH, we do grow all 12 months of the year, thanks to our nifty greenhouses and technology. As long as the environment allows, and the water supply is amenable, you can effectively grow hydroponic crops year-round. Even if it snows, or is as hot as it gets here, we have a protected environment. Also, we do not have to rest plots as you would soil grown crops. As soon as a gutter is harvested and cleaned, it will be refilled to grow more plants, so the down time is less than a day. Regularly scheduled turn over, consistent and ongoing crop production = year-round food production.
No harmful pesticides: Because we do not want to contaminate our recirculating water or our growing environment with harmful chemicals, we do not use harmful pesticides. We do however, follow the same standards used by organic growers. And this ties back in with the no fertilizer run off. Same thing! No harmful pesticide exposure, contamination, or runoff.
Better tasting, more nutritious food: When you grow hydroponic food, each and every plant has the same access to the same nutrition, optimal nutrition. Essentially, every head of lettuce gets the exact same diet, all the way down to micro nutrients, which is why the lettuce tastes so darn good. And this diet is one that we have perfected down to a tee, over the years. That, and our water comes from the Blue Ridge Aquifer. Perfection!
Grows more food in much less space: Hydroponic food growing is unique in that you can grow a much larger volume of food in a small space. As noted above, each plant does not have to vie for nutrients, as the water flow eliminates competition for those nutrients. Once the plant has completed its growing process, it is harvested, and another plant can replace that space as soon as the equipment is sanitized. Turnover time is minimal and there is no need to rest the area, and there is less space required for each plant. Here again, we have regularly scheduled turn over and consistent, ongoing crop production. This adds up quickly, in terms of volume.
Can grow anywhere, rooftops, Mars: Any space can be used for any scale of hydroponic farming. If you can think it up, and design it, you can use it. You can find vertical growing spaces, hanging spaces, table spaces, rooftops, plant stands, you name it. Any place that a water source can be harnessed, made to flow, and maintained, you can grow plants. Even in areas where soil growing is inhospitable, you can grow healthy, nutritious crops.
Hydroponic; cleaner, safer foods: (ESH crops and greenhouse protected crops specifically.) This goes back to the fact that we aren't spraying a bunch of harmful yuck all over a crop, because any nutrition the plant needs comes through the water. We carefully control all nutrient input that these plants receive, which makes for healthy plants. Also, there are no animals walking over the top of the food, introducing animal stuff onto the food. (You still want to wash your lettuce before eating it, but not because of bunny poop.)
Any crop can be grown hydroponically: We know that lettuce, microgreens, and other greens can be grown hydroponically, but what about other foods? Foods such as tomatoes, cucumbers, and other fruits are the first that come to mind of foods that can be grown hydroponically. But there are a variety of other types of hydroponic systems in which you can grow other foods such as root veggies like carrots and radishes, and even potatoes. Believe it or not, you can actually grow dwarf-sized fruit trees like lemons and bananas (no joke!). These trees require specialized systems however. You just need to consider your space, water supply, nutrition, and your hydroponic system specifically.
That about covers it in water, Friends and Fans. We really love how our hydroponic system turns out the best lettuce this side of the universe. Maybe one day, we will be growing lettuce on the other side of the universe. Given the right equipment and ability to get the equipment there, we could do anything! We hope you learned something today, even just a little bit. Thanks for joining us for this little hydroponic "lesson", we appreciate you spending time with us. Lettuce chat soon Fans! Until next time, stay hydrated and eat lots of lettuce!
Hello again, Friends and Fans of ESH! It's great to see you this beautiful day! Today, Lettuce Chat about hydroponics. What makes hydroponic food production special? Why choose hydroponic food production? On our "Hydroponics: What does it mean?" page, we have touched a bit on the basics of hydroponi...
Well, we found our biggest fan. Stay cool out there!
Check out that Red (butter) Head 😍 ! Farmstand is open and our living heads are gorgeous! Come visit, 9 am - 12:00 pm, Wednesday - Saturday.
**Two Lettuce Specials This Week** Hello Friends & Fans of Endless Summer Lettuce, this week our specials include the lovely Ruffly Lolla Rosa, a rare lettuce head beauty. Under her garnet-tipped ruffles, she reveals a celadon green spine. She is often found in our salad blends, but rarely makes an appearance at market as a head. Grab a head of this *highly nutritious* and crisp Lolla Rosa before she disappears!
Also, for our FARMSTAND customers: we've got extra Butter Head hearts, succulent and sweet. Get a bag of 4 hearts for $5.
Stay safe and hope to see you this week!
We are celebrating 20 years of hydroponics in Loudoun County this year! We would have like to have invited you to the farm to celebrate, but because of the circumstances, we decided to produce a virtual tour of the farm instead. Sit down and enjoy the ride!
Howdy Friends and Fans of ESH! Lettuce chat about basil. It's in season right now, and woah baby, do we have a ton of it! If you haven't yet tried our hydroponic basil, you are missing out. Our green basil is what's known as sweet basil, and the flavor is out of this world. It is a warm weather crop, but we have it growing year around in our greenhouses. Plant size does tend to be larger in the summer and smaller in the winter, but the winter-sized basil is just as amazing as the summer-sized basil. Thank you climate controlled greenhouses! In this picture below, you see our basil in different stages of growth in the greenhouse.
You can find basil in varying forms. In the grocery store, you will find it dried and sold in a little plastic bottle, in little fresh herbs packs, freeze dried in bottles in the refrigerated veggie section, and planted in little pots that you can put in your window sill and use while it is growing (they're so cute!). Other varieties out in the world include beautiful purple basil and Thai basil, which are also very tasty. In our little lettuce factory, we grow sweet basil, and you will find it living, on its root cube, and packed neatly in a bag.
Oh the aromatics of frESH basil! All it takes is a little jostle of the plant and the distinct aroma of basil comes flooding into the room. You just start looking around for the beautiful basil plant when you smell it. MMmmm! The delicious smell of summertime savory cooking. It's unmistakable. Every time we talk of basil at the farm, I make sure to mention (yet again) that basil smells like Chap-stick Original. Go ahead, smell the Chap-stick. I can't smell basil and not flashback to the smell Chap-stick Original in my head (random thoughts, but it's oddly true).
Basil has so many culinary uses. I know so many people who love fresh basil, tomato, and mozzarella, with balsamic vinegar. (That is the one that first pops into my head.) What a healthy and tasty treat. Soups, pizza, lasagna, all things pasta, basil pesto, all sorts of salads, infused oils, potato dishes, seafood, deserts, and drinks. I never think about using basil in a frozen desert like a lemon basil granita or sorbet, but there are some amazing recipes out there for these frozen treats. Oh! Before I forget, I had the pleasure of meeting a farm neighbor, who mentioned putting basil in several kinds of her favorite sandwiches. Oh. My. Heavens. YES! That makes me want to make a BLTB (bacon, lettuce, tomato, and basil) sammie!
Yes, oh yes basil is a very useful plant. Fresh, dried, freeze dried, or cooked, basil is such a wonderful addition to your dish. When you grab a bag of our living basil, place it in a cup of water, in a window (it likes the sunshine). Change the water every couple of days to keep it fresh. And enjoy all the wonderful, aromatic leaves. When you're left with the stems, you can chop them up finely, and add them to any recipe like soup or something you would simmer, and you won't waste a bit of that fabulous plant.
Remember, you can find basil year around at ESH, so keep that in mind in the winter when you're craving that savory hit of basil in your tomato basil soup, or making a simple but elegant pesto on angel hair pasta. Comment below on your favorite uses for basil. We're always in the market to share ideas. Friends and Fans, it's been fun chatting about basil. Thanks for lending us your ear today. Now please excuse me while I go make one of those BLTB's, I can't get it out of my head. Lettuce chat again soon!
Lettuce chat about basil. One of summer's best herbs.
Owner of Endless Summer Harvest, Mary Ellen Taylor, provides a brief history of hydroponics, and the importance of progress in agriculture.
Hi there Friends and Fans of ESH! Today, Lettuce Chat about a quite polarizing topic— cilantro. Cilantro is one of those herbs that people either like or hate. There is usually very little in-between. I've personally never heard of anyone who lives in that grey area of "cilantro is neither here nor there", but then again, my scope of the world is small and limited. Maybe you are one of those rare, wonderful "in-betweeners" (I know that's not proper grammar).
If you google up cilantro, you will find many other blogs out there with pretty great information. Most of them mention a genetics factor in the like/hate polarization of cilantro, detailing its flavor as citrusy or lemony to some, and soapy to others. Because they do such a great job of detailing that, I will leave it to the other bloggers.
Cilantro comes from ancient days, and the whole plant can been used, even the seeds. You've heard of coriander seeds (the seed form is termed "spice"). The leaves and stems are all useful, and are used raw and cooked into dishes, as is the spice. Cilantro contains vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber, and is sometimes used medicinally. Coriander has a different flavor than cilantro, and both are so delicious. (I'm on the "like" end of the spectrum.)
Cilantro comes in handy in every type of cuisine around the world. My personal favorite use is in pico de gallo and salsa. That famous, super delicious, excellent go-with that you find in Mexican cuisine. Tomato, onion, jalapeno, cilantro, lime, YUM! Is it a topping? A condiment? An appetizer? It's all of the above, and it's absolutely one of my favorites. (I'll put it on almost anything except cereal!) But for what other purpose can you use cilantro? There are so many out there, so let's explore a few.
Cilantro (or coriander) is used in curries, pickling, salsas, salads, chilis, chutneys, pestos, dips, dressings, as a garnish, and sometimes even in beer. Raw cilantro is more noticeable and flavorful, while cooked cilantro adds a different and more subtle flavor character to your dish. Coriander's flavor is magnified as it cooks. Alicia has an amazing recipe for pesto that includes our very own ESH cilantro.
ESH cilantro is a very special cilantro. We call it confetti cilantro. And if you dare to ask The Lettuce Lady which cilantro we grow, you will not get the specific answer you are just itching to know. Our Lettuce Lady is a vault, locked down, and we are all sworn to secrecy. So, confetti cilantro it is. When you look at one of our living cilantro plants, you could very easily mistake it for dill. That is a very common occurrence. It does look strikingly like dill. But looks can be deceiving, and once you catch a whiff of the plant, you know it is very clearly cilantro. The smell is distinctive and telling. And even though the leaves are tiny, they are quite pungent and robust in flavor. We have customers tell us that it is the best cilantro they have used. (Thank you for giving us that!)
Friends and Fans, that's about all I can give you on cilantro. Like it or not, we sum it up as versatile in every cuisine in the world, and a nutritious addition to your dish. Give it a whirl in your next cooking adventure, but note that a little bit goes a long way. Your dish will thank you!
**This week's special** A bouquet of our dear "gems." These mini romaine heads are crispy, sweet and colorful. We'll be selling bouquets (3-4 heads) at the farmstand in Purcellville and at Falls Church and Dupont Circle markets. Come pick one out! The farmstand is open Wednesday - Friday, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm, and Saturday 8:00 am – 12:00 pm.
Phase 2, let's do this! Endless Summer Harvest is participating in the Loudoun County Economic Development program, "We are Ready!" where businesses pledge to commit to the best health and safety practices for their customers and staff as we enter COVID-19 recovery. Thank you to the organizers of this program and their efforts to help business get back to where they want to be: serving you!
Take the "Loudoun Is Ready" pledge today and commit to the best health and safety practices for your customers as we enter COVID-19 recovery.
36474 Osburn Rd
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