Try this creamy and delicious new spin on pesto with our fresh pea shoots.  It provides a perfect base for a pesto pizza or delights when poured over pasta. Makes 2 to 2-1/2 cups

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup walnuts, raw or toasted
  • 3 cups pea shoots, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan OR Teton Tomme cheese (from Winter Winds Farm)
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:

  1. To toast the walnuts, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread walnuts on baking sheet and roast until golden, about 10 minutes. Check by letting them cool and then breaking a walnut in half. The inside should be golden all the way through.
  2. In a food processor or blender, combine walnuts, pea shoots, Teton Tomme cheese and garlic. Pulse until roughly chopped. Add salt to taste. With motor running, slowly drizzle in olive oil. Blend until well-combined and you reach your desired thickness. Scrape pesto into a bowl and use immediately, or store in a jar with a thick covering of olive oil and use within three days. You can also freeze in ice cube trays.

 

Chris Hogberg, Vertical Harvest Jackson General Manager, gives you a peek behind the curtain to what work life is like in our beautiful Wyoming greenhouse. Chris joined Vertical Harvest on a consulting basis three years ago and now oversees the day-to-day operations of our grow team. Chris has a background in construction and as a chef. He also ran an artisan hummus business before joining our team. Let’s dive in:

  1. Blog Team: Why do the carousels in the greenhouse spin? Can you give us a bit more info on the carousels?
    Chris: The spinning is for a couple of reasons. First, it helps to maximize the amount of light the plants receive. So, they constantly rotate to help distribute that light intake. The second reason is ergonomics. The carousel brings the crops directly to the farmers tending them, whether it be for seeding, planting or harvesting. It helps to reduce bending over. So, by design, it helps farming be more accessible to a diverse range of farmers. The carousels were custom made by a Dutch company called Codema and Vertical Harvest is the only place that has a functional version of this model. However, this type of carousel is a challenge to keep running, so we will be simplifying to a more traditional (yet also custom and accessible) conveyor rack system in future greenhouses.
  2. Blog Team: Which engineering aspect of VH is the most crucial to keeping production running?
    Chris: Our water system is most crucial. It contains a solution fertilized with phosphate, potassium, and nitrogen that feeds the plants. In the peak part of the day, our microgreens and petite greens get watered every 1.25 hours and the lettuce every 15 minutes, so if we run out of fertilizer or a pump goes down you’ll notice the plants drooping quite a bit. Water is really the life-blood of a hydroponic greenhouse because you have little to no soil for water retention. Water passes right over the roots of the plant in a continuous, recycled flow. If that stops, you have problems.
  3. Blog Team: What is unique about the VH building compared to other greenhouses or farms?
    Chris: It is the combination of being a glass greenhouse and being a vertical farm. Greenhouses are usually one-story and rectangular and most vertical farms are tall, but enclosed, like a warehouse. We are unique in that we are vertical, but we utilize natural light. And, because of our striking glass building, we have become a community fixture that adds to the architectural beauty of the urban landscape.
  4. Blog Team: What changes and company growth have most impressed you over the past 5 years? Chris: It’s so amazing to see the personal growth of everyone on the staff. None of us had a background in hydroponic farms, but we’ve each brought our very different skill sets to the accidental farmer mindset. Now, after trial and error, we really know what we are doing! But our different perspectives and abilities still help us to bring creative solutions to everyday issues. It’s personally very satisfying. 
  5. Blog Team: In your experience, how does the Vertical Harvest mission play into your day-to-day work life?
    Chris:
    The atmosphere is always one of joy, which is not what you usually find in a lot of workplaces. And, I think a lot of that really is due to the social component. People believe in what we do here — growing people as well as plants — so we all come to work with smiles on our faces. It is really contagious. It lends itself to people being driven and producing even more high-quality work. Our team takes a deep sense of pride in what we do here to push the business forward. 

Get ready to get creative in your kitchen.

Our Winter Farm Share features your favorite microgreens, a taste of some exciting new petite green blends, a hint of edible flowers, plus tasty tomatoes and lettuce now and then.

  • Look for our crunchy new Asian Bao Bao Blend in your January 15 Box. Mixing Chinese cabbage, tatsoi, pak choi, and leaf broccoli,  these petite and crispy delights are named for the Chinese word for “baby” or “precious treasure.” Toss them in any salad or slaw, top your sushi, or blend them into a dip.
  • Your January 22 Box will include the zesty new Rev It Up Mix featuring Toscano and purple kale, arugula, and sorrel. Tender and zippy all in one bite, this savory salad blend barely needs dressing — it’s that flavorful! You decide what veggies to add and this mix will provide the peppery punch.
  • Get ready for a powerful new superfood blend at the end of the month in your January 29 Box. That’s when Beet Power will premier. You can’t beat this mix of beet greens, Toscano kale, and broccoli as an addition to smoothies, or a power boost to any creamy soup. Plus, we recommend this snappy blend as a hands-down best topper to avocado toast.

You’ll see more of these petite green blends throughout your (6 or 8 week — you choose!) Winter Farm Share, along with the mighty microgreen mixes you’ve come to know and love: Dr. Feel Good, Spicy Mix, Citrus Blend, Vertical Vibrant, and more. Your January 15 and February 12 boxes will include our edible flowers, so have your recipe books and/or cocktail shakers on stand by.

One of our most popular (and pretty) microgreens is citrusy Red-Veined Sorrel. We harvest it at the baby leaf size so it is super tender and at the perfect stage to use directly as a garnish. (FYI — if it’s grown to full size, you need to cook it like spinach). Purchase Red-Veined Sorrel in our Citrus Blend mix in grocery stores, or as a single crop on the Slow Foods marketplace

The Many Uses of Red-Veined Sorrel

Sorrel’s bright, lemony tang adds a touch of zest to cooked dishes as well as raw salads, and can also elevate your average vodka-based cocktail. It works like a squeeze of lemon on fish, but is so versatile and tasty that you can blend it into a sauce; cook it into soup, sautée it with other leafy greens; or even use it to top off a tart (download our Mighty Microgreen Handbook for a fabulous strawberry chocolate tart recipe using Sorrel). 

Burritos and Sushi Too

A customer even told us about adding Red-Veined Sorrel to a veggie burrito in place of lettuce. She lines the tortilla with this delightfully bold microgreen before plopping on black beans, brown rice, shredded cheese, diced red pepper and avocado. 

One more simple (yet brilliant) way to use Sorrel is as a citrusy topper to sushi. Add one vibrant leaf to the top of tuna, salmon, or really ANY nigiri or sashimi dish for an added pop.

Last but not least — red veined Sorrel is red and green, so it’s perfect for our December/holiday microgreen of the month! 

Microgreen Fun Fact: Embryonic leaves (cotyledons) of Red-Veined Sorrel are fully green, so unlike many microgreens that are harvested at this baby stage, we let the RV Sorrel develop its first set of “true leaves” that have the red coloring. 

 

If you frequented the farmers market in Jackson this past summer you probably spotted the debut of our edible flower mixes. Their popularity told us we were on to something. Vertical Harvest is now poised to go “all in” on these vibrant and flavorful beauties. We’ve greatly expanded our production capacity in the greenhouse and things are blooming! Let us brighten your Wyoming winter with nasturtiums, marigolds, and more.

Growing Edible Flowers

We germinate flowers from seed on propagation tables and then transplant the sprouting flowers into hanging baskets. We grow the flowers hydroponically in coco coir, repurposed from our tomato crops, and feed with nutrient rich water until they are ready for harvesting. 

All our edible flowers feature a delicate floral flavor with an additional palate-popping twist. Nasturtium is peppery/spicy, Borage has a mild cucumber essence, Marigolds imbue a mild citrus tang, and Bachelor Button offers a delicate tinge of clove.

Tasting Our Edible Flowers

Look for these colorful blooms in cocktails and salads in your favorite restaurants around town in the next few months. Our Cocktail Kit, featuring flowers and microgreens, will premiere in our upcoming Winter Farm Share and appear on grocery store shelves in early 2021. 

The Cocktail Kit includes edible flowers as well as a mix of microgreens with various flavor profiles. You’ll find Red-Veined Sorrel (sour/citrus), Tangerine Cress and Chrysanthemum (floral), Celery (savory) and Nasturtium (spicy) in the Winter Farm Share kit. 

Use these greens and flowers as garnish to your favorite spirit, mix some into a mixed drink for flavor, or even freeze them into ice cubes. And, keep on the lookout for our Edible Flower Handbook (similar to our popular Mighty Microgreen Handbook downloadable at the bottom of the page here) to debut early next year (2021).

For most folks, Thanksgiving will look a little different this year — with friends and family at a (social) distance. But that doesn’t mean we can’t all celebrate. We just need to get creative. So we’re introducing the Thanksgiving Harvest Box as a new way to help you give thanks.

Developed in partnership with two other local Teton Valley businesses, Bread & Blossom and Winter Winds Farm, Vertical Harvest’s Thanksgiving Harvest Box is full of treats to jump-start your Turkey Day menu prep. Buy one for yourself and one (or more) for nearby loved ones or local buddies you normally host for Friendsgiving. Make the same recipes, buy the same wines, schedule a time on Zoom, and BOOM — virtual Thanksgiving. 

Included in the box: 

  • Vertical Harvest Tomato Pint
  • Sweet Mix Lettuce Heads 
  • Autumn Blend Petite Greens — This specially-grown blend is only available in this box, and is comprised of Toscano Kale, Purple Mizuna and Beet Greens, which are earthy with a mild spice. Perfect for your Turkey Day salad!
  • Live Microgreens
  • Bread & Blossom Rolls: Sourdough
  • Bread & Blossom: Date Dijonette Salad Dressing
  • Winter Winds Farm: Robiola Cheese
  • Thanksgiving Recipe Cards 

Price: $85

Order Deadline: Nov 20

Order Pick up: Wednesday, November 25 from 2:00-5:00pm at the greenhouse. 

Buy your Thanksgiving Harvest Box here.