I had the pleasure of spending some time with James Barrs of Nutrileaves today.
James owns and runs Nutrileaves, an urban farming business, based in Woosehill, where he grows, harvests and delivers his fabulous microleaves.
Microleaves are a powerhouse in terms of nutrition. They have been nicknamed ‘hyper foods‘ because their potency in terms of nutrients per serving is immense! No need for those vitamin pills if you’re eating these.
If you’ve eaten pea shoots from the supermarket then you’ve eaten microleaves. However there are oodles more varieties and James works to bring these to his clients attention with weekly growing cycles from his home based, purpose built growing room.
All James’s produce is grown on speciality soil, no hydroponics here, which lends itself to a better taste. The sowing to harvesting is between 6-10 days depending on the crop, but from harvest to delivery James guarantees a fast turnaround time for optimum freshness and nutritional value in the crops.
These mini power houses can be used on salads, in stir fries, topping soups, whizzed into smoothies, blitzed into pesto and more.
Some of the radish shoots are peppery hot and others sweeter and crunchier. The broccoli and red cabbage offering a wide range of ‘vegetable’ options for you each week.
I was amazed that when James first plants the seeds he sows them thickly and densely on the soil. They are dampened and then stacked on top of each other to germinate. As you can see the top tray has a weight on it too to keep it weighed down.
He was telling me that within about 3-5 days these little germinating seeds are so strong that they start to push the trays up (even with the weight on). This is a perfect sign that they need to get under the lights and infront of the fan for maximum growing. This manner of sowing, under weight, means that the stems grow strong and crunchy (which I can confirm they are) which makes them more than just a cress garnish.
James aims to harvest on Thursday and deliver on Friday.
He does his deliveries, where possible, by bicycle to reduce the emissions and make his product as clean and green as possible. His plastic tubs are recyclable but he also encourages clients to give him their pots for weekly usage to save on that too.
The process is very manual but this ensures a high quality of crunchy, tasty, mould free shoots that will last in the fridge for about 5-7 days.
To make things even easier you can set a regular order with James so you don’t need to remember each week to order. He’ll sow and deliver each Friday to order knowing that’s what you want.
I love supporting local businesses. Hell, we need as much support as we can get when we’re up against the big boy gyms, supermarkets and chains. James ticks all the boxes that we love at Fit Camp.
- He’s an ethical, green business.
- He’s passionate about organic, excellent food quality for health.
- He keeps active as part of his work, cycling around Wokingham for deliveries.
- He’s a really nice guy.
James and I are going to trial a way that you can easily get his products via FastTrack Fit Camp.
By placing an order with him we’ll make sure that you can collect from Sunday Wake Up! each week. We’re recommending a mixed box of leaves for £5.50 which can be paid in advance to him or by cash on the day. You’ll be able to take home a fresh, crunchy, highly nutritious product that will benefit the whole family (if you’ll let them near them!)
For more details on our arrangement please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To check out his social media page and get great recipe ideas please go to Facebook.
Or his website .