Supplier Visit: Lusso Leaf Microgreens

by | Jun 5, 2023 | News, Suppliers

This week, H+H visited our Hampshire microgreens supplier, Lusso Leaf, at their innovative farm in Stockbridge.

Set in the beautiful countryside just a mile up the road from Stockbridge at Meon Hill Farm, husband and wife team Richard & Sarah have built a thriving business over the past few years. They started out in their double garage in 2019, before moving to a full warehouse operation during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Our visit began with a tour of their vertical farming unit, which used to be a mushroom farm. Lusso Leaf farm 35-40 different microgreens, and timing is key; they run a tight schedule which is carefully monitored to ensure the highest quality produce is delivered to their customers right on time. The majority of Lusso’s customer base is chefs and restaurants, with retail making up the remaining ~20%. Sarah explained that they work closely with chefs, who often visit the farm to taste the different microgreens and discuss their upcoming menu changes, and Lusso Leaf commit to the ethos of “if we can grow it, we will!”

Green field with hills in the background and blue sky with a few white clouds

Richard showed us the germination room first. Seeds are sown on coconut coir mats in “flats” (a shallow tray) and sprayed with ph balanced, nutrient-rich water. Coconut coir is used so soil doesn’t have to be, which results in an extremely clean end product. Once germinated, the trays of tiny seedlings are moved into environment-controlled growing rooms. Complete control over the environment means Lusso Leaf don’t have to worry about the seasons or weather, and maintain the best possible quality and produce significantly more per square metre than traditional farming techniques, whilst also minimising the impact on the environment.

Richard worked in IT prior to starting up Lusso Leaf, and with a lot of research into hydroponics (a type of horticulture which involves growing plants without soil, by using water-based mineral nutrient solutions), has developed a bespoke software which controls the temperature, humidity, watering and lighting, which can be monitored and controlled from afar and ensures the microgreens produced are consistent in appearance, size, and taste. It’s a very impressive software which operates on its own, monitoring outside weather conditions and adjusting automatically, constantly feeding back to Richard about the water quality, temperature, humidity etc. Each growing room has different colour lights, which we wondered the reason behind. Pink lights and white lights offer different light spectrums; pink LED lighting uses a wavelength between the red and blue spectra – blue lightwaves enhance colour and prevent stretching, and red light waves optimise photosynthesis. White LEDs are more effective for growing flowering plants and edible flowers.

vertical farming with pink LED lights and 4 rows of plants at Lusso Leaf

Depending on the crop, microgreens can take anywhere from a week to a month to grow to the desired micro size. This is typically the first two leaves (cotyledons) and, in some cases, the first true leaves when they begin to appear. Every Wednesday morning, Sarah & Richard and their small team harvest any crops which are ready, and pack them up in their designated packing room, ready to deliver to clients on Wednesday afternoons and Thursday mornings. Their clients are as far away as Ascot, with many more local, in Winchester and Stockbridge. As well as growing trays of specific crops for clients (for example, Winchester-based Japanese restaurant Kyoto Kitchen use specialised microgreens such as shiso), Lusso Leaf create packs of microgreens for retailers, including their best selling Shoots to Thrill box, Little Green Bag, MicroMix & Pretty In Pink box.

 

Throughout our visit, Sarah cut plenty of samples for us to try. From peppery nasturtium to nutty sunflower leaves, there are so many flavours in such tiny leaves! Sarah is hugely passionate about the nutritional benefits of microgreens; they contain a high concentration of water soluble vitamins (B & C vitamins), minerals and antioxidants, all of which are vital for body function. And broccoli microgreens can produce up to 90x more sulforaphane (neutralises toxins and reduces inflammation) when compared to mature plants!

Bread, smashed avocado, smoked salmon, poached eggs, spinach and cucumber on a plate with decorative microgreens

At Honey + Harvey in The Square, you’ll find Lusso Leaf’s refreshing, flavoursome microgreens garnishing your brunch dish, including red veined sorrel, watercress. and basil amongst many others. Not only do they add the perfect finishing touch, they taste delicious and you’re getting the benefits of powerful vitamins and antioxidants, from a local supplier whose passion and knowledge shines through in their produce!

It was a pleasure to meet Sarah & Richard and learn more about Lusso Leaf. We’re sure you’ll agree they are delicious, and we will continue to champion their fantastic microgreens at H+H!

 

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

How to cook a juicy Christmas turkey

Many people think turkey is dry, but it all comes down to the cooking! With our chef's top tips, you and your guests will enjoy a juicy turkey with lovely crispy skin, cooked amongst gorgeous festive flavours of citrus, bay and rosemary. Ingredients: 1 whole turkey 1...

H+H Suffolk Christmas Gift Guide

There are only 9 shopping days left before Christmas, so if you're struggling to finish off your gift buying, (or haven't even started..!), Honey + Harvey is here to help! We have plenty on our shelves which would make lovely stocking fillers, Secret Santa gifts or...

How to cook the perfect roast potatoes

Christmas is just around the corner and no roast dinner is complete without a generous portion of roasties! Read on for our chef's favourite roast potatoes recipe, and top tips for getting perfectly crispy roast potatoes with beautifully fluffy centres... Ingredients:...

Christmas Gift Guide from H+H Hampshire

Christmas is fast approaching, and if, like us, you're not quite sure where the time has gone and you're yet to begin your Christmas shopping, Honey + Harvey is here to help! We have an extensive retail range available at H+H in The Square, covering all bases for the...

Christmas has arrived at Honey + Harvey!

The decorations are up and our Christmas drinks and festive specials are now available at H+H Suffolk!

An autumn walk in Winchester

If you're visiting Winchester for the first time, or you'd like to uncover more of the city's history, why not grab a coffee to go and enjoy a stroll? This walking route starts and ends at H+H in The Square, Winchester, and takes in Winchester Cathedral, 2 Gates of...