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BAMSI introduces hydroponic lettuce and other greens to its product line

  • Red fire lettuce.

Published: Feb 25, 2017

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The Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute (BAMSI) has introduced hydroponically grown lettuce and leafy greens to its produce line. The products are being grown in a 65,000-square foot shade house on BAMSI’s North Andros campus, and several red and green lettuce varieties are being offered — Concept, Tropicana, Lollo Rossa, Romaine, Butterhead, Magenta and Red Fire varieties, along with other leafy products like basil, arugula, Swiss chard, and kale.

The lettuce varieties are excellent for use in fresh salads and their tastes can be compared to mild romaine lettuce flavor and a flavor blend of romaine and iceberg lettuces, respectively.

BAMSI officials say a reliable and consistent supply of the lettuce products and other leafy greens are available and will be available at the BAMSI store in March. Because the products are being produced hydroponically, growing time is significantly shorter than would be required in the ground, making it easy to quickly provide a healthy and reliable product, according to officials.

Institute officials say they use no toxic pesticides or herbicides. And because the products are grown in water, they control and ensure that they receive the highest quality of nutritional elements for growth and taste.

They say their preparation and packing methods ensure that products remain fresh longer within consumers’ refrigerators compared to soil grown lettuce.

Concept lettuce, a green summer crisp lettuce with open heads (the leaves are a mix of Romaine and a Greenleaf), are arranged in a whorl, giving it a vase-like shape. Leaves are thick, juicy and flavorful.

Tropicana lettuce, a dark green, frilly, leafy lettuce is great for salad mixes to add a gourmet touch.

Lolla Rossa is a frilly, red, loose-leaf lettuce with leaves that have a crisp, semi-succulent, hardy texture and ruffled tips. Lollo Rosso’s flavor is bold, slightly bitter and nutty, and is ideal for adding a bright, gourmet touch to salads. This lettuce is high in vitamins A and C.

Jericho lettuce is a traditional romaine variety and a taste favorite. Bright green leaves with a silky texture and sweet, flavorful crunch.

Butterhead lettuce, a bright green variety with broad crisp leaves, is ideal for lettuce wraps and for topping sandwiches.

Red fire lettuce has frilly leaves with a festive red color.

Magenta lettuce is a red summer crisp with good flavor. This lettuce has shiny, slightly puckered, red-tinged leaves from a whorled, conical head with a crisp green heart.




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