Sea Ice, Sea Stix, and Akulikuli are just a handful of edible plants you have probably never heard of, but that is exactly why local agriculture enthusiast Brian Harasha and his family chose to produce them.
Brian is producing more than a dozen pounds of produce per week, which he grows in either a handmade greenhouse he erected in his driveway, or the far more controlled, laboratory-like grow room he built inside his garage.
Brian grows the majority of his Sea Ice plants in hydroponic towers in his greenhouse in a few different forms. In regards to the younger plants, the Sea Ice grows larger, lettuce-like leaves that can be used for wraps or salads. In the older plants, tightly formed spiral-like buds form with small hints of yellow or pink colors popping through, and small gem-like flower heads poke out.
The reason Brian calls the plant Sea Ice is that from far away, it appears that the plants are encased in ice crystals. The succulent-like leaves are covered in tiny membranes that form tiny crystals filled with sap.
The taste is equally bizarre; the leaves hold both a decent amount of water within their succulent-like leaves, but have an unmistakable salty taste. Their salinity is part of the plant’s bid for survival; in the wild, when the plant dies, the salt from its leaves will leach into the soil and keep other plants from growing.
Brian did not always grow highly-coveted plants in his garage. He used to work for the Forest Service until an injury meant he could no longer keep his career. He first started growing micro-greens, or sprouts, six years ago, and quickly found his calling. “I’m less of a farmer, more of a scientist or researcher,” said Brian.
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