The Rock Soup Microgreens Program
This program grows microgreens using organic principles and then markets and sells them directly to the consumer or donates them to other local food banks. All income generated goes directly to pay infrastructure costs, associated with Rock Soup’s charitable operations, specifically, rent and utility payments, which are generally NOT covered by any government grants or programs. Our mission is to provide food sovereignty, in a sustainable manner, which is inclusive to all individuals. We strive to make Macro Change by producing Micro Greens
Our microgreens goals are:
Harvest to consumer in about a day
Organic principles for growing
No GMO components
no herbicides used
no pesticides used
no fertilizers used
We use vertical high density farming principles and many of our microgreens currently use an environmental growing medium of hemp or coconut mats instead of soil. Our retail product is packaged in plant based, compostable clam shells or bags, and our commercial product in compostable or reusable containers or bags. Commercial clients can arrange for weekly deliveries of product.
Our long term hope is to grow this program significantly so that Rock Soup may one day become self-sufficient and no longer have to rely on government grants or assistance from other organizations. Your generous help in starting this ball rolling would be greatly appreciated, and will help out a lot of people in the long term. As the program grows and expands, it will also begin to employ a multi-cultural workforce to help with the production and distribution of the microgreens. Rock Soup is currently a wholly volunteer run organization!
Harvest to consumer in a day – One of our main goals is to have our product in the hands of the consumer in about a day. We can accomplish this because we are a local producer, that does the harvesting and packaging ourselves. We also provide direct to consumer deliveries, with generally no middle men or distributors. Remember that most produce on the market these days is imported and spends the first week of their post-harvest life in transport carriers of some sort. They may be delayed at the borders for a few days, and then spend a few more days in a wholesalers warehouse before they get delivered to a distributor or retail seller. That results in only a couple of days of shelf life remaining for the product! By getting our product to the consumer directly within a day, means that it now has a significant shelf life remaining before it spoils.
Organic principles used for growing – Although we are not a certified organic producer, we follow all the principles and guidelines used by organic producers. Remember we are a volunteer run non-profit charity, and cannot generally afford the time, labor, and expense to become organic certified!
Vertical farming – We use high density vertical farming principles, with 5 growing levels on each rack, which means our footprint is only one fifth that of a normal growing facility. Our growing facility is completely enclosed and not exposed to the outdoor environment. This means more efficient heating, cooling, and air circulation of the growing area.
No GMO components – All our seed products used in growing our microgreens come from organically certified producers and do not contain any GMO products. All seeds are organic certified.
No herbicides used – We have no need to use herbicides of any sort. As already mentioned our seed stock is certified organic, and is free from weed contamination. The soil or growth mediums we use are also sterile or free from weed contamination. Since our grow racks are located in a climate controlled area, and not exposed to the outdoor environment there is no contamination from nature.
No pesticides used – Again, since our grow racks are located in a climate controlled area, and not exposed to the outdoor environment there is no contamination from nature, hence no pest infestations and no need for pesticides.
No fertilizers used – Because our microgreens are usually harvested within the first 2 weeks after germination, there is no need for any nutrients to be added to the growth medium, only normal watering, and lighting. All the plant’s complex nutrients are generated during this time and are then just distributed to the growing plant. As such the microgreens are up to 40 times more concentrated in micronutrients than the mature plants.
Our Microgreens Donation Program
This sponsorship program is specifically designed to help facilitate the growth and expansion of Rock Soup’s microgreens program. We are offering various different levels of sponsorship, so that almost everyone can afford to help out even a little bit.
All General Donations receive:
Charitable donation receipt – You will get an official charitable donation receipt for your Donation. These official receipts can be used on your tax return to generate a tax refund on taxes you have paid. The amount of your individual refund is based on your individual tax situation. In general an Alberta taxpayer can receive up to about a 50% tax refund (29% Federally and 21% Provincially) of their charitable donation receipt. For other provinces please check the CRA Charitable donation tax credit rates. A simple internet search will confirm this for yourself, or use this link for the CRA Tax Credit Calculator
All Donations greater than $1,000 also Include
A small welcome gift – As part of the Large Donation program, you will receive a small welcome gift of microgreens. The size of this gift is about 24 oz in size and is one of the complementary samples we routinely give out to promote the microgreens program. This small gift has no monetary value.
A 12-month membership in our Feed the Needy Program – As a member of this program, we will grow microgreens on your behalf for a minimum of 12 months and donate those microgreens to another independent local foodbank on your behalf, in exchange for a charitable donation receipt from that other foodbank in your name.
The net result is that every $1000 of donations will allow us to grow at least $2,500 worth of produce which we donate to other food banks on behalf of the donor.
And if you cannot afford to donate at the Large Donation level, we offer a general donation option, so that you can still help us out.