About Fruit Burst Juice


THE STORY OF LOTUS & SKY

When toxic air pollutants became a matter of concern in our city,
the beautiful vegetables in our organic garden suddenly became suspect. To be safe, we decided to bring our garden indoors by growing organic sprouts and microgreens. 

Nutritional expert Dr. Michael Greger, creator of the non-profit nutition information website www.nutritionfacts.org and author of the bestselling book How Not to Die, has written extensively on the benefits of growing your own sprouts. Broccoli is known for its cancer-fighting nutrient sulforaphane, but broccoli sprouts have far higher levels of sulforaphane than broccoli does. And since you generally don't cook broccoli sprouts, there's no danger of damaging the sulforaphane-producing enzyme by heating.

Dr. Greger also talks about the benefits of sprouted lentils. Not only are they a tasty high-protein snack and salad topper, they require no cooking and are easier to digest than cooked lentils. What's more, they are ready to eat in just two days. 

Likewise, microgreens have been shown to have an average of five times the nutrients of the mature plants. And besides that, they are flavorful, colorful and very cute. So for us, sprouts and microgreens were an obvious choice!

That's when we made four important discoveries. The first discovery was that sprouting jars haven't kept up with the times. Even though classic mason jars are more trendy than ever, the lids used to turn them into sprouting jars are still mostly plastic. At a time when more and more people are trading in their plastic storage containers for glass, even a BPA-free label isn't enough to reassure us that there aren't other endocrine-disrupting chemicals lurking within. 

Stainless steel bands and sprouting screens can be hard to find and expensive in small quantities. For many busy people, it's simply too much effort to track them down from multiple sources. There was no mason-style sprouting jar on the market with both a stainless steel band and a stainles steel sprouting screen.

The second discovery was that the major challenge of mason jar sprouting is not rinsing the sprouts two to three times a day but what to do with the jar after you have rinsed them. People are still balancing the jars in bowls or setting them on end, which blocks the air from circulating freely; laying them on their sides, which leads to soggy and possibly moldy sprouts; or setting them on their dish drainers, which leaves them constantly in the way and hard to keep clean. There had to be a better way. After much searching, we thought we had finally found a stand that held the jars at the right angle for draining. But investigating further, we discovered that not only was it not dishwasher safe, its plastic coating might even contain phthalates!

At this point, our years of experience in systems analysis clicked into gear. Clearly, this was a problem that needed solving. A custom- designed sprouting jar stand was called for. It had to be stable, hold the jar at just the right angle for proper draining, keep the screen uncovered for aeration, not contain any plastics and be dishwasher safe. It also needed to be attractive and compact for storage.

After days at the drawing board and many rounds of prototypes and testing, our custom-made stainless steel stands succeeded on all counts. Not only that, they made sprouting easier than we had ever imagined!

Our five-part system of two quart-sized mason jars with stainless steel bands, sprouting screens and stands and a colorful drip tray takes home sprouting to the next level. When you see the sprouts in their glass jars on your counter, it's easy to remember to rinse them. Rinsing takes only a few seconds (we actually timed it at 12 seconds per jar), because unlike some plastic sprouting lids, the rinse water flows freely through the stainless steel screens. After a quick swirl and a speedy pour, you can set the jars back onto the stand to finish draining at their leisure. You can easily see through the glass when the sprouts are ready to put in your salads, sandwiches, soups and smoothies. Fully grown sprouts can be stored in the refrigerator right in the mason jar. And finally, the whole system goes into the dishwasher for easy cleanup. Because the sprouting containers are pure glass and stainless steel, and because it makes sprouting so easy, we decided to call it the Pure Convenience Sprouting System.

This system was too good not to share with the world, so our company Lotus & Sky was born. Why the name Lotus & Sky? And what does it have to do with sprouting? In Eastern traditions, the lotus and the sky are both considered symbols of purity—the lotus flower that rises pure and clean above a muddy swamp and the sky that extends unstained above the clouds. We thought that they were good metaphors for the purity of our glass and stainless steel sprouting containers. 

You'll remember we talked about our four discoveries. The second two have to do with growing microgreens. Our third discovery is that while microgreens are not difficult to grow, much of the information you'll find online and in books is tailored more to a commercial than a residential scale. Most instructions call for 10 inch by 20 inch nursery flats and large grow lights. Even if you have extra space to set them up, perhaps in your garage, you'll still need to keep them at the right temperature to germinate and grow.

The plants can take weeks to grow to the two to four leaf stage favored by restaurants. And when you're ready to harvest, what are you going to do with a whole nursery flat of microgreens? Your family can't eat them all at once, so you'll need to store them in the refrigerator, where the quality soon begins to decline. What's more, nursery flats are large and awkward to handle and to keep clean. And once again, you're back to the issue of growing your food in plastic of uncertain origin.

But the great news is our fourth discovery. Peter Burke, a Yankee gardener from Vermont has developed a system for growing microgreens that is both economical and scaled to the needs of an individual, a couple or an average family. It doesn't require expensive equipment—no nursery flats, no lights, no cold frames or greenhouse. The system is so productive you can grow salad greens all year long on your windowsill—even if your window faces north! The microgreens can be ready to eat in as little as 7 to 10 days. And you can grow just the amount you like to eat each day, so they're always at their peak of freshness.

What's more, the system is easy to use. It has been tested by hundreds of people, young and old. In fact, it is so easy that Burke has a slogan: "You can't mess this up." 

As simple as the system is, it can be a little daunting to gather the necessary materials to get started. That's why we put together the Lotus & Sky Microgreens Kit with everything needed to get going instantly. In addition to Peter Burke's complete book of instructions and recipes, the kit includes the growing media, planting and harvesting tools, attractive ceramic planters, and a few refinements of our own to make the growing process even easier. There are dozens of items in each kit. In the interest of saving natural resources, even the box the kit is packed in is put to good use. By the time the four packets of organic seeds have turned into twelve bowls of microgreens, you'll have become a pro at growing these wonderful superfoods.

If there's one thing we're passionate about, it's giving people the tools they need to improve their own health and happiness. Our specialty, you might even call it our obsession, is thinking through systems from beginning to end to make them practical, easy and fun to use. We hope you enjoy our kits as much as we enjoyed designing them for you!

We would love to hear about how you like using your kits, discoveries you have made, and suggestions you might have for making them even better. Please use the Contact Us page to drop us a line. We look forward to hearing from you!

















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