Blue Green Goodness
Nestled on the sunny side of Mount Diablo in the San Francisco Bay Area, Greenspring Farms is sharing the natural vitality of spirulina superfoods. We’ve pioneered the farming of delicious, enjoyable and sustainable spirulina. We’re excited to share our spirulina with you.
Greenspring Farm fresh spirulina is unmatched in quality. Our innovative and unique growing conditions produce a fresh spirulina with maximum nutrition and potency. Our spirulina is always non-GMO, raw, vegan and unprocessed and we never use harmful chemicals.
Spirulina is a single-celled organism growing in an ever expanding spiral, which is where the name spirulina comes from. Its communities thrive in alkaline environments feeding on the red, yellow, and blue spectrum of the sun’s light. Spirulina is a plant-based source of all eight essential amino acids as well as ten of the twelve nonessential amino acids, antioxidant beta carotene, minerals such as iron, gamma-linoleic acid (GLA) and more. This superfood has been used by ancient Aztecs and the Kanembu people of Africa as a source of dense, satisfying nourishment.
Greenspring Farms fresh spirulina is live-harvested and packed fresh or immediately frozen. We ship our spirulina on harvest day to ensure maximum freshness and potency. Fresh jars stay fresh up to three weeks and frozen keeps for up to a year.
Spirulina’s mild flavor and appealing texture make it incredibly versatile. A one-ounce serving is a delicious addition to smoothies, dips, sauces and more. With a texture like cream cheese, our fresh spirulina has a subtle, rich flavor. The color and nutrition take the starring roles, however the flavor sits as a mellow and creamy background, making it a simple way to add vibrant plant-based nutrition to a variety of nourishing dishes and recipes.
BENEFITS OF SPIRULINA
Fresh spirulina is extraordinarily nutrient-dense. Its nutrients are super-concentrated and highly bioavailable, which means your body can absorb all these nutrients and put them to work. Further, fresh spirulina is free from the contaminants of its processed, dried counterpart.
MORE PROTEIN calorie per caloire
• Twice the protein of beef
• 5X the protein of quinoa
• Twice the protein of lentils
MORE ANTIOXIDANTS per serving
• 100X the antioxidant Vitamin A of blueberries
• Double the antioxidant vitamin A of spinach
MORE VITAL NUTRIENTS per serving
• 5X the iron of spinach
• Double the folate of kale
Protein: Spirulina is made up of about 65% complete protein – about twice the density of beef or fish. The balance is chock full of antioxidants, omega 3 fatty acids, and more
Antioxidants: Spirulina is rich in nutrients that cannot be found in other foods, including the brilliant blue pigments and powerful antioxidants: phycocyanin and allophycocyanin,
A trio of omegas: Spirulina delivers omega-3, omega-6 and Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA), which support healthy cholesterol levels, skin and hair vibrancy, hormonal stability and general heart health.
This algae, unlike most plants (which are about 90% indigestible cellulose) is completely digestible. Spirulina dissolves completely, delivering the nutrients directly to your body.
Fresh Spirulina is a potent source of whole, fresh, plant-based nutrients and a delicious part of our everyday meals. That’s enough for us. However, preliminary peer-reviewed research about spirulina’s positive effect on certain health conditions is compelling. We’ve shared links to some of that research here.
HOW WE GROW OUR FRESH SPIRULINA
How We Grow the Healthiest and Most Nutritious Spirulina Possible
It’s hard work, but it’s worth it!
The Perfect Location
Where we grow matters and we chose our location with intention. Our farm is in Brentwood, California on the sunny side of Mount Diablo. The high number of sunny days away from the San Francisco Bay coastal fog is key for our spirulina to receive long, gentle growing days. We also have an abundant source of pure, fresh water.
Water for Spirulina is Like Soil for Vegetable Crops
Our Spirulina is grown in protected pools and water composition is as important to spirulina as soil composition is to typical row crops. Just as land farmers obsess about their soil, we obsess about our water. Our well water is tested at nationally certified labs and we monitor pool health daily.
We Feed our Spirulina a Careful Diet & Protect the Pools
As with any crop, spirulina needs nutrients. We test all of our pool nutrients to ensure they meet our quality and safety standards and we buy only from domestic suppliers. The best spirulina requires a safe and nurturing place to grow. That’s why Greenspring Farms spirulina is grown in protected pools — covered and sealed against potential contaminants.
This also reduces our water consumption by limiting evaporation and helps pools maintain heat in the winter. All of the large commercial spirulina growers grow in open-air ponds. This less costly option has the potential to expose the spirulina to outside contaminants. While harder and more expensive to build than open-air ponds, our protected pools approach results in both healthier pools and lower ecological impact.
The Real Fun: Harvest and Sustainability
Spirulina grows via cell division (mitosis), so every pool’s spirulina volume doubles every 2-3 days. By comparison, corn takes 3-4 months to mature from seed to harvest and even fast-growing baby greens take anywhere from 21 to 45 days.
With at least 2 harvests every week, our regenerative aquaculture practice is continually producing fresh, nourishing spirulina to share with you. The extraordinary productivity on our small farm means we’re producing much more nourishing food with many fewer resources, and a significantly lower impact on our natural environment.
THE ORIGINAL SUPERFOOD
TECUITLATL aka DIHE aka SPIRULINA
We think of spirulina as a superfood – and it sure is. But if superfood sounds trendy and contemporary, it’s also a historically important food. Spirulina has played an important role in the diets of indigenous people for centuries, from the Aztecs of Mexico to the Central African residents of Lake Chad.
In 1521, Bernal Diaz del Castillo (a member of Hernán Cortez’s troops) observed the Aztecs harvesting spirulina (which they called tecuitlatl) from Lake Texcoco, which had the perfect alkaline conditions for spirulina. They would harvest it with poles, dry it and produce little cakes, which he noted tasted a little like cheese. Their spirulina was sold as food in Tenochtitlan (now Mexico City). Although like many indigenous foods and customs, harvesting and consumer spirulina ended after the Spanish conquistas, the first commercial production of spirulina started in Lake Texcoco in the 1970s.
Fast forward 500 years to the country of Chad in Central Africa, 1940, when a French scientist observed and reported on the practice of Kanembu women harvesting spirulina (which they called dihé) in the oases on the eastern side of Lake Chad. The harvest is filtered and sun-dried on shores of the lake, then cut into squares and returned to the village to finish drying on mats. It is used as a base for a traditional sauce eaten with everything from meat and fish to beans and rice. It is thought that this Kanembu foodway has been practiced for centuries.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is spirulina?
We have a lot of great info over here.
How is Greenspring Farms fresh spirulina grown?
Get all the details here.
Where is Greenspring Farms Fresh Spirulina grown?
On our 10-acre farm in Brentwood, California.
Why I have never seen fresh spirulina for sale before?
Fresh spirulina has never been available to most people. All of the large spirulina growers and almost all of the small farms have focused on dried spirulina because it is a cheaper and easier business. Making powder means that you don’t have to worry about refrigeration or storage life. We believe people today are looking for a real healthy plant-based food, not just a supplement. We believe that simple nutritious fresh foods are the best way to get the nutrition we need to be healthy. It’s a riskier business move for us, but we think people are really ready for this kind of food, and we hope you think so too. Please know that especially in these tough times 100% of our income goes to paying our staff and growing the healthiest spirulina possible.
Can Greenspring Farms Fresh Spirulina be shipped?
Yes! We are now shipping to the Western US (California, Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Washington State). You can find all of our delicious fresh spirulina products here.
How long will my Greenspring Farms Fresh Spirulina last?
Greenspring Farms Fresh Spirulina is harvested live and packaged right on our farm. It will last until the Best By date stamped on the jar, which is typically three weeks after harvest. If you have any left you can easily freeze it (see the next question).
Can I freeze Greenspring Farms Fresh Spirulina myself?
Yes. We recommend portioning it into single servings for ease of use later. An ice cube tray works well. Keep an eye out for our pre-portioned fresh, frozen spirulina coming soon.
How long will my Greenspring Farms Fresh Spirulina last if I freeze it?
Can I find Greenspring Farms Fresh Spirulina in my local grocery store?
We would love to be in every grocery store! However, our small team is fulfilling local and internet orders only.
If you want to keep up to date with what's happening on the farm please subscribe to our newsletter below. If you want to let us know of a store you think would be perfect for us please reach out.
Is Greenspring Farms Fresh Spirulina smelly?
No! Greenspring Farms Fresh Spirulina has essentially no or minimal aroma or flavor up through its Best By date. If there is any strong odor please discard immediately.
What is the difference between powdered spirulina and Greenspring Farms Fresh Spirulina?
All forms of spirulina are extremely nutrient-dense and can be a great addition to your diet. However, Greenspring Farms Fresh Spirulina is live harvested and raw to protect its natural vitality. Spirulina by nature is a delicate creature. This makes the nutrients in fresh spirulina extremely bioavailable and significantly more potent than it's powdered counterpart.
Powdered spirulina often has a fishy or sea-like taste and odor. Fresh spirulina has almost no taste or odor. Just nutrient packed goodness in every spoonful.
The difference is truly amazing and once you have tasted fresh you will never want to go back!
Why is it important that Greenspring Farms Fresh Spirulina is grown in protected pools? Doesn't spirulina grow in nature on its own?
Greenspring Farms Fresh Spirulina is grown in covered pools because that ensures we have complete control over the farming environment. Our pools are truly protected from environmental contaminants.
Is your spirulina organic?
Aquaculture operations are not well-suited for organic qualification. Most of these programs are geared towards soil and terrestrial crops. At Greenspring, we do not use ANY herbicides, pesticides, or synthetic chemicals for our growing process. Our water is tested at the nationally accredited lab multiple times a year and our covered pools are protected outside contamination. Our nutrients are only sourced from the highest quality US-based distributors. In the future, we hope to help develop and refine the framework for organic aquaculture system certification.
I have heard that blue-green algae is toxic. Isn't spirulina a blue-green algae?
As is the case with many plants, some species are edible and some are not. The same is true of blue-green algae. Spirulina is a type of blue-green algae, but spirulina has been widely eaten by many types of people for hundreds if not thousands of years and been shown through many tests to be a healthy addition to your diet. While we are aware of no actual cases we do recommend that people with allergies to seafood, seaweed, and other sea vegetables should proceed with caution and perhaps avoid spirulina altogether.