Cantabrica was born in lockdown. Two botanical scientists, Javier Espina and Tesa Portillo created their own indoor microgreens garden while stuck in their apartment during the pandemic. After studying their plants’ growing stages, the two decided to develop their garden into a commercial project. The business was created with the help of a local incubator in July 2021, and they started cultivating soon after.
A plant facility equipped with Kroptek lights in Oviedo, North Spain
They are growing lettuce, watercress, coriander, chives, sage and other types of herbs in their plant facility using Kroptek LED Tube lights. Kroptek’s horticultural experts also advised on the best light planning option to achieve maximum lighting uniformity. This is often a requirement for growers in order to get the best results.
“The pre-sales and after-sales services provided by Kroptek have been perfect” – Javier Espina, Cantabrica.
The plants grow over coconut fibre, an inert substrate filled with exact proportions of water and nutrients. Not a single herbicide or pesticide in sight in this plant facility! Small ventilators help keep the air in movement while LED tubes give the crops the light necessary to their growth.
“Kroptek’s LED Tubes are working very well for us and meet the expectations we had for the cultivation of microgreens. The white light spectrum creates a comfortable working environment and allows us to quickly identify any pathologies.” – Tesa Portillo, Cantabrica
From urban farm to restaurant plates
Cantabrica offers restaurants in their area fresh, locally grown produce. This is truly a unique opportunity for nearby restaurants to reduce their food miles and become more sustainable.
Microgreens are highly praised by restaurants. Unfortunately, they often lose much of their taste and nutrients over time. Growing them locally allows the plants to retain all their qualities until they are ready to be served, adding to the culinary experience provided by the restaurant.
“We want to be the urban farm of choice for hoteliers and restauranteurs. We offer them unprecedented value, especially in terms of plant quality. Thanks to our constant pampering, all the plants are homogeneous: same size, same texture… This is very appreciated by our clients.” – Javier Espina, Cantabrica
They don’t intend to stop here! Javier and Teresa are looking for the perfect formula to allow everyone to grow their own microgreens directly in their own house and are planning new products for the “grow your own” market
With much less space or water needed than in traditional agriculture, urban farming is an open door for everyone. A door that Cantabrica intends to kick wide open.
In the future, they plan to grow bigger plants. They even already have a shelf ready to welcome them. The ceiling truly is the limit!