Irvine’s Newest Farm Is Ready for Harvest: Malaia’s Microgreens
Malaia’s Microgreens, Orange County’s newest hydroponic farm, will be ready for its first harvest in November. Founded by young entrepreneurs Malaia Martinez, 22, and Jaebin Yoo, 22, the specialty farm grows over 50 varieties of organic microgreens, edible flowers, and specialty herbs at their state-of-the-art indoor hydroponic lab in Irvine.
Malaia’s Microgreens is reinventing traditional agriculture with an innovative approach to sustainable farming. Equipped with rows of tall shelves illuminated by bright grow lights, their hydroponic system looks nothing like a traditional farm. Built with scalable sustainability in mind, their farm is 90% more water efficient than traditional farms producing the same yield. Every drop of water used for farming is collected, filtered, and recycled.
Most importantly, the farm is never restricted by the weather or seasons, resulting in an environment in which specialty products can be harvested year-round. The climatized, the indoor growing environment is optimal for producing peak-of-season produce year-round.
The Irvine indoor farm further differentiates itself by operating on a grown-to-order model, allowing Martinez and Yoo to adjust the growing cycle and nurture each crop to meet their clients’ desired specifications in color, size, and flavor.
From everyday varietals like basils, cilantro, dill, and parsley to eye-catching offerings like vibrant pink amaranth, red-veined sorrel, and multi-sensory edible flowers like the buzzy toothache button, Malaia’s Microgreens offers chefs, retailers, and food service providers a unique and local resource for specialty greens and edible flowers.
“Our goal is to collaborate with chefs to cultivate the exact products they’re looking for. If a chef wants a rare product with larger and more vibrant leaves and a bolder flavor, we have the technology to do that,” comments Martinez.
Malaia’s Microgreens is planning a Grand Opening celebration on Monday, November 7th, after which, the farm will be open to the public.
Though new to Irvine, the farm’s roots stem much deeper. Martinez and Yoo have been growing microgreens since 2020. Their boot-strapped operation began in a small 100-square-foot backyard shed where they earned their Certified Farmer’s Certificate. Though a humble beginning, by 2021, they began supplying chefs and restaurants through farmers markets across Southern California. To meet an increase in demand, Malaia’s Microgreens has evolved into a fully operational farm and seeding lab. Their indoor, climate-controlled farm includes 24 tiers of 8’ x 4’ grow trays, which can yield nearly 400lbs of produce each week.
Their facility is open for farm tours and tastings on weekdays from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. For more information, visit malaiasmicrogreens.com.
Malaia’s Microgreens is located at 17971 Skypark Circle, Irvine.