Hand-Crafted Soda and Living Lettuce
Firm believers in sustainable agriculture, Steve and Kris Van Heitsma have a love for exploring more sustainable ideas to incorporate into their Mud Lake Farm. Situated in Hudsonville, Michigan, their farm boundaries containing part of the famous Mud Lake, the Van Heitsmas are passionate about working with nature, not against. As their produce is always fresh and handled with gentleness, Mud Lake Farm is better than “just organic”.
Talk about sustainable...Mud Lake’s Living Lettuce is grown in a hydroponic nutrient mix (no soil to wash away) and is pesticide-free and herbicide-free. It’s called “Living Lettuce” because the roots are intact when harvested and lasts up-to 3 weeks. These greens are grown year-round in geothermal and biomass heated hydroponic hoop houses. Even their source of fuel is a Michigan waste product - they burn the pits from used Michigan cherries! Even in the cold, blustery Michigan winters, the houses never fall below 45 degrees. So how do they get away without using pesticides? Three words - Biological pest control. Using confusion planting, varieties of greens are planted next to each other so insects can’t take hold. Beneficial insects are used to deter pests as well. Lastly, be rest assured that you will never have to worry about e coli contamination as no animal manure is used. And as their produce is always fresh and handled with gentleness, Mud Lake Farm is better than “just organic”.
One would think growing sustainable lettuce was enough but the Van Heistma’s have also taken on the refreshing venture of craft-soda.Without the use of any artificial flavors, Steve & Kris start their soda with their hand-crafted cordial as a base. Adding water (and a preservative to prevent fermentation), they chill and carbonate the soda, then can it with the help of their friends and mentors at Cascade Cellars. Their first craft-soda is the St. Steve’s Elderflower Soda. Made from fresh elderflowers hand-harvested from their farm, you can expect a light, champagne-style refreshment that is low in sugar (compared to most soda). Second, is the St. Steve’s Ginger Soda - not too sweet, but lots of ginger flavor. Both are deliciously balanced sodas at just 100 calories per can.
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