Fresh Origins is America’s leading producer of Microgreens and Edible Flowers! In addition, we grow Petite®Greens, Tiny Veggies™, Herb, Flower & Fruit Crystals® and other unique specialties near San Diego, California. Our ideal growing climate allows us to produce a Microgreen that is robust, healthy, highly flavored and long lasting.
Combining the benefits our great weather with a deep passion for quality and innovation, Fresh Origins has become the number one source of Microgreens and Edible Flowers to America’s top restaurants and resorts. The farm was founded by David Sasuga, after growing flowering plants for 20 years. David always wanted to grow fresh produce and the opportunity came unexpectedly. Back in 1995, a local chef came to our greenhouse and got excited when he saw some basil seedlings growing there. He wanted to try using them to accent his plate presentations and although it did not make a lot of sense at the time, it was then that David began producing these and other varieties of tiny, fresh-cut seedlings destined for restaurants in Orange County California. Fresh Origins has come a long way since then, and David and his family produce a wide variety of Microgreens, Petite®Greens, Edible Flowers, and related items for chefs throughout North America.
David Sasuga and daughter Kelly, of Fresh Origins
Fresh Origins’ Microgreens have exceptional color, are bursting with flavor and have outstanding keeping quality due to the care and attention we give to our growing, harvesting and packing methods. These Microgreens are hand harvested daily to order, at the peak of freshness. With Fresh Origins, there is no reason to settle for those lower quality locally grown, stringy, long-stemmed Microgreens that lack color and flavor, and go bad after just a few days.
At Fresh Origins, innovation is a way of life. We are continually working to imagine and develop the latest ideas in Microgreens and Edible Flowers. As a result, we have created several original, unique items such as FireStix TM, MicroFlowersTM, Petite®Amaranth Carnival MixTM, Micro Mustard DijonTM, Micro Mirepoix MixTM, Micro Celery Gold SplashTM, Micro Carrot FernleafTM, Micro Carrot GrassTM, Begonia Angelwing Leaf, Micro Fines Herbes MixTM, Micro CucumberTM, Petite® Pumpkin Green, Petite® Begonia AllspiceTM, Micro PapaloTM, Micro Tangerine LaceTM, Haricot Shoots GoldTM, Nature StrawsTM, Petite® Watercress Pink IceTM, Micro Celery Feather Leaf™, Micro Absinthe MixTM, Watercress White AngelTMand more. Our innovative Herb Crystals®, Fruit Crystals® and Flower Crystals® are gaining in popularity with chefs, Mixologists, and Chocolatiers. We have several products in development and introduce these new ideas regularly. Our product list is extensive with over 500 items, most are available all year.
Our farm is certified for food safety by Primus Labs and we are a signatory to the California Leafy Green Handler Marketing Agreement. Fresh Origins is a small family farm that is proud to be accountable for food safety. We are puzzled by the many small, local and organic farmers across the country who are fighting against improved food safety regulations. They feel they should continue to be exempt from having to follow food safety guidelines; instead their preference is not to be accountable for the cleanliness, sanitation and safety of what they produce- they just want you to take their word for it! It just does not make sense; for example, all restaurants large and small must pass health department inspections. As with restaurants, no farm should be exempt because of their size. Our small family farm is audited several times a year by third party USDA trained inspectors and major restaurant companies. We hope we are an example to others as Fresh Origins is one small family farm that is leading the way in this area.
We also strive to be efficient and continually improve the way we run our farm. Sustainability is a major buzz-word these days, and a lot of people are trying to profit by greenwashing. The fact is; farming by nature is a sustainable activity and always has been. When farmers do not work hard to conserve natural resources, reduce waste, and maintain the land so that it will continue to be productive, they don’t survive. These days, farmers are pointing out many of the things they have always done, except now it is called sustainable. This makes it suddenly something very special. Fresh Origins can also claim to be sustainable. For insect control, we utilize special screening to exclude pests from our greenhouses. We use miles of sticky tape insect traps to minimize the need for spraying. Whenever spraying is necessary, we choose safer materials such as Garlic, Clove, and Rosemary oils. Our growing medium and growing trays are recycled and re-used. We carefully hand water over 120,000 trays of greens every day in order to conserve water. An intricate drainage system captures any excess water, including rainwater in our reservoir. We have our own three acre bird and wildlife preserve with dozens of species of native flora and fauna. This area is actually un-level ground and difficult to farm, so we leave it aside purely out of economic reasons, but these days we can proudly proclaim it as part of our green-greatness. Our farm seems to be overrun with honeybees all the time, so they must like what we are doing here. Our flower harvesters get stung a few times every year. Many of our varieties are from heirloom seeds. We don’t grow inside a plant factory warehouse building under artificial lights. Electricity to run those lights, fans, cooling etc., is very expensive, so this kind of production is not sustainable. Because of our mild climate, the need for heating and cooling our greenhouses is greatly minimized. Therefore, our energy usage or “carbon footprint” is significantly less than if we were producing in harsher climates such as the mid-western or north-eastern U.S. where it takes a huge amount of fossil fuel to heat greenhouses. While it is fashionable these days to claim that we are sustainable, in reality, we do these things out of a common sense need to minimize wasted resources so we can sustain our business now and into the future. It is hard to imagine a farmer who wants to waste expensive fertilizer, insecticides, and water, or who would ruin the very land they depend on for their crops. Since we don’t do these things, it seems we are now called sustainable! Also, don’t forget, the carbon dioxide that we exhale is used by the plants to keep our planet green and happy, so really, as long as you are breathing, you too are sustainable!
Part of the new halo of so-called sustainability is to say we take good care of employees. At Fresh Origins, our employees are a top priority. We offer good wages and benefits including paid health insurance (we have done this for over 20 years, long before it was mandated), life insurance, vacation, and holidays. We provide steady employment all year, there are no seasonal layoffs. We have an excellent facility with excellent working conditions. Our outstanding staff takes great pride in the quality of produce we grow. In reality, it is not easy to find good people, so when we do, it makes sense to do everything we can to take good care of them. If not mistreating our employees makes us sustainable, we are all about it!