THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
A Subway Yasai Lab staff harvests a head of lettuce from its in-store garden. (Photo by Kaname Kakuta/ The Asahi Shimbun)
A Subway Japan sandwich shop in central Tokyo has harvested its first batch of lettuce grown at its in-store hydroponic lab.
At Subway Japan Inc.'s Yasai Lab (vegetable lab) branch in the Marunouchi Building in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward, lettuce planted several weeks ago is now being served. The store hopes to harvest 10 heads of lettuce every week to be used in its sandwiches.
Subway Japan aims to secure a stable supply of fresh vegetables amid a climate of rising vegetable prices.
The pesticide-free lettuce is grown hydroponically at a station in the center of the shop. Customers can view the vegetables as they grow.
It takes six to seven weeks to harvest lettuce planted from seed. Ten heads are enough to fill 40 to 50 sandwiches.
The store plans to announce harvest times one or two days in advance online via Twitter. The Twitter message will include a keyword that customers can use to request that freshly harvested lettuce in their sandwiches on a first-come, first-served basis, at no extra charge.
Subway Japan's Yasai Lab Marunouchi Building branch opened in July.