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Posts Tagged ‘Greenhouse’

Tim Faulkner at ecoRI has been covering Rhode Island’s newest food initiatives. Recently he wrote about the unusually advanced greenhouse of Boston Greens. in Kingstown.

“Lewis Valenti, CEO and founder of the greenhouse and the Boston Greens line of leafy green vegetables and herbs it produces, spent five years studying how to start a business that grows produce indoors and year-round. …

“The result is what Valenti describes as the most technologically advanced greenhouse in New England. The 8,400-square-foot glass barn relies on advanced computer programs to manipulate light, feeding and humidity.

“All plants are fed a fertilizer-rich water that recirculates in a system of troughs at the base of the plants, a process known as hydroponic growing. The water alone goes through several filters and processes that strip it of minerals and all non-water elements. A nutrient mix is then reintroduced before it is fed through the hydroponic system.

“The benefits are an ability to control the nutrients in the plants and increase their overall health benefits. There are no pests and therefore no need for pesticides or herbicides, according to Valenti. The process conserves water, using 1,200 gallons a day compared to 28,000 gallons for a comparable outdoor field, according to Valenti. The yield is higher, too. The greenhouse will grow 250,000 heads of lettuce throughout the year, producing the equivalent of a 4-acre farm. …

“So far, the $1.3 million project has been privately funded, and it’s already generating revenue. All future harvests of lettuces and herbs have been pre-sold to a handful of restaurants and eight grocery stores in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

“Valenti, who went to college in Rhode Island and keeps a home in East Greenwich, said Rhode Island is a foodie state with top restaurants, culinary schools and a burgeoning agricultural movement. But with limited space for farmland, the new greenhouse is the best way to keep the local food movement sustainable while creating jobs, he said.

“ ‘I can’t think of a better place to grow food than Rhode Island,’ Valenti said.”

More here.

Photo: Tim Faulkner/ecoRI News photos
The new greenhouse is expected to grow 250,000 heads of lettuce annually.

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I’m grateful to Scott, a former colleague, for putting this cool thing on Facebook. Looking at these healthy, growing plants is especially warming today, now that the temperature has gone back to 15 F.

Tim Blank at Future Growing LLC (which produces vertical aeroponic food farms) writes, “When you hear about a farm that supplies all-natural, sustainable produce, using 90% less water and 90% less land, one that utilizes the most advanced vertical aeroponic technology on earth, you surely would not guess it would be an Amish farm.

“Yet in Topeka, Indiana, you cannot get produce that is more local, fresh, healthy, and sustainable — even in the middle of an Indiana blizzard — like you can get at Sunrise Hydroponics, an Amish farm.

“Sunrise Hydroponics is owned and operated by husband-and-wife team Marlin and Loretta Miller on their rural farm in Topeka. I have had the privilege of working with the Amish community for more than half a decade, and have come to learn that, while their lives seem simple to many outsiders, their homes, farms, and businesses are highly innovative. The Amish utilize cutting-edge and creative forms of technology to improve their lives, while still falling within the guidelines of their belief system.” Read more here.

Greenhouse at Sunrise Hydroponics

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