US (ND): Lettuce grower switches from open field to greenhouse

Larry Schumacker has always loved playing in the dirt. That used to mean that, during winter months, his green thumbs became twiddling thumbs. Not anymore.

“I thought, ‘Why can’t we do something year-round?’ And that’s when I went to Jodi,” said Schumacker, 62, of Fullerton, N.D.

That would be Jodi Bruns at the North Dakota State University Extension office in Ellendale. She and others at the office helped Schumacker develop Larry’s Lettuce, which has a growing system capable of producing more than 3,000 lettuce plants every 30 to 35 days.

On Jan. 15, Schumacker had over 3,000 plants germinating and waiting to be planted in his metal building. There, the plants thrive in a warm, controlled environment that heats up under fluorescent lighting.

Schumacker hopes to also start growing in a newly constructed greenhouse, capable of hosting another 3,200 plants, yet this month.

Read more at the Farm Forum (Victoria Lusk)

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