Your Local Greens, an industrial size hydroponic indoor city farm located in Burlington, North Carolina, is nearing the completion of Phase I, and preparing its first crops consisting of a variety of lettuces and microgreens. Owned and operated by YLG Partners, Inc., the company was founded on the belief that it is possible to hire individuals with disabilities, pay them a living wage with benefits, and seamlessly integrate them into the workforce while, at the same time, creating ideal conditions for growing produce.
Looking at new and disruptive ways of doing things does not stop with the workforce. Your Local Greens said it offers its customers access to fresh locally grown produce 12 months of the year. The company has utilizing LED grow light technology and plant recipes from Philips Horticulture in the Netherlands to construct 60,000 sq. ft. of growing space which is planned to be built in four phases.
"It is a study in the future of self-sustainable agriculture," the company says. "Plants grow in a safe, clean, controlled atmosphere, in water, and without soil using just the right mix of nutrients and light. This increases crop yield and nutritional value with less waste, while using fewer natural resources. The result is outstanding, all-natural disease-free produce without the use of pesticides."
The motto for Your Local Greens is "Live Better Than Organic", which the company says goes beyond the grow-room to include the use of non-petroleum, plant-based packaging for all of its microgreens, and recycled packages for its lettuces. Beginning in 2019, as larger packages become available, Plant Based Packaging will be used for all products. This will also be the case with new biodegradable labeling materials that are now under development and soon to come on-line. Your Local Greens said it supports companies who are working to create compostable products that do no harm to the environment.
Indoor city farming, reportedly uses 90 percent less water than in the field, non-GMO seeds, produces only 2 percent waste. According to Your Local Greens, it also meets 13 of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.