Hydroponic greenhouse putting down roots in Rhode Island

A Massachusetts entrepreneur has staked out territory in Rhode Island for a new agricultural business he says will help Americans change the way they grow and consume produce.

The hydroponic greenhouse operated by Atlantic Produce near the University of Rhode Island, is the first commercial one in the state, according to the R.I. Department of Environmental Management.

Lewis Valenti, the founder of Atlantic Produce, is working with URI on the prototype for a hydroponic growing facility that can grow lettuce and other greens, in a chemical-free environment, year-round.

Valenti, of Reading, Mass., is experimenting on a hydroponic system with the help of URI. Greens grown in the facility already are sold in some Rhode Island stores under the "Boston Greens" label.

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