Sometimes greenhouses aren’t as efficient as you would think, says Brian Smith. And after five years of working in one, Smith thought he could do better. So he started looking up.
Smith Family Greens is a vertical farm that specializes in soon-to-be-certified organic microgreens for sale to restaurant distributors. The space, which holds 8,000 square feet of growing surfaces, is a fully sealed environment made specifically for micro-greens, arugula and kale. Smith believes that the sustainable model is not only better for the environment, but also helps cut costs and keeps the product safe from contamination.
It’s a farm without a horizon, a small world of its own reaching toward the ceiling. The room hums with lights, fans and water purifiers. There’s a slight humidity from the hundreds of leafy vegetables that grow row after row in a high-rise made for plants. The greens, nestled in organic soil, are held in styrofoam seed trays that float in nutrient-infused water bays.