After announcing its two-acre expansion plan in June 2020, Revolution Farms is nearly ready to sow the first seeds in its newly built system. Revolution Farms is a hydroponic farm in Caledonia, Michigan spanning now three acres. The farm initially produced head lettuce through deep-water culture on its first acre. In 2020, Revolution Farms broke ground on the new greenhouse section, which would be equipped with a fully automated gutter system provided by Green Automation. The first lettuce will be harvested in Q1 of 2021. Some growing lines are set-up for baby leaf lettuce production while other lines are optimized for growing slightly larger baby-leaf plants, sometimes referred to as “teen leaves”. Fresh herbs will potentially be added to the production later this year. The farm will also continue to produce head lettuce in its deep-water system.
When deciding how to expand and what system to use, COO Daniel Vukcevich explained that Green Automation came highly recommended by other growers, and the production efficiency and yield opportunities aligned perfectly with the farm’s growth plans.
“The yield per acre is impressive and the fully automated system eliminates any manual labor needs in the greenhouse, keeping the leafy greens cleaner and safer than ever before. Based on the company’s dedication to sustainability and food safety, combined with our goal to always evolve and lead the industry toward “revolutionizing” the way leafy greens are grown, we decided to go with Green Automation.”
Green Automation is a Finnish AgTech company that designs and manufactures fully automated NFT systems for the production of head lettuce and baby leaf lettuce. With full automation from seeding to harvest, Green Automation’s systems offer unparalleled labor efficiency, allowing Revolution Farms to triple its production area while keeping labor and thus operating costs low. According to Dan, “The gutter is the transportation. The lettuce is seeded, grown, moved, harvested, and mixed without anyone touching it.”
With Green Automation’s system having been developed for greenhouse operations of at least one acre, the NFT systems are designed for high production levels and scalability. “At our greenhouse site, we have room to scale up further. The current system is designed to accommodate a swift expansion, adding more growing lines to the operation. Such additional growing lines can also be processed by the existing Green Automation processing equipment,” says Dan.
Revolution Farms is both environmentally and socially minded, producing greens that are full of nutrients and free of GMOs, chemical fertilizers and pesticides. The farm has also pledged to donate at least 1% of its total yield to Feeding America. As Dan explains, “Hydroponic farming is growing in popularity around the world, for its advantages in sustainability, the ability to grow food closer to where people live year-round, and the increased level of food safety it provides. We're proud to be a part of this movement growing safer local greens here in Michigan for the Midwest."