“It was a close call for a few days. However, most of our crop came through. We were able to use a forced air heater to warm our greenhouse and when the electricity went out, we turned to our backup generator to heat the greenhouse. We also relied on our rainwater capture system to keep our produce watered. Several times during the storm it was below freezing outside while inside the greenhouse it was close to 60 degrees,” said Moonflower Farms CEO Federico Marques.
Moonflower Farms is the largest hydroponic farm in the greater Houston area. Marques says he started to receive calls last Thursday from restaurants, charities, food co-ops, and customers all looking to purchase fresh produce. The farm completely sold out of more than 3,000 heads of lettuce and other greens in 24 hours. Ten percent of the harvest was also set aside to be donated to dedicated food banks and pantries.
Marques notes the historic winter freeze highlights the need for a decentralized approach to farming.
“Cities whether great or small need to be able to feed their local populations and cannot always rely on produce transported from across the region, states, or other countries,” Marques said. “That’s why we believe growing produce locally and as sustainable as possible is better to address food security issues.”
Moonflower Farms recently began delivering direct to local residents through its farm to home program. Consumers can now receive highly nutritious, pesticide-free, organically grown superfoods at their doorsteps packaged in a SupaGreens box.