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“One acre produces 20% to 50% more greens depending on the variety"

The future of farming may be taking place at Naples Fresh on Immokalee Road. The family-owned hydroponic farm uses recirculated water, modern technology, and science to grow lettuce in two huge greenhouses sitting on one acre.

Their year-round production in a climate- and pest-controlled environment exceeds farms planting in the dirt. “One acre produces 20% to 50% more greens depending on the variety than field farming,” says Saint’Clair Martins, one of the owners.

Mr. Martins, his brother Nicholas and their parents left their careers and purchased 20 acres in late 2016 to start farming in Naples, where they had been vacationing for years. A former tomato farm, the land had sat as unfertilized pasture for more than 30 years, which allowed it to be designated an organic farm.

To prove themselves to banks for loans as they pursued expansion, they started growing about 30 different vegetables through traditional dirt farming methods. They sold tomatoes, lettuce, kale, cucumbers, okra, and other produce to stores such as Wynn’s Market and Seed to Table.


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