US (AL): Hydroponic farm and shop opens in Birmingham

Yellow Hammer Farms, Birmingham’s first-of-its-kind hydroponic farm
and market, opened on Friday, June 18. Bringing hydroponic farming to downtown Birmingham has been a dream of owners Frank and Jillian Fitts, and now their new technology provides fresh, affordable produce year-round.

Frank and Jillian Fitts at the opening ceremony. Photo courtesy of Yellow Hammer Farms 
“From the beginning, our mission has been to bring Birmingham high-quality, locally grown produce. With so many of Birmingham’s residents living in a food desert, it was vital that we find a location where we could provide everyone a convenient option for affordable, fresh produce,” said Frank. “Working in the food and beverage industry, I also saw first-hand the need and desire of restaurants and consumers wanting to purchase local produce throughout the year. So much of the produce that comes to this area travel a long distance. We are hoping to change that.”

Photo courtesy of Yellow Hammer Farms 

Frank and Jillian began the farm by converting an empty warehouse in the Titusville community. The farm uses a vertical hydroponic growing system.
A typical farm may be limited to five or six harvests a year for some crops, but Yellow Hammer Farms can have 11 to 12 harvests a year within its climate-controlled environment. Yellow Hammer Farms was inspired by, and named after, Frank’s grandfather’s farm in Tyner,
North Carolina. Surrounded by other farmers, Frank’s grandfather focused on growing a product not grown in the area at the time: popcorn. This approach to farming gave Frank and Jillian an idea to create a sustainable indoor farm that focused on growing produce that is in high demand and not readily available at affordable prices.

Photo courtesy of Yellow Hammer Farms 

In addition to growing and selling produce, the team will strive to educate the community on the benefits of sustainable farming, encouraging those who visit the market to also take a look at the
farm through the viewing area where they can hear first-hand about the process of YH Farms’ farming method.

At the grand opening, visitors could already purchase their greens. Photo courtesy of Yellow Hammer Farms 

The farm will always keep staple items such as basil, lettuce mix, kale, and other leafy greens and herbs, but will also offer special produce throughout the year. At the grand opening, YH Farms also offered over 20 varieties of produce for purchase to visitors.
The farm and market are located at 702 3rd Avenue N, Birmingham. Hours will be Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Farm will be closed to the public on Sunday and Monday. Restaurant appointments can be made available outside of the normal hours, upon request.
For more information:
Yellow Hammer Farms  

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