Growing microgreens in Northern US

What if Northerners could get their vegetable greens year-round on the day of harvest? Chris Shaver and partner Nicolinea Minakis began offering pre-orders from their brand new, vertical indoor farm Northern Greens. The couple announced that after two years of preparation, their Old Town-based company is beginning to line up customers for home-delivery of day-of-harvest, freshly grown microgreens.

“In the North, there’s a real lack of fresh produce,” Shaver said. “If you go through your fridge and you look where your peppers are coming from or where your spinach is coming from or bananas or tomatoes, it ranges all the way from California down to Ecuador. We’re talking 5,000 to 8,000 kilometers away from where our produce travels. When something’s travelling thousands of kilometers, by the time it gets here, it loses its nutrient value and it’s just not the same.’”

All products are grown in a peat-moss based soil and no fertilizers are used. He also uses reverse osmosis filtered water to treat his crops. While still finalizing his harvest methodology, he’s working toward a consistent seven-day crop cycle that will include 10 racks — all solar powered.

“Because I’m harvesting on this crop cycle every seven to 10 days throughout the whole year, I could grow close to two acres of produce in this 250-square-feet space,” he explained. “There are a lot of details that go into timing and planning so that you get a weekly harvest that is consistent and efficient.”

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