US (AZ): Gospel Rescue Mission set for first hydroponic harvest

Gospel Rescue Mission’s hydroponics farm is set to harvest its first crop of lettuce at 2 p.m. on the 5th of May. The farm, dubbed Fresh Start, was built inside a shipping container by Freight Farms, an agriculture tech company.

"Basically, there's hardly any dirt," said Rich Schaus, director of the Gospel Rescue Mission. "There's dirt-like stuff, but it's almost entirely grown with water. It also means that, within the box, we'll grow 2-1/2 acres of crops in a very small area.

"We'll be able to grow 12 months out of the year." Schaus said the plan is to grow leafy green vegetables. "Kale, spinach, lettuce — we'll be experimenting with what sells best," he said. "Our real vision is to sell about half of it to sustain and keep that part of our ministry going. The other half will be given away."

Josh Blair is in charge of the project, and this is his third job with the mission since arriving as a volunteer. "When they got the idea of the farm, I was interested in it and talked to Rich," Blair said. "He said he was looking for somebody to oversee it."


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