The family-owned hydroponic farm Naples Fresh uses recirculated water 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 dirt.

“One acre produces 20% to 50% more greens depending on the variety than field farming,” says Saint’Clair Martins, one of the owners.

Vertical farming, as it is often called, is being used with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers and is being investigated for small fruit crops like strawberries. One expert quoted in a USDA article said this type of farming could take over almost 50% of leafy green markets in the United States within 10 years.

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.

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