CAN (NS): Dartmouth hydroponics operation helps tackle food security challenges

After watching the base of a cut head of lettuce regrow in a regular-sized coffee mug, filled with only water and showered with sunlight, over the course of two weeks, Phil Hatcher had a revelation that would change his life.

The idea grew in his mind how simple it would be to cut down on food waste and have fresh, local leafy greens all year round. From that mug, he decided to develop what is now a $1 million hydroponic boutique farm with two repurposed 40-foot shipping containers, utilizing unused space on the Dartmouth waterfront.

“I worked in the film industry for 18 years when I decided in 2018 to make a major switch,” said Hatcher, owner, and farmer of Very Local Greens Inc.

“I discovered freight farms when I saw a video about the Square Roots project in Brooklyn highlighting the technology and capabilities of growing food in a shipping container. I had no prior knowledge of this growing system before, but I saw a need in the community.”


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