US (NE): “It’s kind of small-town magic”

Most of the herbs and greens found in restaurants and grocery stores in the Panhandle are grown over a thousand miles away. The Kerr family and Thirsty Roots Farm are trying to change this. They are providing locally grown herbs and other greens through farming techniques known as hydroponics.

Hydroponics uses nutrient solutions to grow crops and plants without soil. Plants are grown on racks where a system of pumps provides them with water and the nutrient solution they use as a substitute for soil.

Thirsty Roots uses a hydroponics system developed by Farmbox Foods to create a climate-controlled environment where the temperature, humidity, lighting, nutrients, and water are regulated. Known as the Vertical Hydroponic Farm, the entire system is held in a shipping container that can house roughly three acres worth of plants.

While Jarod and Maggie Kerr handle the business side of the farm, they are actually based out of Minneapolis. The day-to-day operations of the farm are handled by Jarod’s parents, Jim and Nancy. Jim and Nancy live on the farm located east of Mitchell off Highway 71.


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