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Grower talks about Amplified's training and market consultation

US: “Container farms seemed to be the most predictable”

"We changed our seed varieties a few times at first to get the exact mix we wanted. Today, we easily harvest 1,000 to 1,100 pounds every time on a 21-24 day cycle," says Thomas Gram, Pure Farms' Head grower and Co-founder.

Pure Farms is a Wisconsin-based container farm, family owned and operated by Mike and Linda Graf and Thomas and Nikki Grams. Mike said he wanted to start with something that was small-scale that could grow over time, and container farms seemed to be the most predictable. Today, the company operates one AmpVPS and two AmpNFT farms.

He adds, "I looked at different container farms from Canada to Belgium and visited several greenhouses. However, greenhouses have a lot of things you can't control, and some of the container farms couldn't grow plants as big as they said they could." Yet, on a trip to South Carolina, Mike visited AmplifiedAg, and his confidence in container farming strengthened.

Thomas Gram

High harvest yield
After working with the AmplifiedAg team to design the farm site, Pure Farms launched in January 2023 and was achieving high-yielding harvests almost immediately. Pure Farms grows 8 varieties of lettuce, including Romaine, Butter, Oak, and Frisée, as well as microgreens and herbs like parsley and cilantro.

Romaine yields, on average, 4.5 to 6 ounces per head, and Green Butter averages 4.5 to 5.5 ounces. The predictable, consistent harvests are a result of AmplifiedAg's technology combined with the extensive farm training Mike and his team did to become vertical farm ready.

Butter lettuce

Farm training and market consultation
In the months leading up to the farm launch, Pure Farms Partner and Head Grower Thomas (and Mike's son-in-law) worked with Grant Anderson at Better Fresh Farms in Metter, Georgia, another AmplifiedAg farming partner. Thomas also spent two weeks at AmplifiedAg's large-scale farm in Columbia, South Carolina training alongside the Vertical Roots farm team, experiencing everything from growing to packaging and distribution.

"Grant's help at Better Fresh Farms was monumental in getting us going, and we learned so many farming practices and techniques at AmplifiedAg that were very valuable to us. We also got wholesale and retail market expertise for sales forecasting, as the team knows the market from experience. They helped us with predicting what types of produce customers are going to order and when," Thomas explains.

Fresh microgreens

Scaling a modern family farm and delivering quality produce
"What matters to me most is the quality of the product and the customer service we provide. We are constantly receiving positive feedback and growing our customer base because of it."

In operation for less than one year, Pure Farms is set to expand in 2023 and 2024 to increase capacity for leafy greens and also add mushrooms to the mix. "Our goal over the next three to five years is to have a number of different container farms growing a variety of plants and also add greenhouses for other vining and flowering produce."

With Mike at the helm as the farm's strategy and sales leader, Thomas as head grower, and Mike's wife and daughter assisting with business, Mike's vision is to expand the local family farm that blends different modern growing techniques - powered by AmplifiedAg nonetheless - to serve the needs of the Wisconsin region.

For more information:
Amplified Ag

Pure Farms
Tel.: +1 (414) 828 6337