US (MA): Westport's Lees Market gets local and fresh with on-site hydroponic farm

There's a new addition at the Lees Market site that's sprouted excitement among staff and customers alike over the past few months.

From the outside, it's a 40-foot by 9-foot revamped shipping container, but there's plenty more than meets the eye inside the Westport store's curious new annex that sits at the end of its parking lot. Inside, you'll find a 2.5-acre working farm.

Vertigreens, Lees' own on-site hydroponic farm, was unveiled this July with the goal of supplying next-level fresh and local produce to all three of their locations year-round. According to Lees store manager Matt Cummings, Vertigreens is part of the family-run market's continued efforts to remain forward-thinking while creating a niche for themselves.

"It's unique," Cummings said. "We're not aware of any other supermarket that does what we're doing, to supply your own stores with the farm right on your property. And hopefully, in turn, it gives the customers the freshest product you can get. Most of the time, when you buy lettuce, it comes out of California or other parts of the country, and it could be days old before you get it. Here you are getting it within hours."


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