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US (CO): Former potato warehouse gets new life as urban farm and restaurant

The River North Arts District (RiNo) in Denver has been named one of the top 10 neighborhoods to visit in the U.S. It's also home to a unique urban farm that's giving farm-to-table new meaning. I've never seen a farm, market, and restaurant under one roof, much less in the middle of an industrial area undergoing a revival. Farm & Market put down roots in a former potato warehouse.

The concept belongs to brothers Austin and Davis Breedlove. The brothers moved to Colorado to do something together. Davis likes to garden and moved to Colorado four years ago in the dead of winter when he couldn't grow anything. After buying a $20 system from a local hardware store, Davis grew the best produce he'd ever had. He bought a larger system and kept increasing it, deciding along the way that people should be able to have five-star produce. While he's naturally good at growing plants, Davis wasn't a farmer. The "stars aligned," and he was able to hire someone who worked with the company that designed the vertical hydroponics system and wanted to relocate to Denver.

There are four farmers growing greens, brassicas, and herbs. They've planted 80% of the 1,100 towers that hold 28,000 seedlings. Crops are harvested every morning when nutrition is at its peak. Coolers open on both sides, so farmers put freshly cut produce inside. The chef can open the cooler from the other side and grab those same greens to cook with. Or they are bagged, labeled, and moved to coolers for customers to shop. Produce not sold or used in the restaurant is donated to Samaritan House or Denver Food Rescue.

Walking down the sidewalk, you can see the gorgeous greens through the window. That view never changes as you enter the market and walk through to the restaurant.


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