Hidden away in the back of a Center Street parking lot, by a steep bank that falls into the Black River, is a 40-by-8-by-10-foot white metal box that looks like a standard shipping container. Break its airtight seal by unlatching and swinging open the heavy doors to find HumbleBee Farms — an indoor, controlled-environment hydroponic farm.
Thousands of green vegetables protrude from the side of grow frames, which are movable walls that the grower shifts around, creating access hallways to different rows of plants. The drab paint on the outside is replaced by raw stainless steel all around. Sound is dampened, and the only noise left is the quiet hum of technology and Vivaldi playing softly from a speaker.
Kristin Cunningham, owner of HumbleBee Farms, said that classical music and high-frequency tones make the plants grow faster and taste better and that studies have shown this to be true. She also believes that the personal attention and care she puts into the plants is reflected in their flavor.
"This is food that is going into other people's bodies, so I'm extremely adamant that if I'm not feeling good or I'm grouchy, I won't seed, I won't transplant, I won't harvest. I feel that everything holds energy, and if I'm just in an awful mood, this food will carry that," she said.
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