At Vertical Acres, seeds are planted and grown hydroponically. They start in flood trays where water is recycled. After a few weeks, seedlings are moved to a new container where trays are rotated on a timer.
Each container has its own temperature and climate environment. This allows for a mix of things to be grown in the same building. These containers can produce lettuce in roughly 37 days. Lights on top of containers indicate whether they’re running properly. Vertical Acres grows microgreens and heads of lettuce, and experiments with different herbs.
Hilarides explains that microgreens are a seven- to eight-day crop. They are started with the lights off in their own container. Microgreens start seeking light, causing them to grow and stretch. Light is then applied to green them up and finish them.
There are 20 containers in the building and a total of six workers for the whole operation. Workers oversee planting, transplanting, harvesting and retail packaging. All nutrients are held in a separate part of the facility. Workers feed plants via a dose of nutrient mix placed in the tray of plants.
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