The best food is grown close to home
I never really was a gardener. But as our restaurant began to distinguish itself from your typical mom & pop joint I wanted better ingredients. I wanted ingredients that had a longer shelf life but that weren’t coated with weird waxes or worse… I wanted to know how they were grown and by whom. We didn’t know it, but we had already begun our farm-t-table journey. As that first summer came, we were able to enjoy the produce & meats grown in the hills and valleys surrounding us. But as the cold weather came, we weren’t able to get our knives on the same quality ingredients. That is until my Dad had a consulting gig in Puerto Rico for Fresh Mart.
He was given a tour of their farm that supplies their grocery stores with meat, dairy, and produce. They grew vegetables using hydroponics, whatever that is! They said they could grow 30 acres of food in 1 acre growing vertically in stacked towers!! My Dad took this photo and emailed it to me, and we were full steam ahead! As soon as he got back, we immediately began planning our own greenhouse. The rest is history, as they say. Sort of.
I began researching this hydroponics thing and came across a website called Vertical Hydroponic that seemed to have the same setup as in the photo from Puerto Rico. Thankfully the owner, Matt, was patient and answered all of my questions and reassured me of the simplicity of the system. Now that we have been growing for 7 months I am amazed at the health of the plants and with how much I am able to harvest each week!
Matt wasn’t my only mentor in this transition from super newbie to kinda newbie… Bryson and his entire staff at Upstate Hydroponics have been just an email or store visit away. When I feel like I’m asking too many questions of Matt, I can go to Bryson, and vice versa. I think if I directed all my questions to only one of them, they’d kill me!
I also have a network of farmer suppliers that are happy to tell me exactly what to look for in my plants and how to manage them. Specifically Lisa from Engelbert’s Farm and David & Marla from Windstone Landing Farm have been invaluable to me and I have no doubt that I could not do this without their help!
A very special and heartfelt thank you to Jeff Paul for lending his expertise and for being a close family friend. We can’t tell you how much you’re appreciated.
But most of all, thank you to my family for believing me when I said that I could make this happen, even though I never really was a gardener…
explain our greenhouse
embed videos from youtube page maybe put link on page block
panorama of interior of greenhouse
photo of evelyn working inside