Saturday, February 18, 2017
How to grow lettuce without soil and make millions.
This is the story of how a graduate grows 10 million heads of lettuce without water. In the University of Arizona, Jenn Frymark helped develop a greenhouse for extreme weather and then spent six months at the South Pole growing food for scientific researchers. Now she grows 10 million heads of lettuce and other greens year-round, without soil, in considerably more benign conditions inside greenhouses in New York and Chicago. She said her business, Gotham Greens, has been a success since she joined partners Eric Haley and Viraj Puri in growing greens hydroponically on a rooftop in Brooklyn in 2011. She’s certainly one of the most successful graduates as it relates to business development. The center, known as CEAC, is training the next generation of farmers for an urban agriculture revolution, researching ways to improve efficiency, taste and freshness in everything from lettuce to mushrooms. Giacomelli is planning to extend it to wine grapes. Frymark said the skills she learned there are key to her business success and she still calls the center for technical advice.more