Vertical farming grows in popularity

As farmland dwindles, there is the uncertainty of where all the fruit and vegetables we love to eat will grow in the future. But there is an option growing in popularity: vertical farming. Instead of a traditional farm, the crops grow up.

Taking the garden inside and into the future. Florida MicroGreens in Cape Coral uses what people call, vertical hydroponics, which grows micro greens or shoots of plants that they pick after the first leaves pop up.

“We use these racks to get us up so that we can make use of that space,” said Robert Epple, a co-owner of Florida MicroGreens. “We grow most of those greens within 10 days. So we only use purified water to grow and because we make use of the vertical space. We’re also considered a vertical farm.”

They use racks, hemp mats and purified water. The company does not use soil or fertilizer. It grows everything from radishes, broccoli and even their superfood blend. While at a glance they may look like small hedges, you can eat them just like any traditional vegetable.

While Florida MicroGreens sells mostly to restaurants, anyone can stop by their SW 44th St. location in Cape Coral to learn more about its veggies.

Gary Pfenning, the executive chef for Cork Soakers, works for one of the dozens of restaurants that buy from Florida MicroGreens.

“All the time, people want to know what is it,” Pfenning said, “where’d I get it, how can they buy it.”

Reporter:Stephanie Byrne
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