Little Leaf Farms, one of the largest growers of hydroponic baby greens in North America, has opened its expanded greenhouse in Devens, Massachusetts.
The greenhouse has doubled in size from 2.5 to 5 acres to more than double its annual production of baby greens.
Little Leaf Farms also purchased adjacent land for a third expansion project set to begin in 2019, which will again double the size of the greenhouse to approximately 10 acres.
Opened in 2016, Little Leaf Farms produces locally grown, fresh baby greens year-round that are delivered to New England consumers within hours of harvest. Little Leaf Farms grows multiple varieties of baby lettuce that are blended into salad mixes and sold in more than 1,000 outlets, including Northeast grocery stores, restaurants, universities and institutional foodservice accounts.
“We are passionate about transforming the way food is grown,” said Paul Sellew, CEO and founder of Little Leaf Farms. “We incorporate principles of sustainability in everything we do; all to provide consumers with delicious, local baby greens at a fair price. Our process is clean from the start so consumers can be confident they’re purchasing a safe product, grown in an environment that employs the most advanced food safety practices.”
Little Leaf Farms’ hydroponic growing process uses mineral nutrient solutions in water without soil. The process utilizes natural sunlight, a computer-controlled growing environment and a rainwater-based irrigation system that uses 90 percent less water than field-grown lettuce companies.
Little Leaf Farms’ growing system enables the baby greens to be seeded, grown, cut and packaged without ever being touched by human hands. The production system is free from chemical pesticides, herbicides and fungicides, ensuring that what customers purchase is safe.
“More than 98 percent of the lettuce we eat in this country is grown on the West Coast and shipped for days, which means customers in New England are not receiving the highest quality or freshest product,” said Andrew Kendall, executive director of the Henry P. Kendall Foundation, an organization focused on creating a resilient and healthy food system in New England to increase the production and consumption of local, sustainably produced food.
“Little Leaf Farms has cracked the code on providing the region with fresh baby greens within hours of being harvested. It’s exciting to see that consumers appreciate the value of the product, which will drive the company’s growth for years to come,” said Kendall.