Publix’s GreenWise Market, which focuses on natural, eco-friendly, local and organic products, has partnered with local hydroponics farmers Brick Street Farms to grow, harvest and pack fresh hydroponic lettuce inside a 40-foot container farm on-site at the Lakeland, Florida, GreenWise Market.
The hydroponic container farm:
- Holds the equivalent of 2.5 to 3 acres of traditional farmland;
- Can grow 365 days a year, regardless of weather conditions;
- Subs out soil for mineral-rich water (No dirt means no bugs, no pests, no need for any pesticides, herbicides, or insecticides);
- Uses 90 percent less water than traditional farming;
- Provides a harvest of 720 heads of lettuce each week; and
- Travels mere feet, rather than miles, taking the “carbon” out of the delivery “footprint.”
Customers can observe the hydroponic growth process through a window on the side of the container farm and purchase hydroponic lettuce from Brick Street Farms inside the store.
While other grocers are exploring ways to bring farming into/near their stores, most of these are based on contracts between grocers and large-scale/international companies. GreenWise Market, however, has chosen to partner directly with farmers right in the backyards of the communities it serves. Brick Street Farms is based in St. Petersburg, Florida.