Green Life Farms has started construction on its second hydroponic greenhouse in Florida on 24 acres in Lake City. Using state-of-the-art hydroponic technology, Green Life Farms will grow leafy greens in oxygenated water – without soil – then harvest and package them in a controlled environment, reducing the risk of contamination and preserving flavor and freshness.
Following the success of its flagship hydroponic greenhouse in Lake Worth and significant customer demand for its products, Green Life Farms is constructing a 400,000-square-foot greenhouse in Lake City. The facility is expected to begin commercial operations in early 2022.
“Following our very successful launch in South Florida, we are proud to announce this new facility to serve North Central Florida – the Jacksonville, Gainesville and Tallahassee regions,” said Forrest Sawlaw, COO of Green Life Farms. “In light of ongoing food safety concerns across the country, now more than ever customers are looking for locally grown, clean produce. Our innovative hydroponic technology will deliver the cleanest and freshest leafy greens, all free from GMOs, pesticides and contaminants.”
Green Life Farms anticipates construction of the new Lake City facility to create 80 jobs. Once commercial operations begin, the organization expects to hire 20 to 28 full-time employees and grow 3 million pounds of leafy greens annually in its facility, using the latest agricultural innovations to keep its greens fresh and its carbon footprint small.
For example, Green Life Farms will incorporate specialized ozone water management technology to filter, sanitize and store rainwater for use in the growing process and will rely on Florida sunshine – meaning the facility will use significantly fewer natural resources.
Green Life Farms’ Lake City greenhouse will be able to produce 18 harvests each year and use 90 percent less water than conventional farming. Plants remain undisturbed throughout the growing process. At full maturity, the greens are gently moved using a floating conveyor system to be harvested, cooled and packaged for local grocers, restaurants and others.
Its produce will reach customers within a few days of harvest, instead of the eight to 10 days it may take conventionally farmed produce to reach customers in the region, most of which is trucked thousands of miles across the country from California and Arizona at great environmental cost.
Green Life Farms’ process combines technology with agricultural best practices to grow premium leafy greens, with a focus on sustainability, energy efficiency and environmental responsibility. Its flavorful produce is cultivated without soil in clean, nutrient-rich oxygenated water, using natural sunlight and airflow in state-of-the-art greenhouses. Greens are harvested and packaged in a controlled environment to create the cleanest produce year-round, and delivered locally to ensure premium freshness and a small carbon footprint.
Green Life Farms’ products, which include Baby Arugula, Baby Kale, Baby Romaine, Farmer’s Blend and Butterhead Lettuce, are currently sold at more than 120 grocery store locations throughout South Florida, including the largest regional grocery chain and several boutique markets. In addition, Green Life Farms has partnered with one of the biggest meal delivery services in the U.S. to serve their customers throughout the Southeast.