COLUMBUS, Kans. — The winter weather can put a lot of plans on hold like school, business, or even events.
But one Pittsburg business was built to grow in this, or any kind of weather — all while making nutritious food more accessible.
“Weather does not affect our farm. You know it’s blowing cold wind outside, and we’re standing in here, it’s 71 degrees,” said Brad Fourby, Leafy Green Farms Owner.
The winter weather isn’t slowing down production at Leafy Green Farm.
“We’re standing in a 40-foot shipping container that’s not even hooked up to the city water, and we use about 10 gallons of water a day to grow about 100 pounds of leafy greens for the community. It’s doing perfectly. We had a nice harvest. We got some nice Swiss chard, some basil, some purple basil.”
Since August, the first vertical hydroponics farm in Kansas has been growing both figuratively and literally.
“We’re starting to grow, the community has been reaching out, ‘How can we participate?’ City officials have come out and visited, looked at it, state officials as well,” continued Fourby. “The Department of Commerce, the Department of Agriculture, they all have a great interest in this. And then the Kansas Healthy Food Initiative, they were really instrumental in getting the farm here to begin with.”
The attention has allowed Leafy Greens to purchase a second shipping container farm which will help launch its new “Farm to School” program.
“We’ll be launching that at counties and schools across Kansas to help kids start learning about vertical hydroponics, where their food comes from and being self-sustaining,” added Fourby. “Teachers love it, the administrators love it, the kids love it. People see an opportunity to make this work for what they need this to work for.”