Locally Grown, High Quality Hydroponic Lettuce and Greens

Technology used:

TrueFarms grows its lettuce using hydroponic (hydro=water, ponic=labor) technology. Hydroponics came of age around the world in the 1950s.  The introduction of plastic tubing and water soluble nutrients pushed hydroponics from hobby to commercial applications.  Hydroponic farming consists of 4 basic elements: water, light, seed, and environment.  1. Water:  clean water, with a balanced composition, is a major component of a productive hydroponic system.  Soluble nutrients are added to the water to replace the minerals missing due to the non-soil growing environment.  The makeup of the water will impact the type and quantity of nutrient adders.  2. Light: light can be natural or otherwise.  The greenhouse location and positioning is important.  The sun should cross over the east to west sides of the structure.  3. Seed: TrueFarms only uses top quality seeds. They start germinating in our nurseries in a material called rockwool.  Rockwool allows the seeds to attach and form a base from which they can feed and draw moisture.  Seeds become seedlings in about 10 to 14 days. When the seedlings have 4 to 6 leaves and are standing on their own, they are ready for transplanting into the hydroponic gullies.  When the seedlings are in the gullies they will receive a steady flow of water/nutrient mixture 24 hours a day.  They will grow to full maturity in about 30 days from transplanting.  4. Environment: environment is the complicated mixture of temperature, humidity, water ph/formula, CO2, and cleanliness. The basic process is to pump the water/nutrient solution out of the water tank and up to one end of the gullies.  The water flows past the plant roots where they can feed and grow.  The excess water flows out of the gullies and into the drain.  The drain takes the unused water back to the water tank to be pumped once again up to the plants.  This closed system is the life blood of the living plants and is therefore supported with back- up pumps, parts, and an extra generator.  Thorough cleanings of gullies and drains are done in between harvest and transplanting cycles to prevent algae growth.   Several sensors are placed around the greenhouse so we can remotely monitor key environmental factors during the growth cycles.  Our computer can adjust these factors 24 hours a day to optimize plant health and growth.