Take yourself back in time 25 years ago…. You may have heard about the process of growing produce hydroponically, which means growing in water without the use of soil. After years of struggling with drought conditions, California growers implemented the process of growing lettuce hydroponically with much success. Some of us may have been first introduced to hydroponics on a boat tour through The Land at Epcot in Orlando, FL, which opened in 1982. Either way, the growing process of hydroponics is not only very efficient use of land but also an incredibly healthy and clean way to grow lettuce greens.
Owner of Circle A Farms, Jeff Adams always knew he had the desire to farm full-time and found hydroponics a way to do this on a minimal amount of land. Circle A Farms 3-bay greenhouse encompasses just under 10,000 square feet with approximately 24,000 grow holes with room to expand to a total of 8-bays.
Providing healthy greens to the local community was the driving mission of Circle A Lettuce. Much of the grocery store lettuce we find at large retailers today has traveled hundreds if not thousands of miles to reach our local stores, making it almost a week old and wilted, maybe even yellowed before it even reaches our grocery store buggies. We ask ourselves, why does this lettuce go bad so quickly and seem tasteless? Let us tell you more…
Lettuce grown in nutrient-deficient soil not only lack flavor but it also doesn’t provide for a long refrigerator life. Nutrients give lettuce greens two important factors:
- Nutrients provide greens a delicious flavor. Produce was intended to taste good so it provides us enjoyment but also so we continue to eat it to nourish our bodies.
- Nutrients act as a natural preservative. If all the proper nutrients are in the lettuce, in their proper amounts, lettuce will have a 10 day – 2 week shelf life. If the nutrients are not present during the growing process, the life of the lettuce is shorter and the lettuce goes bad faster.
Approximately every 60 days, we send off water samples to Clemson University Agricultural College for a water analysis to ensure our greens are getting all the nutrients it needs to grow to be the best it can be. Once we receive the report, we make necessary adjustments. All of our nutrients that fortify our water are derived from natural sources and made water soluble. At Circle A Lettuce, our main goal is to provide our customers the best lettuce they can find all the way from the non-GMO seeds we sprout to the water the lettuce receives.
Growing lettuce the healthiest way possible ensures we are providing a very valuable product to our customers. One of our favorite compliments we’ve received is when our customers come back week after week to pick up their weekly greens stating, Circle A Lettuce is the “Best Lettuce Ever!”
Commitment to the process of growing the best lettuce EVER is what drives our team each and every day. Thank you for your continued support! #localiswhereitsat