Vermont Business Magazine Construction is underway at Vermont’s first vertical farm, which is designed to grow leafy greens and herbs. Ceres Greens is set to open in January 2018, growing fresh produce year-round in their newly constructed 12,500-square-foot space. Founders Jacob Isham and Greg Kelly have spent the past 14 months perfecting the technology and methods needed for growing produce indoors in a controlled environment.
Jacob Isham and Greg Kelly, Ceres, Greens, Barre. Courtesy photo.
“Our purpose is to help meet the food security challenges we face,” said Isham. “While Vermont is an agricultural state, we still import about 90% of our produce, even in the summertime. Our ability to grow and deliver fresh produce every day of the year will help towards the goal of more locally grown food. We grow using organic, GMO-free seeds, purified water, and without the use of any pesticides.”
The company uses its proprietary grow system, sensors and automated computer controls to create the ideal environment, delivering the precise amount of light, nutrients, constant temperature and humidity to grow its produce.
“Very delicious, as if it came right out of your own garden,” states Kelly. “Our produce will be one day old, having traveled no more than 100 miles when delivered to our customers, as opposed to produce currently available being 7-10 days old and having traveled upwards of 3,000 miles. When we are at full production, our customers, in addition to enjoying tasty locally grown produce, will be pleased knowing they are contributing to saving 100 barrels of oil a month from being burned and the associated carbon being emitted into the atmosphere.”
Isham, a service-disabled veteran of the U.S. Army, is an alumnus of the Veterans to Farmers controlled environment agriculture program in Colorado and intends to provide job training and opportunities in horticulture to fellow veterans in Vermont. Ceres Greens is owned and operated as a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business.
Kelly, with 35 years of technical experience, has spent the last two years developing the company’s vertical farming system.
Source: Ceres Greens www.ceresgreens.com