Hydroponic Case Study: Luscious Leafy Greens & Herbs from GreenWave Hydroponics in Fruitland
GreenWave Hydroponics is owned and operated by Amos Wengerd and the Wengerd family in Fruitland, Idaho, just 45 minutes away from Meridian. Their 9,500 square-foot greenhouse sits on the family's unassuming family farm, surrounded by fields and horses, with views of the Owyhees.
There, Amos and his team sustainably grow consistently delicious, pesticide-free lettuce, greens and herbs all year round. (Try for yourself. The spring mix and baby kale are a tasty introduction.)
GreenWave's Innovative Contributions to Year-Round Local Food Production
#1: An Indoor Farm Designed for our Western Climate
Southwest Idaho is an optimal place for hydroponic farming due to its low humidity and wide open skies. Despite the excellent conditions, hydroponic farming is uncommon in the region, with GreenWave pioneering the industry here as one of the first hydroponic farms consistently supplying stores and customers year-round.
The Wengerd greenhouse is smart and efficient at regulating temperature through the winter. It is oriented to receive optimal sunlight through the walls and ceiling, and it's furnished with automated shades and covers that protect the plants from freezing nights and over-heated days.
Run on water that re-circulates with the aid of gravity and minimal pump energy, the hydroponic system allows plants to grow in little pods of soil elevated off the ground where it's warmer and easier to harvest.
#2: Lean Farming Mentality
Amos' commitment to lean farming practices make the greenhouse a viable business with a competitive edge. Being best-at-market and financially sustainable is crucial for small, independent farms competing with big ag at the supermarket.
Lean farming is a framework for streamlining operations to eliminate wasted time, labor, and opportunity. Over the years thanks to daily problem solving and efficiency protocols, GreenWave has been able to cut production time in half while generating higher profit. Employees make more money than before, but spend less time in the greenhouse.
Optimistic, innovative, and business-minded, the Wengerds set an example of the type of mentality that will make local farming a real force of provision in our communities.
INDOOR FARM #2: FERG'S FABULOUS FUNGI
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