ZEPHYRHILLS, Fla. — Harmonious Greens, a hydroponic farm, is getting ready to officially start offering its produce to customers later this month.
- Ray Reed controls his products from his smart phone
- His facility is currently home to more than 5,000 plants
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"It's hyper-local produce. This produce doesn't travel no more than – what? Ten miles at max to get to its location," said Chief Horticulturist Ray Reed.
Reed became interested in hydroponics after being diagnosed with osteoarthritis about five years ago. He read that chemicals used to grow food could contribute to that condition.
"So, I started growing stuff at home – hydroponically, aeroponically – and noticed that all the hurt was going away," Reed said.
Something else he noticed – his neighbors wanted to try out what he was growing. At one point, Reed said he was producing 200 heads of lettuce every three weeks. His new facility is currently home to more than 5,000 individual plants.
Harmonious Greens is located in a freight container in an industrial area of Zephyrhills. Crops including kale, cilantro, and different varieties of lettuce grow on vertical trays.
"We are not using any chemicals of any sort or pesticides. Everything in here is grown naturally," Reed said.
Reed said all nutrients are mineral-based, and water from a city feed goes through a UV sterilizer and reverse osmosis system for purification.
Instead of soil, seedlings sprout in coconut core. The temperature inside the unit ranges between 53 degrees and 68 degrees and humidity stays between 50 percent and 62 percent – the best conditions for growing this kind of produce, according to Reed.
He controls it all from his smart phone, and said this is the first unit of its kind in Pasco County.
Harmonious Greens will offer greens to individual customers as well as restaurants and, eventually, grocery stores. It's expected to officially open April 24 following a ribbon cutting.
For more information, visit: http://harmoniousgreens.com/