Lee Muhlenkamp, production manager at BrightFarms, spoke to the Wilmington Rotary Club which meets at noon on Mondays at Damon’s restaurant.
Muhlenkamp stated BrightFarms is a 120,000-square-foot, hydroponic farm that grows baby greens and herbs.
BrightFarms grows food in the same communities where it is consumed. The growing method use 80 percent less water, 90 percent less land and 95 percent less shipping fuel.
Muhlenkamp also said BrightFarms currently operates hydroponic greenhouses in Rochelle, Ill.; Culpepper County, Va.; Bucks County, Pa. and Wilmington. BrightFarms is currently building greenhouses in North Carolina and Massachusetts.
Muhlenkamp said the Wilmington farm produces 2,000 to 2,800 pounds per day, six days a week. The plants are grown from non-GMO seeds and pesticide-free.
Greens grown in the perfectly controlled environment are clean and ready to eat. They are not subject to outside animal waste and pesticides of other farming operations, he said.
Once the plants have matured, BrightFarms send the vegetables through machines that will harvest the plants, removing unusable roots and stems, six days a week, Stephens said.
The vegetables are then cooled in a pre-cooler for three hours and leave for grocery stores within 24 hours