Pin It
Favorite

The Same, but Different 

How Coeur Greens grows nutritious greens year-round in a self-contained indoor farming system

click to enlarge The container farm has about 2 acres worth of space. - CARRIE SCOZZARO
  • Carrie Scozzaro
  • The container farm has about 2 acres worth of space.

While it's hard to imagine cold, wet winter arriving anytime soon, planning for the inevitable change in weather is a fact of life for most farmers. At Coeur Greens, however, the changing weather is a non-issue, unless there's a power outage. That's because Coeur Greens, in Hayden, grows microgreen and lettuce varieties hydroponically inside a Freight Farm, a branded shipping container modified to address plants' every need: nutrients, in the form of liquid fertilizer; sunshine, provided via LED lights; air circulation and an appropriate growing medium for every stage of the plant's life cycle.

It's 80 degrees in the farm's prep room, but a pleasant 63 degrees inside the container where Kelly Lattin, Coeur Greens' operations manager, demonstrates the process for growing lettuce.

First comes the varietal selections, which Coeur Greens is still experimenting with. Currently, they're growing green and red butterhead lettuce, and have tried oak leaf and romaine. Seeds are planted into peat moss pods and fed nutrients in water that Coeur Greens trucks in from land it owns above the Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer. The vertical farm's hydroponic system allows it to use up to 90 percent less water than a conventional farm of its size; equivalent to about 2 acres.

After about three weeks, the 1-to-2-inch high seedlings are ready for transplanting to vertical towers, with 10 to 12 seedlings per tower. They're hung on a rack system, where high-efficiency LED lights cycle on and off, simulating sunlight.

Throughout the process, temperature, water and other factors must be monitored, and there's considerable cleaning involved, says Lattin, who's outfitted in a hairnet and booties. The whole system is capable of holding up to 2,500 plants and can be controlled by a mobile app.

To harvest the lettuce, says Lattin, employees twist it off at the root, keeping some of that portion intact for a yield of around three ounces. Coeur Greens sells three-bag heads for $5 at both the Wednesday and Saturday Kootenai Farmers Market. Local restaurants using its produce so far include Fire Artisan Pizza, with locations in Spokane and Coeur d'Alene.

In addition to lettuce, Coeur Greens produces microgreens, such as lemon basil and radish, in 3-ounce containers ($5).

Without exposure to non-artificial sunlight and weather, what's missing from their lettuce and microgreens? Nothing, says Lattin, noting that not only is the lettuce ultra-local, there are no pesticides used, because there are zero bugs inside the growing facility.

"It actually has flavor," she says, holding out a plump, verdant head of lettuce. ♦

Coeur Greens • 10145 N. Aero Dr., Hayden • coeurgreens.com • 208-916-5068

Pin It
Favorite

Tags:

Latest in Food & Drink

Readers also liked…

Comments


Comments are closed.

Today | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu
The Alchemous Beasts Tour: Spokane

The Alchemous Beasts Tour: Spokane @ The Bartlett

Fri., Oct. 20, 8 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Carrie Scozzaro

  • Forest Favorites
  • Forest Favorites

    Depending on the season, Inland Northwest restaurants showcase a wonderful assortment of woodland mushrooms
    • Oct 5, 2017
  • The Berry Best
  • The Berry Best

    The Inland Northwest's famous huckleberry can sweeten anything, from salads and savory dishes to dessert
    • Oct 5, 2017
  • On Tap Uptown
  • On Tap Uptown

    Fine-dining icons go beyond the wine cellar, including the best of local beer and cider in their menu-planning processes
    • Oct 5, 2017
  • More »

Top Tags in
Culture & Food

last word


Culture


for your consideration


MUSIC


BEER


© 2017 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation