Jun 19, 2018
Indoor Farm Takes On Home Delivery By Jasmina Dolce

Grocery delivery services have definitely seen a surge in popularity over the past year or so. Between Amazon and local retailers offering same-day grocery drop-off for consumers, food shopping has never been so easy.

SmartBasil Farms, an 18,000-square-foot greenhouse facility headquartered in Suffolk, Virginia, has taken notice of the trend. The company was founded in 2012 and has seen steady growth. So it launched The Neighborhood Harvest, a home delivery service that takes the farm-to-market concept one step further to farm-to-front door.

The home delivery service saw so much initial success it recently added administrative offices and a packing center to accommodate its growing customer base and additional delivery routes.

According to Thomas Vandiver, company president, home deliveries start around $11 but pricing is based on the type and amount of products offered. Plus, there is a $1.99 delivery fee.

Basil was the primary crop when the company started but has since added other products like lettuce and cucumbers. All are available year-round and grown without pesticides in a climate-controlled environment.

The company stresses value over dollar amount. “Every day, we’re harvesting, packing and shipping,” said Vandiver. “You buy at the market, and you might have to throw away one-third of it because it’ll go bad.”

With the supply chain from grower to consumer continuously evolving, it is important to explore all sales channels. Have you explored the world of home delivery? It might be worth some careful consideration.

— Jasmina

Wendy’s to Only Use Greenhouse-Grown Tomatoes

Popular fast food chain, Wendy’s, recently announced a new initiative to source vine-ripened tomatoes for its North American restaurants exclusively from greenhouse farms by early 2019. Tomatoes will be grown in indoor greenhouse and hydroponic farms from approximately a dozen suppliers in regions across the United States as well as Canada and Mexico. “We’re making this change for a variety of reasons that will benefit our customers, but taste and quality are the top factors,” said Dennish Hecker, senior vice president of quality assurance for Wendy’s.

New York Students Create Hydroponic Farm

A group of Bronx teens from Dewitt Clinton High School teamed up with Teens for Food Justice with a grant Green Mountain Energy Sun Club to bring fresh vegetables to their communities. Together they created a 1,300-square-foot hydroponic farm designed to grow 25,000 pounds of produce a year. A celebration earlier this month marked the end of the farm’s first full year and signaled its ability to go into full production mode. The farm produces various types of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and herbs. This is the city’s biggest student-built, indoor, vertical hydroponic farm.

Illumitex Launches Toplight for CEA

Illumitex, based in Austin, Texas, recently announced the official launch of its HarvestEdge horticulture LED grow lighting modular system. The HarvestEdge is designed for greenhouse supplemental and indoor primary grow lighting applications. When configured for supplemental lighting with high performance spectrum, it is intended to delivery nearly 30 percent more efficiency than comparable products. To learn more, go to illumitex.com/products.

Jasmina Dolce

Jasmina Dolce is managing editor of GPN magazine. She can be reached at jdolce@greatamericanpublish.com.