February 1, 2019
Friends of the Farms has just signed a 21 year lease with Mark Taylor and Tracy Lang of Vireo Farms, allowing them to build a hydroponic farming facility on publicly owned farmland managed by the nonprofit on behalf of the City of Bainbridge Island. Mark and Tracy, residents of B.I. have a prototype in their home and are already selling fresh, local greens to several restaurants on the island.
Amid ever-growing concerns about climate change and the effects of industrial agriculture, the move toward local, sustainable produce is increasingly important. Friends of the Farms is leading the charge by managing sustainable, city-run farmland, and searching for fresh approaches to what locally grown food looks like.
Vireo Farm, once fully constructed, will be an 1,800 sq ft facility capable of holding 8,500 plants. The hydroponic process is so efficient that they expect to harvest 1,500 to 1,800 plants per week, starting with heirloom lettuce, basil, bok choy, arugula, and other herbs.
Using organic seed and growing media, Vireo Farm aims to provide the freshest possible food, of the highest quality, year-round while simultaneously reducing transportation costs, energy consumption and packaging waste.
To eat local, communities must support local farmers. Friends of the Farms is at the forefront of this movement managing over 60 acres of publicly owned farmland, and a new hydroponic facility that will help nourish the community. Vireo Farm is the future of farming.