Where The Green Is Hiding

By February, the winter is always tiresome here in Minnesota. Particularly because we know just how long we have to go. It’s at this point that people here either look as pale and chalky as ever or, at the opposite end of the spectrum, sport a fresh yet quickly fading tan, indicating they’ve just returned from drinking brightly colored cocktails on a beach somewhere.

Lettuce

No matter what your vacation status, a Minnesotan is craving one thing at this point in the year: green. Throw in some sunshine that can actually warm our skin and we’d downright leap for joy.

Hydroponic Lettuce

The bad news? The sun only shows up on the most frigid days. The good news? I found it.

Something green.

In an unexpected place, I might add.

Lettuce wall

Recently, I took on an assignment for my day job. Photographer Kerry and I ventured out to a nondescript warehouse in St. Paul and found a treasure inside. The place felt as humid as spring when we walked through the door. We heard the sound of flowing water. The earthy aroma of soil hit us in the nose. And then we saw it.

Hydroponic Farm

It’s where the green is hiding.

Watercress

Basil plants

Garden Fresh Farms is a hydroponic and aquaponic vegetable and herb growing operation. There are walls of sprouts, lettuce, watercress, basil and more. Their roots live in water fertilized by the waste of hundreds of tilapia in tanks. Light bulbs replace the sun.

Seedlings

Sure, it’s no summer day. But at this point, it’ll do.

Watch the full story here:

(video and editing by Kerry Klatt)

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