Sustainability at the Market: Abby Lee Farms
Producing over 35,000 pounds a week, it is no wonder Abby Lee Farms is famous for their delicious tomatoes. Their products can be found at ten farmers markets around the valley and in almost every premium grocery store. However, most people are unaware of the growing techniques and sustainability initiatives the farmers at Abby Lee take part in.
Abby Lee Farms is a hydroponic grower. This means that rather than growing their produce outside in the soil, they instead monitor them in a controlled greenhouse environment. By doing this, they are able to reuse almost all of the water instead of it absorbing in the soil. Nutrients are sent to the plants several times a day using a specialized drip system. Another sustainable technique they use is controlling the climate in their greenhouse. This ensures that they keep the ideal humidity and temperature needed for the tomatoes to grow.
The tomatoes produced at Abby Lee farms are shipped out to consumers the same day they are picked, which is why they call themselves “hyperlocal.” The tomatoes are picked at peak harvest times at the height of their ripeness. This is nearly three weeks later than other commercial growers. Unlike most of modern day produce, Abby Lee’s products are not shipped across the country. They stay local from the time they are picked to the time they are purchased. Is your mouth watering yet? Come by the market this Saturday to get your hands on these delicious tomatoes.
-Sydney Schutkowski, Sustainability Intern