Prairie Produce Farm intends to purchase property for a 35-acre Dutch-style hydroponic greenhouse, which will be located west of 122nd Street and east of 88th Avenue, with access to the site from the south at 128th Street. The produce will be sold to local grocers, distribution centers and institutional suppliers. The facility will employ 30-40 full-time employees working two shifts, seven days a week. Delivery hours will be from 7:00 am to 4:00 pm with an average of one truck trip daily, and the facility will not be open to the public.
This will be the first state of the art hydroponic greenhouse in Wisconsin, and will be based on technology and business processes from sister companies DeFresco Produce and Sunrite Greenhouses in Ontario, Canada. The facility will require water and minimal nutrients for the closed loop hydroponic grow systems. There will be no run off and the primary by-products are oxygen and composted plant trimmings. Natural gas is used for night time heating with exhaust being fed to plants. Electricity will be used for auxiliary grow lights. The facility will use one-third the energy, one-quarter of the nutrients and one-tenth the water used by comparable field grown produce. The development will be completed in two phases. Phase one will include a 15.3 acre greenhouse and attached 30,000 square foot support building, quality assurance lab offices, and a caretaker’s apartment. There will be no retail sales or outlet facilities operated from the farm site. Phase two is projected to begin in 2020 or when market conditions allow, and will include an additional 20 acres of greenhouse.
Read more at the BizTimes.