Wolf Wesle and Karen Dow stand amidst the lush greenery growing in a hydroponic vegetable garden in Salmon Arm’s Westgate Public Market. (Jodi Brak/Salmon Arm Observer)

Wolf Wesle and Karen Dow stand amidst the lush greenery growing in a hydroponic vegetable garden in Salmon Arm’s Westgate Public Market. (Jodi Brak/Salmon Arm Observer)

Shuswap business to provide fresh greens year round

Salmon Arm growers offer hydroponic test market to help develop signature salad mix

Salad lovers will be able to access locally grown greens and microgreens year round in Salmon Arm, thanks to Living Leaf Growers.

Located at Westgate Public Market, co-owner Karen Dow says the company has been working on developing a commercial hydroponic system for two years under the direction of Wolf Wesle of Green Croft Gardens organic farm in Enderby.

While the produce will not be certified organic, Dow says it is as good as organic.

“It’s all done in water, no chemicals; it’s grown with just nutrients,” she says. “We are testing different types of nutrients as some are better than others.”

The produce will be grown in racks that go 24 feet high, consisting of seven rows, in four different sections. At the moment, Living Leaf is running about 25 per cent of the system but planning to be up to 50 per cent soon.

“We have eight different lettuce types that feed into a salad mix and we want to test different combinations of colours, types, textures and tastes,” she says. “We want to come up with their own best seller and we need help to do that.”

For the next two or three months while production ramps up, Living Leaf will prepare sample mixes of lettuce and invite a test group to buy a bag of salad or microgreens for $1 and provide feedback on how long it lasts in the fridge, texture and taste.

Related: Two Shuswap businesses get federal research funds

As well as lettuce and microgreens, Living Leaf is planning to grow strawberries and probably cherry tomatoes.

Microgreens are a vegetable green, harvested after sprouting as shoots, that are used as a component or ingredient to enhance the attractiveness and taste of dishes with their delicate textures and distinctive flavours.

“We have the capacity to grow 28,000 heads of lettuce a month and 700 strawberry plants and I don’t know what the numbers are, but we can grow a lot of microgreens year round,” says Dow. “Lettuce, mixed salad lettuce and strawberries will be available all year round, but the strawberries won’t be available until next spring.”

Dow says the first batch of lettuce will be harvested on Dec. 17, with lots more becoming available in January and February.

To join the test market and register for the lettuce and microgreen program, go online to www.westgatepublicmarket.com, click on the Living Leaf Growers page and fill out the registration form.

“When we have lettuce and/or microgreens available, we will notify you by email to come in and pick up your bag,” Dow says, noting people may only buy one bag at a time and will be required to fill out a questionnaire before they can buy more.


@SalmonArm
barb.brouwer@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
104 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

IH is reporting the new numbers since Friday, Nov. 20

Salmon Arm RCMP nabbed two Calgary suspects in an allegedly stolen vehicle on Highway 1 on Nov. 22, 2020. (File photo)
Salmon Arm RCMP use spike belts on Highway 1 to nab Calgary suspects

Arrests occur after Revelstoke RCMP clock allegedly stolen vehicle going faster than 160 km/h

Greg Rose spent several weeks working alongside Tammy VanSickle to ensure a smooth transition as he took over the business on Monday, Nov. 16. (Submitted)
The show goes on: Roxy theatre changes hands

It will remain a theatre says new manager Greg Rose

RCMP Cpl. Cory Lepine pictured at BC Livestock Producers Co. in Kamloops, Nov. 16. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Meet B.C.’s only cowboy cop; a voice for the livestock industry

Cpl. Cory Lepine serves as a bridge between the law and those who make a living off the land

People wearing face masks to help curb the spread of COVID-19 cross a street in downtown Vancouver, on Sunday, November 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. reports 17 COVID deaths, 1,933 new cases as hospitalizations surge over the weekend

There are 277 people in hospital, of whom 59 are in ICU or critical care

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers at the project site in Kitimat. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared last Thursday (Nov. 19). (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
Forty-one positive COVID-19 cases associated with the LNG Canada site outbreak in Kitimat

Thirty-four of the 41 cases remain active, according to Northern Health

A concept rendering of the proposed Costco at the corner of Baron, Leckie and Springfield roads. (WSP Global)
Contentious Kelowna Costco relocation moved to public hearing

Costco looking to move less than a kilometre away to build a larger store with more parking, gas bar

7-year-old Mackenzie Hodge from Penticton sent a hand-written letter to premiere John Horgan asking if she’d be able to see her elf, Ralph under the new coronavirus restrictions. (John Horgan / Twitter)
Elf on the shelf an acceptable house guest B.C. premier tells Okanagan girl

A 7-year-old from Penticton penned a letter asking if she’d be allowed to see her elf this year

Workers arrive at the Lynn Valley Care Centre seniors home, in North Vancouver, B.C., on Saturday, March 14, 2020. It was the site of Canada’s first COVID-19 outbreak in a long-term care facility. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Rapid tests ‘not a panacea’ for care homes, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. lacks capacity for daily tests of thousands of workers

(Delta Police Department photo)
Cannabis edibles found in Halloween bag lead B.C. police to illegal lab

Delta police arrested a man and a woman while executing a warrant at a residential property Nov. 20

RCMP pictured at a motor vehicle incident during snowy conditions. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
B&E, stolen car in Vernon lands Whitehorse man in cuffs

Suspect takes off on foot in attempts to evade arrest

Penticton Search and Rescue along with the Penticton Fire Department located and airlifted an injured 21-year-old female hiker Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. (Mike Biden photo)
Penticton search and rescue airlift injured hiker off mountain

There has been an unprecedented amount of calls for search and rescue this year

Most Read