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

Just Posted

Temporary Cold Weather Shelter in the works for Revelstoke

The Women’s Shelter Society, BC Housing and the city are working on making it happen

Black bear kills donkey in Revelstoke, put down by RCMP

Conservation Officer says once they attack livestock they are a danger to the public

Alberta woman dies in motorcycle accident in Revelstoke

RCMP say an SUV turned left in front of the motorcycle

High 30 for Revelstoke today

Roads and weather conditions

Balu Pass closed in Glacier National Park

The National Park is east of Revelstoke on Highway 1

VIDEO: Could we BE any more excited? ‘Friends’ fans go crazy for merch

Movie theatres will show select episodes to mark the NBC series’ 25th anniversary

Penticton man sentenced in non-fatal 2017 shooting

Elkena Michael Knauff sentenced to seven and a half months in jail

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Kamloops RCMP locate and arrest man who fled from police

The 22-year-old male was wanted in relation to a domestic violence investigation

Five hedgehogs quickly adopted after being left at BC SPCA

Lucky new owners picked up their pets from Maple Ridge branch on Aug. 20

COLUMN: Much to enjoy at Ryga Arts Festival

As I learn about George Ryga and his contributions, it is clear why this festival carries his name

Okanagan RCMP superintendent helps with arrest

Vernon Supt. Shawna Baher arrests man for theft; turns out to be suspect in assault and robbery

Kelowna man arrested after allegedly setting blaze near Fire Department

The man was allegedly seen lighting bushes on fire near the Kelowna Fire Department

Most Read