Organic Farm Grows on Casters
Wednesday, Oct 08, 2014
This isn't grandma's greenhouse.
Five years in the making, Original Harvest Farms new 3,000-square-foot operation redefines what an organic farm can be.
It doesn't just run on sun, soil, water and sweat. Hamilton's V-Groove casters, which power a mobile and raised plant bed system, boost the company's growing space by 30 percent.
A square foot is the most expensive part of this highly advanced greenhouse and growing system, said Graham Boothby, co-founder and president of Original Harvest Farms. By putting our beds on casters, we increased our growing area by 500 feet.
Year round, that adds up to thousands of pounds of additional fresh produce from tangy mustard greens to edible flowers and a dozen varieties of lettuce.
Rooted in Efficiency
While the concept might sound complex, it's remarkably simple. In the average greenhouse, aisles divide plant beds so employees can access the produce.
With Hamilton, Original Harvest Farms cuts out what Boothby calls wasted space. If I'm not standing, walking or working in an area at any given moment, I want to be growing there.
Now we simply move a row to the side to create an aisle for us to till soil, plant or harvest, he said. And even though a row weighs about 2 tons, the casters allow two people to move them with ease.
As for why the company didn't just build a bigger greenhouse?
At this size, we're a self sufficient, zero-net energy operation, he said. If we added just a few hundred feet, we'd increase our construction costs, carbon footprint, and the amount of electricity we’d need to offset.
With the first building up and running, Original Harvest Farms is already looking to the future.
We're planning expansions to Brooklyn, Chicago and Detroit, said Boothby. And you can bet Hamilton's part of our growth plan.