WIRTZ, Va. (WDBJ7) At Four Oaks Farms in Franklin County they're growing lots of greens.
“Hydroponic is 100 percent soilless growing method. There's a nutrient solution that's fed to the plants continuously throughout the day. We plant anywhere from a thousand to 16-hundred plants a week and the seeds go in there one at a time,” Explained Jerry Conner of Four Oaks Farms.
The lettuce is planted inside trays using what's called a Nutrient Film Technique. The gist of it isn't as complicated as it sounds. Basically a stream of water is fed into the tray to give the lettuce the nutrients it needs to grow. And to keep everything growing, the temperature in the greenhouse has to be just right.
“The environmental control system is keeping the temperature and the humidity and CO2 level in this greenhouse at optimum levels for the lettuce,” Conner explained.
There's even a cooling wall in the back of the greenhouse.
“Water is run across that wall as the air is being pulled through it. It picks up some of that moisture, and through an evaporative cooling technique it brings the temperature in this greenhouse down 10 to as much as 15 degrees below what's outside,” Conner said.
It's all to ensure you're getting the freshest lettuce possible.