Growing lettuce year-round right here in Maine
MTAF 2.5 | $300,000
more produce per acr
less water used than a conventional farm
There’s a high probability that the lettuce you eat comes from thousands of miles away. In the United States, 95% of the lettuce we consume is grown in California or Arizona. In order to reduce our impact on the environment, create more local jobs and develop a more resilient and sustainable food system, we need to grow more of our food locally.
But Maine’s ecosystem isn’t particularly suited to grow produce year-round. It’s innovation ecosystem, however, is challenging that notion. Springworks Farms in Lisbon grows delicious, organic lettuce, all year long. Their 40,000 square foot greenhouse uses aquaponics — the combination of fish and plants in a recirculating system. This process increases the yield per acre, dramatically cuts water usage and requires no synthetic fertilizers or pesticides.
MTI played an integral role in Springworks’ recent greenhouse expansion, but according to founder Trevor Kenkel, MTI’s contributions didn’t stop there. “MTI’s resources are far greater than financial support alone,” explained Kenkel. “It includes mentorship and a supportive network that shares our vision for Maine grown businesses.”
That vision includes expanding to 500,000 square feet and hiring 250 new employees, a growth plan that would allow them to produce nearly 20 million heads of lettuce a year.