The majority of the greens we grow on the farm are grown hydroponically, year-round in greenhouses. Hydroponics is a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions. Nutrients are delivered to the plant in irrigation water, eliminating soil. All the water is re-circulated and none is wasted. Deciding to grow hydroponically at Snuck Farm spoke to the family land we had the opportunity to use, where our farm is located (drought-prone Utah), and how we wanted to utilize the relatively small space we had to farm. Growing in this way, we are able to grow up to 8 times the amount of food and use 90% less water than traditional farming methods. Curious about the process? Here are the steps that take us from seed to plant:
Step 1: Seeding
First we start with high quality seeds. Our seeds are always non-GMO and organic when available. We start the growing process, seeding by hand or using a vacuum seeder to place the tiny seeds into the growing material.
Step 2: Propagation
Once in the propagation area, the trays of seeds are watered, and placed out into the greenhouse. The trays get watered regularly and receive plenty of light. Most seeds germinate after just a few days. They will stay in the propagation area for up to 2 weeks.
Step 3: Transplanting
Once seedlings have finished their two weeks in the propagation area, our team transplants the seedlings into the main growing area of the greenhouse. Depending on their age, every plant is moved by hand each week into either a nursery area, where the plants are close together, or to the finishing area, where the plants finish their growing cycle and await harvesting. The plants in these areas are irrigated with nutrient water that recirculates 24/7. The plant takes only the water and nutrients it needs, and none is wasted.
Step 4: Harvesting
From seed to harvest, it takes most of our greens between 5 and 7 weeks to mature. Our harvesting team brings the mature plants to the harvesting area and prepares each plant for packaging. This preparation involves cutting off the growing medium, then placing the greens in bags and totes to await packaging. The greens go directly into our walk-in cooler to maintain quality and preserve freshness.
Once packaged, the greens travel just a few hundred yards to our coolers in our farmshop or to the many wholesale and Snuck Share customers we serve. That means the greens go from our farm to your table in just over 24 hours. This is why our greens last so long!