SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – A local farm in Sackets Harbor, New York is providing many central New Yorkers with fresh, locally grown produce year-round. Agbotic Farms created a prototype greenhouse which has the ability to grow and harvest organic baby roots 365 days a year.
This environmental innovation is significant to central New York because the Northeast has a short harvesting season, so this provides the local community with fresh produce during its off-seasons. Agbotic Farms harvest all of its products undercover and in nutrient rich-soil. The greenhouse is equipped with an environmental control system, which provides heat in the winter and cooling the summer.
Agbotic Farms is committed to providing its customers with specialized and unique products. Currently, they are growing baby root crops, which are root plants that have been growing for half the time of large root crops. The farms main goal is to grow foods that are not commonly manufactured by large companies.
Executive Vice President of Agbotic Farms, Kevin Richardson says, “Were very committed to harvesting and packing ready for and delivered to the customer within 24 hours. That is an automated process within our greenhouse that allows us the capability to execute that.”
Students at Syracuse University are included in those central New Yorkers receiving the year-round fresh produce. Agbotic Farms partnered with Syracuse University Food Services in early February to provide students with a farm to table experience.
Richardson says the produce takes 21 days to fully harvest and once the harvesting is complete, the product will be shipped and provided to the students in the dining halls within 24 hours.
Overall, the students have had a positive reaction to the fresh produce served in the salad bar. Junior James Finneral says, “The fact that it is more fresh, it makes me want to go eat at the salad bar more often.”
Sophomore, Julius Gill, has also had a positive experience with the new product. He states, “If you eat it right on time it taste pretty good, so I don’t have any complaints about that.”
Agbotic Farms’s partnership with Syracuse University has been a success, so the farm is working on ways to expand and improve its products. They are currently providing baby root crops to five dining halls on campus, but their goal is to eventually provide produce to all of Syracuse food services. They are also planning on growing more baby root produce, such as carrots and turnips.