YORKTON – Legacy Co-op planted the first seeds of its new modular farm Sept. 14.
The Neighbourhood Fresh modular farm will produce five types of locally grown lettuce, two choys, spinach, two varieties of kale and four herbs
"At capacity this thing can hold 2419 plants when it's full and 1600 in the seeding area being grown getting ready to be transplanted when we harvest sections," said Stew Winter, Produce Manager with Legacy Co-op, in an interview with Yorkton This Week.
"The decision to embark on this project and build a modular farm was inspired by a vision to provide members with fresh, high-quality produce all year round. The idea stemmed from Katie Hull, Finance Manager, who came across an article highlighting the possibility of growing fresh produce locally, even in the depths of winter," detailed a media release from Legacy Co-op.
"We'll harvest one day and it will be on the shelf the next day," said Winter.
Winter, who has 38 years in the co-operative retail system, said this wasn't something he expected to see in his career, but believes it is the way of the future.
" ... with all the challenges with weather and stuff in California and diseases that they're picking up I can see this being the future," said Winter of the produce that comes from south of the border.
"You'll probably see these all over the place," said Winter.
Winter said the turnover of produce from seed to harvest is six weeks for the lettuce and kales and 12 weeks for herbs, noting that it would be roughly three to four months before the modular farm was at capacity.
And though the greens being grown now are set for the time being, Winter said that could change in the future.
"I want people to bring any ideas forward that they would like us to try," said Winter, adding, "we just went with these initial items to get us up and running so we could get consistent and get good at what we're doing."
"We can swap out items at any time if it's not selling or people want us to try something else," said Winter, "we're always going to be looking for ideas."