Natural Grocers growing in-store organic produce
Natural Grocers is bringing local hydroponic, organic produce grown just steps away from its customers with the launch of its new hydroponic GardenBox. The pilot program, which takes place at its Green Mountain store in Lakewood, CO, grows an array of organic leafy greens that travel just 82 steps from hydroponic garden to customer. GardenBox delivers living produce with roots intact for a longer shelf life and better flavor, certified organic by Where Food Comes From Organic, and the Clean Hydroponic Produce seal.
A variety of GardenBox lettuces such as Hampton, Brentwood, Alkindus, Tropicana, Muir, Marciano and Truchas will be sold at the Green Mountain store. All GardenBox greens will be priced at $1.99 per head.
On the outside, the GardenBox looks like a regular shipping container — it's inside the GardenBox where the seed-to-salad magic happens. The indoor garden climate is carefully controlled with innovative technology designed to regulate the amount of water, light, and nutrients needed to optimize the growth and nutritional value of the greens.
Natural Grocers has adopted hydroponic farming practices that prioritize the sustainability and quality of GardenBox greens. Certified Organic seeds are germinated in organic-friendly peat and coconut husk, where roots develop before being transferred to the vertical, space-saving system.
ROOTED IN FRESH, ADVENTUROUS IN FLAVOR
Offering Natural Grocers customers varieties of leafy greens not typically found in other grocery stores is another advantage GardenBox delivers. GardenBox's Rooted in Fresh quality means the roots remain intact so that they stay fresh and crisp longer and some produce may get even sweeter when roots are kept in water after harvesting.
TWO SEALS ARE BETTER THAN ONE
Consistent with the company's founding principles, Natural Grocers seeks to ensure the highest level of transparency and quality with two GardenBox certifications: Where Food Comes From Organic and Clean Hydroponic Produce established by the Alliance for Sustainable Hydroponics. Together, these two certifications honor the company's commitment to sell only Certified Organic produce and to ensure customers know how their food is grown. Natural Grocers will be participating in scientific research studies on nutrient density and energy use as part of the Clean Hydroponic Produce Standards certification.
"Natural Grocers has been committed to selling fresh, 100 percent organic produce from day one as a way for us to support our communities and our planet," said Co-President Kemper Isely. "This next step — of sustainably growing organic and clean hydroponic produce ourselves, on site, and harvested fresh for our store every morning — truly speaks to that commitment and to who we are as a company. We can't wait for our hometown community to taste produce that was grown literally right outside our store."