Redefining Locally Grown

Redefining Locally Grown

Want to talk about the concept “as fresh as possible”? Well, we know that buying produce from a farmer’s market not long after harvest pretty much fits the bill, but what about produce at the grocery store? Sometimes fruits and vegetables come from local farms, but often the produce is shipped in from various locations, sometimes from across the country.

At McCaffrey’s Markets, which are located in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, however, offering produce that is literally as fresh as possible may be just around the corner. Plus, the produce will be available year-round.

Just how will they do this? Well, the grocery chain is in the process of having a greenhouse constructed on-site.

Mark Eckhouse, vice president of McCaffrey’s, says a greenhouse will be constructed on the roof of one of the three McCaffrey’s stores. The produce grown at the facility will supply the grocery chain and possibly other local retailers.

According to Eckhouse, the rooftop construction will be 40,000 square feet, and the plan is to have the facility operational later this year. McCaffrey’s, however, will not own or operate the greenhouse. The grocery chain is working with BrightFarms, an operation based in New York, who will design and then manage the facility. McCaffrey’s will purchase the fresh produce from BrightFarms.

The Largest Rooftop Greenhouse
The concept of rooftop greenhouses isn’t new. To date, there are a number of rooftop facilities located throughout the U.S., but most of them are on college campuses, explains Benjamin Linsley, vice president, business development and public affairs at BrightFarms.

“We completed a state-of-the-art greenhouse on Manhattan School for Children in New York in December 2010, and Gotham Green’s (also in New York) commercial rooftop farm opened in May of last year, which we were involved with in its early development stages,” says Linsley. “The McCaffrey’s greenhouse will be the first on a supermarket, and will also be the largest in the U.S.”

The key benefit of putting a greenhouse on the roof or next to a store is that the supermarket customer gets the freshest produce possible because it was grown locally and delivered within hours, not days, explains Linsley. “[The produce] was grown for taste and not for shelf life,” he continues. “By not trucking food thousands of miles, we also save millions of tons of carbon emissions from being released into the atmosphere.”

By selling produce from a rooftop greenhouse, McCaffrey’s will be able to offer consumers produce within a 12-hour period after harvest, adds Eckhouse. “The end result is it is going to be a better product coming from a controlled environment. It is not organic, but the nutrients given to the greenhouse produce will be controlled to exactly what the plants need.”

Fresh Lettuce, Tomatoes, And Herbs
What will be produced in the greenhouse? Lettuce, tomatoes, and herbs, answers Eckhouse. Those crops were chosen mainly because they are the ones most often requested by consumers. “Plus, they can be grown rapidly in a greenhouse and tomatoes can be grown vertically, so they take up less space. Eventually, the plan is to add squash to the lineup,” he adds.

McCaffrey’s Markets have a good reputation in the communities they serve and already have a very loyal customer base, adds Linsley. “The important role the locally grown movement can play in this, as with any community, is to continue to highlight the benefits from choosing to buy locally grown food items, in particular the superior quality and the reduced environmental impact,” he says.

From what Linsley says, this is just the beginning of rooftop greenhouses being aligned with grocery stores. The company is currently working closely with 10 additional supermarkets and he says they hope to have at least three more deals signed in the next few months.

For more information, go to http://brightfarms.com/projects/mccaffrey-s-markets.

Leave a Reply

Featured Stories
Photo of New Guinea flatworm found near Coral Gables, FL
CitrusSouth Florida’s Newest Pest Has Significant Ooze Factor
July 2, 2015
The infamous New Guinea flatworm, one of the ‘world's worst invasive alien species,’ might have found a new home. Read More
Farm ManagementPMA Advocates For Improvements To Proposed FSMA Mandatory Food Recall Guidance
July 2, 2015
This week the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) submitted comments on behalf of its membership to FDA regarding the proposed Mandatory Read More
VegetablesUnited Fresh Leadership Program’s Class 20 Donates 28 Salad Bars To Schools
July 2, 2015
Over the past year, the twelve members of United Fresh Produce Industry Leadership Program’s Class 20 raised funds to support Read More
CitrusFlorida’s Young Farmers Working To Bridge Generation Gap
July 2, 2015
Leadership conference to give GenNext Growers tools to become better agvocates. Read More
ProductionUse Broccoli Rotations To Reduce Disease And Minimize Leaching
July 1, 2015
Crop rotations are a key production practice utilized by every grower. You recognize the importance of rotations to break insect Read More
CitrusIndustry Stakeholders Rip Report Linking Citrus Consumption With Skin Cancer
July 1, 2015
Associations react swiftly; call out flaws in study released by the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Read More
Cucurbits11 Pumpkin And Squash Varieties
July 1, 2015
This month’s variety specs feature focuses on pumpkin and squash varieties. Features highlighted include great disease resistance packages, excellent yield potential, Read More
VegetablesInterview With Hazera Global Onion Product Manager
July 1, 2015
Onion is one of the most produced vegetable crops in the world. A lot of expertise is required to develop Read More
EquipmentHarvest Trends: More Mechanization Needed For Vegetable Growers
July 1, 2015
As the labor supply declines, industry experts and growers say investing in the latest harvesting technology will be necessary. Read More
healthy piece of citrus
Citrus Achievement AwardNeglected Research, Future Growers Top Of Mind For 2015 Citrus Achievement Award Winner
July 1, 2015
Orie Lee advises young up-and-comers to supplement production knowledge with business acumen; calls for more focus on blight. Read More
The Latest
Photo of New Guinea flatworm found near Coral Gables, FL
CitrusSouth Florida’s Newest Pest Has Significant Ooze Factor
July 2, 2015
The infamous New Guinea flatworm, one of the ‘world's worst invasive alien species,’ might have found a new home. Read More
Farm ManagementPMA Advocates For Improvements To Proposed FSMA Mandato…
July 2, 2015
This week the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) submitted comments on behalf of its membership to FDA regarding the proposed Mandatory Read More
VegetablesUnited Fresh Leadership Program’s Class 20 Donates 28 S…
July 2, 2015
Over the past year, the twelve members of United Fresh Produce Industry Leadership Program’s Class 20 raised funds to support Read More
CitrusFlorida’s Young Farmers Working To Bridge Generation Ga…
July 2, 2015
Leadership conference to give GenNext Growers tools to become better agvocates. Read More
ProductionUse Broccoli Rotations To Reduce Disease And Minimize L…
July 1, 2015
Crop rotations are a key production practice utilized by every grower. You recognize the importance of rotations to break insect Read More
CitrusIndustry Stakeholders Rip Report Linking Citrus Consump…
July 1, 2015
Associations react swiftly; call out flaws in study released by the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Read More
Cucurbits11 Pumpkin And Squash Varieties
July 1, 2015
This month’s variety specs feature focuses on pumpkin and squash varieties. Features highlighted include great disease resistance packages, excellent yield potential, Read More
VegetablesInterview With Hazera Global Onion Product Manager
July 1, 2015
Onion is one of the most produced vegetable crops in the world. A lot of expertise is required to develop Read More
EquipmentHarvest Trends: More Mechanization Needed For Vegetable…
July 1, 2015
As the labor supply declines, industry experts and growers say investing in the latest harvesting technology will be necessary. Read More
healthy piece of citrus
Citrus Achievement AwardNeglected Research, Future Growers Top Of Mind For 2015…
July 1, 2015
Orie Lee advises young up-and-comers to supplement production knowledge with business acumen; calls for more focus on blight. Read More
Business PlanningTake Climate Change — Please [Opinion]
June 30, 2015
It’s a difficult issue because people tend to think of it in terms of something tangible — like the weather. Read More
NutsWalnut Nitrogen Budgeting Critical
June 30, 2015
Applying the right amount of N is not easy because walnuts take a lot, but these days you don’t want to apply too much. Read More
FruitsHighlights From The Ohio Produce Growers And Marketers …
June 30, 2015
American Vegetable Grower magazine made its way to the Ohio Produce Growers and Marketers Association (OPGMA) Summer Tour & Field Read More
Insect ControlAlabama Insect Scouting Report Indicates Armyworm Numbe…
June 30, 2015
Report discusses caterpillars, sucking pests, and cowpea curculio activity and management. Read More
Nutrient ManagementResearchers Say Cover Crops May Help Save Soil In Flood…
June 30, 2015
According to experts, planting cover crops may help preserve healthy soil in fields in fields left empty this year thanks to flooding. Read More
TomatoesGSPP Accreditation Enables Sakata Seed America To Offer…
June 30, 2015
The seed company is now authorized to store, treat, process, package, and distribute GSPP-certified tomato seed for the NAFTA market. Read More
MarketingThe Power Of Local Food [Opinion]
June 30, 2015
Summer is now in full swing and we have entered what I like to call “the season of farmers markets.” Read More
PotatoesInnovative Technology Is Necessary For Potato Growers T…
June 30, 2015
Historically, there has often been opposition or fear of new agricultural technologies and today is no different, but it is critical that growers have access to technologies that meet consumer demand while using less land and conserving soil, water, and energy. Read More