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
Citrus
April 23, 2017
Bio Huma Netics, Inc., and Mesa Verde Resources tExpand Product Selection
Strategic alliance between the two companies is designed to offer customers greater access to products. Read More
GenNext Growers
April 22, 2017
Next Generation of Leaders Gets Yearlong Almond Immersion
Almond Leadership Program enters its ninth year with the 2017 class. Read More
Washington Capitol building
Citrus
April 21, 2017
Alliance Stepping Up Efforts to Protect Specialty Crops
The Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance has kicked off its efforts to communicate to Congress its priority needs for the Read More
glass of red wine
Grapes
April 20, 2017
Would You Be Willing to Pay More for Organic Wine?
While consumers might be ready to fork over more for organic produce, study says the feeling isn't quite the same when it comes to the adult beverage. Read More
UF/IFAS scientist Jonathan Crane inspects avocado trees in South Florida
Crop Protection
April 20, 2017
Beetle Battle Burgeoning for South Florida Avocado Growers
Scientists identify more species of pests that vector deadly fungus. Read More
farm labor pic for web
Citrus
April 20, 2017
Farm Labor Is in Crisis
To have a great crop potentially rot in the field because workers can’t be sourced is probably worse than a weather event taking out production. Read More
Zellwood, FL, muck farming history photo
Vegetables
April 19, 2017
Free Forum to Hail Florida Muck Farming History
Zellwood Historical Society helping shine a light on an industry that defined the area. Read More
Vegetables
April 19, 2017
Want Low Drama Food Safety Inspections? Embrace Paperwork [Opinion]
When I was in high school, my mom was the administrator of an outpatient hospital. Like all hospitals, Mom’s was Read More
Vegetables
April 19, 2017
Which Vegetable Crops Are the Most Popular?
The editors at American Vegetable Grower asked growers about their crops as part of our 2017 State of the Vegetable Industry survey, and gained a lot of insight into which crops are most commonly grown, and how well those crops are performing. Read More
Grapes
April 19, 2017
Donnell Brown Named President of National Grape & Wine Initiative
New president brings experience in wine industry communications. Read More
Alternaria Leaf Spot of Cucurbits
Cucurbits
April 19, 2017
Alternaria Leaf Spot Awareness Can Save Your Cucurbit Crops
Learn how to identify, the survival and spread, as well as management methods for this malady. Read More
Apples & Pears
April 19, 2017
Young Apple Growers Meet with Lawmakers
Apple leaders from across the country discuss ag issues such as labor, trade, and research. Read More
Barnes Farm cabbage field in Hastings, FL
Citrus
April 18, 2017
Florida Growers Seeking Inspiration Need Not Look Far
The firsthand experience of speaking with farmers and actually seeing all the hard work, knowledge, ingenuity, and people behind where our food comes from is invaluable. Read More
Citrus
April 18, 2017
Citrus Growth Path Uncertain as Florida Real Estate Surges
According to the latest Lay of the Land Market Report, the waiting game for a solution to greening has tempered groves sales. Read More
Farm Management
April 18, 2017
Survey Says New York Growers Lost More than 70% of Crop Last Year
Growers say they suffered more than 50% crop losses in Western New York. Read More
The Latest
Citrus
April 23, 2017
Bio Huma Netics, Inc., and Mesa Verde Re…
Strategic alliance between the two companies is designed to offer customers greater access to products. Read More
GenNext Growers
April 22, 2017
Next Generation of Leaders Gets Yearlong…
Almond Leadership Program enters its ninth year with the 2017 class. Read More
Citrus
April 21, 2017
Alliance Stepping Up Efforts to Protect …
The Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance has kicked off its efforts to communicate to Congress its priority needs for the Read More
Apples & Pears
April 21, 2017
Interpera Congress Heads to Pacific Nort…
International pear conference comes to the U.S. for the first time. Read More
Grapes
April 20, 2017
Would You Be Willing to Pay More for Org…
While consumers might be ready to fork over more for organic produce, study says the feeling isn't quite the same when it comes to the adult beverage. Read More
Crop Protection
April 20, 2017
Beetle Battle Burgeoning for South Flori…
Scientists identify more species of pests that vector deadly fungus. Read More
Citrus
April 20, 2017
Farm Labor Is in Crisis
To have a great crop potentially rot in the field because workers can’t be sourced is probably worse than a weather event taking out production. Read More
Vegetables
April 19, 2017
Free Forum to Hail Florida Muck Farming …
Zellwood Historical Society helping shine a light on an industry that defined the area. Read More
Vegetables
April 19, 2017
Want Low Drama Food Safety Inspections? …
When I was in high school, my mom was the administrator of an outpatient hospital. Like all hospitals, Mom’s was Read More
Vegetables
April 19, 2017
Which Vegetable Crops Are the Most Popul…
The editors at American Vegetable Grower asked growers about their crops as part of our 2017 State of the Vegetable Industry survey, and gained a lot of insight into which crops are most commonly grown, and how well those crops are performing. Read More
Grapes
April 19, 2017
Donnell Brown Named President of Nationa…
New president brings experience in wine industry communications. Read More
Cucurbits
April 19, 2017
Alternaria Leaf Spot Awareness Can Save …
Learn how to identify, the survival and spread, as well as management methods for this malady. Read More
Apples & Pears
April 19, 2017
Young Apple Growers Meet with Lawmakers
Apple leaders from across the country discuss ag issues such as labor, trade, and research. Read More
Citrus
April 18, 2017
Florida Growers Seeking Inspiration Need…
The firsthand experience of speaking with farmers and actually seeing all the hard work, knowledge, ingenuity, and people behind where our food comes from is invaluable. Read More
Citrus
April 18, 2017
Citrus Growth Path Uncertain as Florida …
According to the latest Lay of the Land Market Report, the waiting game for a solution to greening has tempered groves sales. Read More
Farm Management
April 18, 2017
Survey Says New York Growers Lost More t…
Growers say they suffered more than 50% crop losses in Western New York. Read More
Apples & Pears
April 18, 2017
Researchers Say it is Time to Scout for …
With bloom underway, the risk for fire blight and scab are high. Read More
GenNext Growers
April 17, 2017
TED Talks Take on Agriculture Innovation
The popular short-form presentations address the future of food production. Read More