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Greenhouse facility to provide leafy greens to local schools, restaurants and businesses

Hydroponic greenhouses in Northampton County.jpeg
Posted at 12:47 PM, Jul 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-06 18:27:17-04

NORTHAMPTON, Co., Va. - Shore Breeze Farms will increase production by 30% and will provide leafy greens to local schools, restaurants and businesses, Gov. Northam announced Thursday.

Shore Breeze Farms will expand operations at its hydroponic greenhouse facility in Northampton County. The company provides Virginia-grown lettuces to Virginia public schools, local restaurants and farm stands on the Eastern Shore and in Virginia Beach.

This is the first Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) Fund grant awarded to Northampton County.

“It is exciting to see homegrown companies like Shore Breeze Farms harnessing new agriculture technologies to bring fresh, local vegetables to their communities,” said Gov. Northam. “Shore Breeze Farms has long been known for innovative product offerings, and I am especially proud to see how they are branching into new markets during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis to offer pre-packaged salad kits to Virginians on the Eastern Shore.”

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services worked with Northampton County to secure the project for the Commonwealth. Governor Northam approved a $15,000 grant from the AFID fund to assist Northampton County with the project.

Related: Virginia's first large-scale hemp plant opens this summer

A fourth-generation farmer on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, Steve Sturgis started his eight-acre farm in 1979, took over his family’s farming operation in 2002, and has since doubled its size to 900 acres. In 2019, Sturgis opened Shore Breeze Farms, a new produce market and hydroponic greenhouse facility.

Hydroponics is a method of growing plants that uses a solution of water and nutrients instead of soil. This system typically yields more, requires less space, and allows for year-round growing