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DEM Director Coit to Celebrate Launch of New High-Tech Hydroponic Agriculture Facility in West Kingston

Leafy green vegetables and herbs sold under the brand "Boston Greens" will be grown in a mineral-nutrient water solution, with no soil, in this new commercial greenhouse

PROVIDENCE - Department of Environmental Management Director Janet Coit will participate in a ribbon-cutting event for a new hydroponic agriculture facility in West Kingston on Thursday, September 17. Atlantic Produce, Inc.'s new 8,435 square foot facility is the first commercial hydroponic greenhouse to operate in Rhode Island. The company will grow and distribute leafy green vegetables and herbs to local restaurants and grocery stores under the brand "Boston Greens".

"Thumbs up to Atlantic Produce for finding an innovative way to produce high-quality, delicious produce year-round," said DEM Director Janet Coit. "By making freshly-grown, chemical-free lettuce, greens and herbs available to consumers no matter what the season, you have an opportunity to make a real impact on the diets and health of our state's residents. Rhode Islanders crave local food, and Boston Greens will be a fabulous addition to restaurant menus and local grocery shelves."

According to Atlantic Produce, Inc., the plants grow in a mineral-nutrient water solution, with no soil. Potable water is pumped in and further purified before being fed to the plants. Boston Greens contains no herbicides, non-organic pesticides or GMOs, and freshness is assured because the produce retains nutrients, flavors and color.

Boston Greens will be sold within a 100-mile radius, to be consumed within days of picking. At launch, the Boston Greens offering includes bibb lettuce, baby romaine, red oak leaf, red leaf and green leaf lettuce; a trio lettuce of green and red leaf and red oak; rainbow chard, kale, and a variety of herbs, including Italian flat leaf parsley, green and purple basil, cilantro, and mint. The company's expansive greenhouse provides a 12-month growing season, which, combined with the efficient use of space, enables Boston Greens to grow 250,000 heads of lettuce (120,000 pounds) in its West Kingston facility. This quantity is as much as a traditional farm would grow seasonally on two to three acres of farmland.

In addition to DEM Director Coit, participants in the 10 a.m. program will include Atlantic Produce Founder, President and CEO Lewis Valenti; South Kingstown Town Council President Abel G. Collins; South Kingstown Town Manager Stephen A. Alfred; South County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Elizabeth Berman; R.I. Commerce Corporation Chief Operating Officer Darin Early; DEM Agriculture Chief Kenneth Ayars; URI College of the Environment and Life Sciences Dean Dr. John Kirby; and Thomas J. Fahey, Jr., M.D., medical advisor to Atlantic Produce and senior vice president for clinical development, at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

Tours of the facility will be provided following the conclusion of the speaking program.

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  • Department or agency: Department of Environmental Management
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  • Release date: 09-16-2015

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