LAKEWOOD, COLO. — 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 the retailer’s Green Mountain store in Lakewood, grows an array of organic leafy greens that travel just 82 steps from hydroponic garden to customer. GardenBox delivers a trifecta of value to customers: living produce with roots intact for a longer shelf life and better flavor, certified organic by Where Food Comes From Organic (WFCFO), and the Clean Hydroponic Produce seal—at Natural Grocers' Always Affordable prices.
A variety of GardenBox lettuces such as Hampton, Brentwood, Alkindus, Tropicana, Muir, Marciano, and Truchas will be sold at the Green Mountain (Lakewood, CO) store beginning July 7, 2021. All GardenBox greens will be priced at $1.99 per head.
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. The GardenBox hydroponic process uses significantly less water than outdoor agricultural methods. Nutrient-rich water trickles across the roots throughout the growing process and can be adjusted as needed. Living produce is harvested daily, walked from the garden to the produce aisle.
This allows Natural Grocers to offer customers varieties of leafy greens not typically found in other grocery stores. GardenBox's Rooted in Fresh quality means the roots remain intact so that they stay fresh and crisp longer and some products may get even sweeter when roots are kept in water after harvesting.
"Natural Grocers has been committed to selling fresh, 100% organic produce from day one as a way for us to support our communities and our planet," said Kemper Isely, co-president of Natural Grocers. "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."