Located in Spring Grove Village, an indoor, urban farm produces pesticide-free crops that are not only better for you but better for the planet, too!
Cincy Chic: What is 80 Acres Farms?
Beca Haders, VP of Creative Marketing at 80 Acres Farms: We are an indoor, urban farm located in Spring Grove Village. Our mission is to provide the most flavorful, nutritious, clean and local food to our communities. We grow food where the people are, using far less resources and nearly eliminating food miles. Our crops are free from pesticides and GMOs, picked and delivered within days, not weeks.
Cincy Chic: What’s the inspiration behind the farm?
Haders: We are growing food that is better for you and better for the planet. We harvest our crops at their peak, when they are the most flavorful, aromatic and nutritious. We only deliver our produce locally, so you can know that it is fresh. We grow in a clean environment, without any pesticides, which can contribute to poisoning our soils and waterways, as well as our bodies. We grow hydroponically, in a closed-loop system, using 95% less water than a conventional farm. Plants only take up what they need and the rest is recirculated in the system.To reduce our carbon footprint, we strive to use primary renewable energy sources and travel less miles with our food. The average food on our plates travels over 1,500 miles. Our produce takes a short drive to the local market or restaurant, maybe even a shorter commute that yours.
Cincy Chic: Who’s behind the Cincinnati 80 Acres Farms?
Haders: Our founders, Mike Zelkind, CEO, and Tisha Livingston, President, formed this company nearly two years ago.They have worked closely over many years in the food business while running large and small companies. They wanted to start something that would make a difference in our own community, to provide affordable, fresh, local food in “food deserts.” Their passion for creating a better food supply solution developed into 80 Acres Farms.They met many farmers and understood the importance of local food. It’s good for the people and it’s good for our economy.
Cincy Chic: What makes 80 Acres Farms unique?
Haders: We grow the tastiest produce anywhere! We are growing where the people are, in a small amount of land, with a yield 100 times greater than a traditional farm. We are growing heirloom varieties, full of color and flavor, unlike most food grown today, that is bred to withstand unpredictable weather patterns and transportation.
Cincy Chic: What foods do you currently grow?
Haders: Today, we grow:
- Microgreens – (highly nutritious baby plants) – like arugula, peas, dijon mustard
- Leafy greens – like kale, gourmet lettuces, chard
- Culinary herbs – like basil, mint, dill
- Vine Crops – like tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, eggplants
We are also experimenting with various other crops, like strawberries.
Cincy Chic: Is there anything new on the horizon for the farm?
Haders: As our team grows, so do our farms. We have an R&D facility in Daphne, Alabama, where we test new crops and growing techniques. We have an engineering facility in Granite Falls, North Carolina, where we manufacture our growing technology. Our newest farm is in Springdale, Arkansas, where we are focusing on vine crops, like strawberries. We also have plans to open a new farm in downtown Hamilton, Ohio.
Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more, shop your produce, and follow along?
Haders: You can find our produce at Dorothy Lane Markets in Dayton (all three locations), Clifton Market, Jungle Jim’s Market in Fairfield and Eastgate, to name a few. Look for us soon at Whole Foods! Visit our website at 80acresfarms.com, like us on Facebook, and follow along on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.