Iycee Charles de Gaulle Summary Located the country. The farm distributes their

Located the country. The farm distributes their

Located in Loudon, New Hampshire, L?f Farm is a 75,000 square-foot 100% hydroponic greenhouse.  All L?f produce is grown in the heart of New
England, on the family-run hydroponic farm, previously known as Pleasant View
Farm.  The company views New Hampshire,
Rhode Island, Vermont, Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut, and New York as their
neighbors.  The close proximity
eliminates the wasted fuel, energy, and time required to truck greens in from
the other side of the country.  The farm distributes their products to grocers,
institutions, food services and consumers with fresh, tasty and healthy mixed
greens from the other side of town, not the other side of the country.  Over 95% of salad greens we all eat
come from California, Arizona, or Mexico. This means your greens spend up to
seven days in a truck before they get to your store and then to your plate.  Since fresh greens aren’t really fresh unless
they’re eaten right after they’re harvested, L?f
Farm strives to get their greens into your hands within 24 hours of when
they’ve been picked.  L?f farm is 100% hydroponic,
which translates to enhanced food safety, consistent high quality, and a more
sustainable growing environment. “Every
delivery of L?f greens eliminates a 3,000-mile truck journey from the West
Coast which means less pollution, less fuel consumption, and fresher flavor.”  The design of L?f
farms is to efficiently produce a large amount of greens in a small space,
which makes New England less dependent on those lengthy road trips for healthy,
delicious greens.  Additionally, when you
buy L?f salad greens it supports the local economy and food supply chain by
relying on local resources.

The production of lettuce in a greenhouse requires precise and advanced
technology adopted by the Green Automation, a Finland-based company that had
developed two growing systems. These systems include: The Living Lettuce System
for growing lettuce heads, living lettuces and larger herbs; and the Baby Leaf
Lettuce System for growing baby leaf plants such as leaf lettuce, pac-choi
mustard green, red and green kale, and arugula. 
The two systems are designed to maximize efficiency in leafy greens
production by using every inch of space for growing, bringing in high yields
per square foot using a gutter system. The Green Automation systems can be
automated from medium filling and seeding to harvesting and packaging. The
growing lettuce is moved automatically through the greenhouse with both
systems. The main differences lie in gutter widths, the seeding, and the
transplanting process. The systems both address the three major challenges for
indoor farming: energy efficiency, space efficiency, and labor efficiency.  The biggest benefits of these systems,
according to Borenius, is the ability to operate a facility with a small number
of people and keep input costs low.   L?f Farms is able to produce up to 15 varieties of
lettuce and other greens with two days in germination and an average of two
weeks in the light before the greens are harvested. The entire greenhouse
encompasses 75,000 square feet of lighted facility, with a 60-foot by 160-foot
germination area underneath. Everything within the germination area moves
automatically up into the greenhouse after the process is complete.  Grandmaison states, “The faster and more efficiently we can produce greens with less human
contact, the more greens we can produce per square foot that are healthy and
have a great chance to be clean and free of foodborne illnesses. Eliminating
hands on the crop reduces the risk of foodborne illness significantly, which
means we can then hone our system and keep our team focused and fine-tuned.”

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L?f Farms invested in a concept that helps the company
mix, blend, and package in a walk-in cooler. 
Packaging is done using an open-box design to efficiently remove the
heat, with special plastic film laminates that are laser perforated to allow
air exchange without losing moisture.  By harvesting the greens in a cooler at 35°F,
it rapidly removes heat and locks in the fresh taste, increases post-harvest
performance, extends shelf life, and preserves the deliciousness.  When L?f Farms
completes this process, the consumer gains 15 more days to use the product,
which translates to less food waste and more confidence from the customers that
are getting a higher quality product.

L?f Farms presently has two primary customer bases,
local supermarket chains and restaurant/foodservice operations.  The
farm is looking for companies’ that are accustomed to working with local growers
and developing programs around those growers.  The
farm-to-table movement is especially strong in New Hampshire, and the goal at L?f
Farms, according to Grandmaison, is to “position
its salad mixes as unique in comparison to what a consumer can buy from California
or even other suppliers in the Northeast.”  The farm grows food year-round which means
you can rely on the greens to be as delicious in January as they are in July.  There is often
both a higher standard and a higher cost attached to locally grown produce,
which means consumer education is critical. 
“We’ve done well at educating our
distributors and retail partners. By highlighting what makes our farm
different, we can focus on value rather than price,” Grandmaison says. “For years we have come to learn that food
should be cheap, especially salad greens. But the market wants something
different, something healthy, nutritious, and most importantly, grown nearby.

More and more people are willing to invest in that.”  L?f Farms uses their sister company Pleasant
View, for their distribution purposes.

L?f Farms is establishing an online presence with the
launch of its new website, Lef-Farms.com.  The new site displays clean, modern look that
gives customers all the information they need from bite-size portions, short
news items to where to find L?f greens, quick summaries about each
product.  Customers can also learn the
benefits of hydroponic farming, while gaining a better understanding of what it
means to be “farm to table.” The website also provides a summary of the key
staff members at the facility that keeps the Farm moving forward.  The site’s produce section introduces the
unique blends L?f Farm has to offer. Smooth, a blend of leaf lettuce, pac choi,
mizuna, and oakleaf. Spice, a blend of arugula, mustard, cressida, mizuna, and
leaf lettuce. Balance, a blend of slightly sweet and delicate red and green