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February 2018

Hooked On Hydroponics

At The Local Deli, one of our (not so) secret ingredients is our sustainable greens grown right here in Northern Idaho! It’s easy enough for any old sandwich shop to buy some low-quality lettuce to hand you over the counter. I mean, at that point, couldn’t you have just done it yourself? We decided to fix this problem by enlisting an up and coming local company: Coeur Greens.

Founded by the visionary Tom McNabb, Coeur Sustainable Resources is shaping the future right here in the Coeur d’Alene area. While the company also invests in efficiently-powered data centers, clean water efforts, and groundbreaking solar technology, we’re really interested in the greens they’re growing for us and many other restaurants in the area.
Inside of a hydroponic indoor farm

How Does It Work?

Coeur Greens is unique in that their plants aren’t grown on acres of local farmland, but rather hydroponically in old train cars. Rows and rows of plants cover the walls, ceiling, and most of the floor. Instead of the normal plots of soil for the roots to grab all of the goodies, all of these leafy greens draw their nutrients from mineral-rich water run through the whole setup. Because of the close quarters Coeur Greens grows their plants in, each farming car can grow up to 2 acres worth of food!

Coeur d’Alene isn’t the only city catching on to the value of this kind of efficiency. Tom McNabb’s vision is shared by none other than Kimbal Musk in New York City. Though you’ve probably heard less about Kimbal than the car-launching yet somehow boring elder brother Elon Musk, that doesn’t make his work any less important. Co-founder of Square Roots, Kimbal looks to teach entrepreneurs around the country about the value of efficient and hydroponic urban farming. Square Roots’ major focus is on outreach and community, hoping to combat the important issues of food scarcity, overpopulation, and America’s awful diet.

I’m very excited for this technological movement as a whole. An America that does a majority of its urban farming in this efficient fashion is a future I’m down to be a part of. How great is it that Coeur d’Alene is in on the whole thing? Not to mention how fresh and healthy the plants are and that they’re grown right down the street. Gone are the days of your salads spending 10 hours on a truck and another 10 in a freezer. Check out our menu and taste the difference at The Local Deli.