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Hydroponic vegetable farm coming to Columbia

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Charleston-based Vertical Roots is expanding its controlled hydroponic farm for leafy greens to Columbia.

The company repurposes shipping containers to create an indoor, fully automated farm featuring soil-less hydroponic systems and LED lighting that produces fresh vegetables year-round, according to a news release.

The first Vertical Roots farm is set to arrive in Columbia this week at a facility at Wholesale Lane on the campus of the S.C. State Farmers Market.

“Vertical Roots brings a fresh, innovative approach to farming, and I’m excited to welcome them to the State Farmers Market campus in Columbia,” S.C. Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers said. “These new farmsites expand our state’s sustainable agribusiness offerings and deliver even more local produce for South Carolinians.”

The company said it can deliver fresh produce to retail shelves within one to two days from harvest. Its climate-controlled pods use 98% less water than traditional farming methods, the release said, increasing yield while decreasing waste.

“Vertical Roots is revolutionizing the way communities grow, distribute and consume food,” said Andrew Hare, general manager and co-founder of Vertical Roots. “We are thrilled to bring our products to Columbia and look forward to giving back to the community through donations, building local partnerships and offering sustainable jobs for local farmers.''

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