Wolf Wesle and Karen Dow stand amidst the lush greenery growing in a hydroponic vegetable garden in Salmon Arm’s Westgate Public Market. (Jodi Brak/Salmon Arm Observer)

Wolf Wesle and Karen Dow stand amidst the lush greenery growing in a hydroponic vegetable garden in Salmon Arm’s Westgate Public Market. (Jodi Brak/Salmon Arm Observer)

Shuswap business to provide fresh greens year round

Salmon Arm growers offer hydroponic test market to help develop signature salad mix

Salad lovers will be able to access locally grown greens and microgreens year round in Salmon Arm, thanks to Living Leaf Growers.

Located at Westgate Public Market, co-owner Karen Dow says the company has been working on developing a commercial hydroponic system for two years under the direction of Wolf Wesle of Green Croft Gardens organic farm in Enderby.

While the produce will not be certified organic, Dow says it is as good as organic.

“It’s all done in water, no chemicals; it’s grown with just nutrients,” she says. “We are testing different types of nutrients as some are better than others.”

The produce will be grown in racks that go 24 feet high, consisting of seven rows, in four different sections. At the moment, Living Leaf is running about 25 per cent of the system but planning to be up to 50 per cent soon.

“We have eight different lettuce types that feed into a salad mix and we want to test different combinations of colours, types, textures and tastes,” she says. “We want to come up with their own best seller and we need help to do that.”

For the next two or three months while production ramps up, Living Leaf will prepare sample mixes of lettuce and invite a test group to buy a bag of salad or microgreens for $1 and provide feedback on how long it lasts in the fridge, texture and taste.

Related: Two Shuswap businesses get federal research funds

As well as lettuce and microgreens, Living Leaf is planning to grow strawberries and probably cherry tomatoes.

Microgreens are a vegetable green, harvested after sprouting as shoots, that are used as a component or ingredient to enhance the attractiveness and taste of dishes with their delicate textures and distinctive flavours.

“We have the capacity to grow 28,000 heads of lettuce a month and 700 strawberry plants and I don’t know what the numbers are, but we can grow a lot of microgreens year round,” says Dow. “Lettuce, mixed salad lettuce and strawberries will be available all year round, but the strawberries won’t be available until next spring.”

Dow says the first batch of lettuce will be harvested on Dec. 17, with lots more becoming available in January and February.

To join the test market and register for the lettuce and microgreen program, go online to www.westgatepublicmarket.com, click on the Living Leaf Growers page and fill out the registration form.

“When we have lettuce and/or microgreens available, we will notify you by email to come in and pick up your bag,” Dow says, noting people may only buy one bag at a time and will be required to fill out a questionnaire before they can buy more.


@SalmonArm
barb.brouwer@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Oliver
A couple more South Okanagan schools with COVID-19 exposures

Penticton Christian School adds more exposure days, Oliver Elementary new on the list

Windsurfers enjoying a windstorm on Skaha Lake in Penticton on March 28, 2021. (Sandy Steck Photography)
Wind warning issued for Okanagan Valley

Boaters are being warned of gusts up to 70 km/h by late afternoon on Sunday

This is what’s left of a truck that caught fire at Pyramid provincial park off Highway 97 Saturday night. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
PHOTOS: Truck gutted by fire at Pyramid Provincial Park, trees saved

Just a metal shell of what once was a pick up truck is left at the scene

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (pxfuel.com)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

Linda Sanky photo
Vehicle fire spreads to trees at Penticton beach spot

The fire is at Pyramid beach, off Highway 97 between Summerland and Penticton

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

A North Okanagan man in his late 20s was flown to hospital by air ambulance Saturday, April 17, shortly after 6:30 p.m. after allegedly crashing on his longboard on a Spallumcheen roadway. (File photo)
Suspected longboard crash in Okanagan sends individual to hospital via air ambulance

Accident involved a North Okanagan man in his late 20s on Otter Lake Road in Spallumcheen

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday December 8, 2020 in Ottawa. The stage is set for arguably the most important federal budget in recent memory, as the Liberal government prepares to unveil its plan for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery even as a third wave of COVID-19 rages across the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Election reticence expected to temper political battle over federal budget

Opposition parties have laid out their own demands in the weeks leading up to the budget

A Kelowna Pride Festival 2019 participant holds up a flag. (Kelowna Pride Society)
Kelowna Pride, RCMP continue to work on ‘Safe Place Program’

A new committee has been formed to refine the ‘Safe Place Program’ created by the Kelowna RCMP

Coldstream Fire Department crews stationed at Kal Lake Provincial Park parking lot on Cosens Bay Road on Sunday, April 18, after a car went over a cliff in the area. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
Driver escapes after car goes over North Okanagan cliff

The driver has been transported to hospital with unspecified injuries

A strange odour at a West Kelowna apartment building prompted the evacuation of 150 residents on Sunday morning, April 18. (Aaron Hemens - Capital News)
Strange smell at West Kelowna apartment prompts evacuation of 150 residents, pets

150 residents ordered evacuated from a West Kelowna apartment building early Sunday morning

Vernon Vipers goalie Roan Clarke celebrates his team’s 3-2 B.C. Hockey League pod play shootout win over the Salmon Arm Silverbacks Saturday, April 17, at Kal Tire Place. (Lisa Mazurek - Vernon Vipers Photography)
Vernon Vipers use shootout to subdue Salmon Arm

Snakes score 3-2 B.C. Hockey League pod play win at Kal Tire Place

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to open up COVID vaccine registration to all B.C. residents 18+ in April

Registration does not equate to being able to book an appointment

Most Read