EnviroIngenuity brings energy efficient vertical farming process and locally grown food to Laguna Beach
Alegría Farm in Laguna Canyon is Orange County's First Hydroponic Vertical Farm; employs Verti-Gro® Systems
Laguna Beach, CA (August 20, 2012) Local entrepreneur Erik Cutter has bought the farm – literally. EnviroIngenuity today announced the phase one completion of Alegría Farm, Orange County’s first hydroponic vertical farm. Engaged in the promotion of sustainable technologies, EnviroIngenuity has brought a new farming system to the west coast.
It wasn’t enough for Cutter to develop and sell a successful automotive design company, publish Baja Life Magazine for 15 years, operate a marketing and web design firm, and sell high-end resort properties. This Laguna Beach-based entrepreneur turned his latest hobby – growing food – into his latest venture.
Alegría Farm is located on ¼ acre in Laguna Canyon. Today, more than 7,000 plants are growing in 120 vertical towers producing an exotic tasting variety of leafy greens, medicinal herbs and heirloom vegetables. And the farm is still expanding.
Alegría Farm utilizes the Verti-Gro® hydroponic system, a futuristic farming technique featured at the Epcot® theme park at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida for last 16 years. The commercial system uses stacked pots with nutrients and water automatically dripped through the plant’s root system. Plants grow using 90 percent less water, 50 percent less fertilizer, 70 percent less land and zero toxic pesticides – all while delivering 10 times the yield of traditional natural, nutrient-dense farming.
Hydroponic farming is soilless and utilizes coconut fiber instead of natural, nutrient-dense soil, which virtually eliminates pesticide usage to produce stronger plants that are substantially more nutrient-rich.
“We have nicknamed Alegría Farm ‘the farmacy’ because – aside from being delicious - the raw, natural food we are growing is super rich in enzymes, nutrients and phytochemicals. Dense nutrients remain intact in our food when it is consumed close to the time it is harvested. The high-yield, non-toxic nature of the Verti-Gro® system makes it easy to farm within the city limits so we can deliver the freshest produce possible. Our short delivery time has resulted in our new phrase, “Farm to Table…in Minutes,” said Cutter. With an education in biochemistry and oncology and an avid researcher of health and nutrition, Cutter hopes to alter the way food is perceived and teach people how important it is to know where your food comes from.
“If you agree with Hippocrates, ‘Let thy food be thy medicine’, then let Alegría Farm be your Farmacy,” says Cutter.
In addition to creating access to locally-grown, highly nutritious, pesticide-free greens and vegetables, Alegría Farm is creating jobs for young people through its subscriber- based produce delivery service, Alegría Fresh.
“Instead of a paper route, we will hire young people to handle our produce route,” said Cutter. "Subscribers to our home delivery produce route will receive a beautifully arranged bouquet of produce once, twice or three times each week," Cutter said. "Picked fresh the same day, these bouquets provide nature's most powerful bioavailable vitamins, minerals, enzymes and disease-fighting phytonutrients."
The company is currently seeking applicants for its produce route.
"Orange County has transformed from an agricultural to a dense urban mecca, so far less space is available to farmers making vertical farming a great solution to increase access to healthy food and reduce impact on the environment," Cutter added.
EnviroIngenuity was founded in 2009 by Erik Cutter. The company is comprised of forward-thinking professionals, whose goal is to take advantage of the growing demand for more efficient, cost effective sustainable energy solutions, employing solar PV, hi-efficiency LED lighting, green building and hydroponic vertical food production technologies, the latest venture being the development of the Alegría Farm. EnviroIngenuity’s mission is "advancingreenergy" and reducing waste, thus better utilizing limited natural resources. As we invest in a lower carbon future, the EnviroIngenuity team is focused on helping organizations move forward to deploy sustainable energy solutions using disruptive technologies. www.EnviroIngenuity.com