Local Sprout: How a Small Hydroponic Farm Impacts the San Antonio Community in Big Ways

Posted by Amy Storey on January 17, 2015

Local Sprout is a unique farm.

What comes to your mind when you hear the phrase, "indoor farm?"

I bet it's not this. Local Sprout is a highly productive indoor farm located in San Antonio, Texas that's operated by Mitch Hagney and Sam Glickstein.

The small hydroponic farm is nestled inside of a freight container and utilizes every inch of space with productive vertical farming equipment.

local sprout container 2

Because Local Sprout uses every bit of space available to them and uses equipment that boosts plant health and productivity, they are able to grow one acre’s worth of crops in a tenth of that space.

That's 43,000 square feet in just 400 square feet! Pretty amazing, huh?

Local Sprout is a unique farm because of action-takers.

farmer wheel"I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul."

Not that we agree with William Ernest Henley on everything- but when it comes to starting a farm, the importance of initiative cannot be understated.

You are the master of your vision.

And vision requires action.

This is a long-held philosophy that we evangelize to all of our farmers- or anyone who wants to grow, for that matter.

A successful farm is never, ever run by arm-chair philosophers; agriculture has no place for you unless you make one.

Mitch and Sam are a great example of this: they take action to accomplish their vision, and they operate their business perfectly in sync with their values.

(Just check out their website and you’ll see what we mean.)

Local Sprout takes action all the time; they constantly grow.

local sprout new greenhouseLike other Upstart Farmers, Mitch and Sam are constantly working to improve the efficiency and sustainability of their farm. When you operate a farm such a dynamic phase in agricultural history, constant improvement is the life-vest that will keep you on top and thriving.

Local Sprout is currently pursuing more efficient cooling and heating options, and the partners just started growing in a greenhouse in addition to the original Freight Farm.

Local Sprout's growth gives back to a community.

The new greenhouse functions together with the San Antonio Food Bank- which is just a fraction of the impact that Mitch and Sam are having on the San Antonio community.

In fact, we've witnessed this phenomenon with most of our farmers, who farm on such a personal level that the farmers, the farms, and even the produce becomes intertwined with the community around them. Upstart Farmers are giving tours, teaching classes, donating produce, and inviting interaction on any level they can.

Local Sprout's growth also stems from a community.

In a Tedx talk that Mitch presented last year, Mitch talks about the exciting possibilities that are offered by new technologies and social changes, including the growing web of small farmers.

Local Sprout belongs to a group of vertical farmers, the Upstart Farmers, who are constantly growing and evolving towards better food and a brighter future.

As Mitch says, “in my opinion collaboration like this is the reason urban farming will continue to grow faster than most people expect.”

general-icons-13-blue"Hydroponic farmers have little to lose by working together," says Mitch in a 2013 Seedstock article, "because they are usually selling far apart, but they have much to gain by sharing their experiences. Even if a farmer knew everything there was to know about the current technology and science, the landscape changes so quickly that the only way to stay an expert is to connect with others to find out what they are learning."

Since then, Mitch has been connecting with other farmers on a number of different platforms.

Local Sprout is optimistic about the future of food. Are you?

If you want to be a part of this dynamic, industry-changing group, you can learn more about the Upstart Farmers by reading the manifesto or becoming one yourself through Upstart University.

(Not required: Experience. Required: An open mind and willingness to share ideas.)


Upstart Farmers

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Topics: Spotlights, Upstart Farmers

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