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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Ecopia Farms Launches Home Delivery, Brings Organic, Restaurant-Quality Greens Year-Round

Posted By on Thu, Sep 6, 2012 at 11:30 AM

click to enlarge Artisan farming at Ecopia Farms - ECOPIA FARMS
  • Ecopia Farms
  • Artisan farming at Ecopia Farms

Ecopia Farms, supplier of organic, artisanal greens and microgreens to restaurants like Michael Mina, Flour + Water, Wayfare Tavern and The Slanted Door, recently launched EcopiaDirect, its home delivery service. Now Bay Area consumers can sign up for a weekly pickup or delivery of salad greens including Red Romaine or Summer Crisp; baby greens including arugula and kale; and "petit" microgreens including pea shoots, chard and fresh, intensely flavored herbs. And not only do consumers get to enjoy same greens as popular San Francisco chefs, but they also get early access to a new form of organic farming.

Ecopia Farms, located in Campbell, CA, is a totally indoor, urban farming operation that uses a proprietary growing method to produce fully organic and flavorful greens. But Ecopia grows year-round and uses 97% less water than traditional farms. The farm also claims it can produce more crops in a 12,000 square foot facility than 60 acres of open farmland. Founded by high-tech veterans from companies like Solectron and Lockheed, Ecopia Farms' goal is to create a whole new way to produce superior and sustainable produce. In the words of founder Ko Nishimura, "We see an opportunity to grow pristine produce from an urban farm in a way that minimizes water and reuses existing warehouse space. Our process is truly sustainable. We expect to roll-out our farms across America and throughout the world."

click to enlarge Edible flower mix from Ecopia Farms - ECOPIA FARMS
  • Ecopia Farms
  • Edible flower mix from Ecopia Farms

While much of Ecopia's process is still secret, they do use natural non-GMO seeds, organic soil and LED lights in a climate-controlled warehouse to grow their crops. And while the farming process is new, California Certified Organic Farms (CCOF) certifies Ecopia's crops USDA organic. And in a time where many look to GMO-based foods to feed an ever-growing population, Ecopia's technology suggests there are ways to leverage cutting-edge technology to feed the planet and still embrace organic, sustainable farming methods.

The team at Ecopia is proud of their top quality produce and the resources they save. They view technology as the way to make it happen. And their current client roster of over 30 bay area restaurants suggests that the greens do stand up on their own. Michael Mina even has a pilot project to grow microgreens with Ecopia technology on-site at his restaurants. Mina says, "What I find fun with Ecopia Farms is that it's like the first time I got truffles from Australia in the summer. Ecopia Farms has all these new flavor possibilities all year round. And I am getting them fresh, literally harvested that day."

Ecopia Direct provides delivery and/or pickup service in San Francisco, the Peninsula and South Bay. Browse the current offerings and sign up on their website.

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Stewart Putney

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