A Growing Trend In Produce Farming Gives Back to Lowcountry Organizations – ABC News 4

A Growing Trend In Produce Farming Gives Back to Lowcountry Organizations – ABC News 4

ABC News 4 features Vertical Roots farm site on Daniel Island, SC.

“We can grow 3, 400 heads of lettuce at a time,” explained Wheat, Vertical Roots Director of community engagement. “They’re going to be harvested on the second of January.”

Twenty-four of these recycled shipping containers have been transformed into Hydroponic Lettuce Farms, making Vertical Roots one of the largest in the nation.

Vertical Roots 2019 Update: Southern Hospitality Goes Green

Vertical Roots 2019 Update: Southern Hospitality Goes Green

Vertical Roots was founded in the Lowcountry, by Lowcountry locals, for our Lowcountry neighbors. Our home is an ecological wonderland with pristine beaches, living wetlands, and old-growth forests. It happens to be a culinary wonderland too – and the story of our food culture is as much about people as it is about flavor.

As a startup born and raised in the culture of Southern hospitality, people and place are central to our everything we do. As we look back at 2019, we’re proud to report that we gave back to our community and environment – and had an awesome time doing it! 

Here’s what we were up to this year while growing the best lettuce around: 

Love for the Planet 

By the Numbers:

~14,000 … pounds of organic material converted to compost and healthy soil

~18 … tons of waste kept out of landfills and recycled for a new life

1500 … pounds of litter cleaned up from our local beaches, wetlands, and forests 

Our unique approach to farming enables us to conserve resources and dramatically cut down on greenhouse gas emissions normally involved in producing and transporting produce. For instance, in 2019 we saved 64 million gallons of water compared to conventional farms! But we don’t just want to reduce our impact, we want to proactively work to improve the health of the environment. 

To do that, we called on our friends and worked with like-minded organizations in the Lowcountry. Which leads us to –

Love for our Neighbors 

By the Numbers:

~300 team-member volunteer hours out in the community 

~200 events and tours to educate, assist, and collaborate with local farmers and leaders

~194,069 … pounds of lettuce donated to feeding programs

Conservation is a community affair. As much as we want to (and we really want to), we can’t save the world on our own. But as a group of farmers that are deeply integrated with our community, we are leveraging the power of many to build a vibrant future for our neighbors and a bright future for the food system more broadly. 

Want to jump on the bandwagon? Here are just a few local organizations that we volunteered with this year––click through and sign up! 

Thanks for sharing our excitement for good food and big change! We’re thankful to be making your dishes more delicious and better for Mother Earth, to boot. 


Your Local Lettuce Farmers

To stay up to date on our work, follow us on Instagram. And to learn more about the perks of hydroponic farming, check out these facts!

Support Local. Shop Local. Eat Local!

Support Local. Shop Local. Eat Local!

There are numerous benefits of eating local. 

One is the economic benefit of purchasing local; sales of local foods in the US have nearly doubled from $5 billion in 2008 to $11.7 billion in 2014. Research shows that for every dollar spent on locally-produced foods and their products, between $0.32 and $0.90 is returned to the local economy. Another benefit is the environmental impact of purchasing locally. Locally sourced food can also reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation due to the shorter distance the food travels. Consuming local foods may have added health benefits as well. Often, we are purchasing fresh fruits and vegetables from local producers and a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is linked to decreased risk of some forms of cancer and heart disease.

Want to know more about how you can support local year round? Hear from a local registered dietician and foodie, Stephanie Hodges, on her recommendations.

Indaco, GrowFood, and Vertical Roots Partnership

Indaco, GrowFood, and Vertical Roots Partnership

Take an inside look at how local food is distributed to local restaurants through Charleston’s GrowFood Carolina, Indaco Restaurant, and Vertical Roots.

“Since I moved here about a year and a half ago i was really really happy to find GrowFood. It’s kind of the main space to help connect all the farmers to all the local restaurants.”  – Chef Michael Holler, Incado