Columbia-area food suppliers adapt as restaurants sales drop

Columbia-area food suppliers adapt as restaurants sales drop

The Post and  Courier – Free Times highlights Vertical Roots farms in Charleston and Columbia, SC.

Charleston’s Vertical Roots, which has a growing site in West Columbia, saw an initial 30 to 40 percent retail sales spike but then saw that dip back to average sales, details Andrew Hare. The general manager and co-founder of the hydroponic projects that sales will stay stable next week and notes that restaurant sales are almost at zero.

Coping with Covid: Vertical Roots  – Charleston  Business Journal

Coping with Covid: Vertical Roots – Charleston Business Journal

Charleston Business speaks with Andrew Hare, GM of Vertical Roots.

“This virus, this pandemic, has not changed how we operate,” Hare said. “We abide by the highest level of food safety, and that’s not changing whether or not there’s a … virus spreading.”

Hare said he never wants it to come across that hydroponic farming is better than conventional farming — the two methods are just different. The most basic difference, he said, is that conventional farming is outdoors and susceptible to the effects of livestock and nature, while hydroponic farming at Vertical Roots is within a controlled environment.

Vertical Roots hits the road in their Lettuce LocalMotive, spreading the good word of hydroponics – Charleston City Paper

Vertical Roots hits the road in their Lettuce LocalMotive, spreading the good word of hydroponics – Charleston City Paper

Charleston City Paper features Vertical Roots farm site on Daniel Island, SC.

The technology of planting crops has revolutionized over the years.

The hydroponic growing system is simple — nutrient-filled water replaces traditional soil in order to grow the plant, and for the first time since we started tilling land, farmers can grow crops without the soil beneath their feet.

Hydroponic container grower Vertical Roots is taking one of their shipping container farms on the road — they’re hitting the streets with the Lettuce Localmotive, teaching people about the process of growing lettuce. They’ll be making stops at Publix and Greenwise Markets across the country. 

Rest Easy: Our Romaine Safety Statement

On Friday, November 22, 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a warning to consumers and retailers in response to an outbreak of E. Coli linked to romaine lettuce produced in Salinas, California.

We launched Vertical Roots to make sure that our friends and neighbors always have access to produce they can count on: produce that is safe, fresh, nutritious and locally grown. 

Our unique indoor hydroponic farming methods – coupled with our adherence to the highest safety standards in the industry – provide robust protection against pathogens so you can enjoy safe, worry-free, fresh produce any time. 

Here is how we ensure the safety of our products:

  • All of our produce is certified SC-grown, thousands of miles away from the affected, West Coast lettuce. Every one of our farmers has received vigorous training in globally recognized food safety standards, and every one of our plants is expertly inspected at harvest to guarantee safety and quality. From start to finish, we raise our lettuce with care and precision to bring you peace of mind.
  • We grow our produce in a soil-free, closed-loop environment, which helps to protect our plants from harmful pathogens like E.Coli that are often found in soil and runoff from industrial animal farms. Our water is monitored closely and our plants are grown in a blend of natural coconut fiber that does not contain animal waste and the bacteria that comes with it. 

We exist to bring you safe, health-promoting produce straight from the Southeast. With our dedication to transparency and quality, you can rest easy knowing that all of our leafy greens, Romaine included, are a safe bet.