Here at Giant Eagle, we remain committed to buying and selling locally grown, sustainably farmed produce, meat and seafood. The best way to ensure our vendors are just as committed to sustainability as we are is to go right to the source. This time we visited Great Lakes Growers in Burton, Ohio. Founded in 2011 by John Bonner and Tim Ryan, Great Lakes Growers uses a state-of-the-art hydroponic growing facility and have spent the last eight years perfecting their vision of healthier, cleaner living through fresh, local produce.
If you thought plants need soil to thrive, you thought wrong! Great Lakes Growers uses hydroponics to grow their lettuce and herbs, which means absolutely no dirt is needed. Instead, they use a special porous growing media into which they deliver all the nutrients a plant needs through water. This ensures all their produce is as clean as humanly possible. Additionally, Hydroponic farming makes plants grow 25% faster than soil farming. So their greenhouse can create more clean-grown produce, in less time.
With stories about contamination of romaine and other lettuce that have been in the news, it’s more important than ever to be vigilant when it comes to food safety. Great Lakes Growers uses a hydroponic, closed and contained greenhouse that almost completely eliminates contamination risks from organic fertilizer, water runoff and accidental human contamination.