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FVA Butterhead Living Lettuce

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Large head of crunchy, strong leaves - great for using as wraps in lieu of tortillas, or tear up to use in salads, sandwiches, burgers, and more.

Hydroponically grown in Courtenay from Canadian non-GMO seeds. Delivered in a bag. If desired, you can keep the roots moist for longer storage.

Forest Valley Acres

First generation farmers Matt and Selena Lawrence knew they wanted an acreage and to raise their family on a farm, but securing land and water for a large-scale operation in the Comox Valley was not in the cards. However, after creating a viable farm business model, the couple were able to secure a mortgage and loan to buy a five-acre property in Courtenay and construct a hydroponic lettuce facility called Forest Valley Acres.

"We thought, what can we farm small-scale that is sustainable if we can only afford up to five acres of land? We couldn't have these massive cornfields and you know, water is very scarce on the Island. ... So, we decided a greenhouse was going to be our best bet," Selena says. 

With some help from Matt's parents, the couple now manage a fully operational Nutrient Film Technique hydroponic system in which nutrient-rich water continuously flows down the channels past exposed plant roots. Any unused solution is captured at the end of each channel, returned to the reservoir, remixed for nutrient balance and recirculated to the plants.

The system recycles up to 95% of the water, Lawrence says. Having the lettuce's live root ball attached extends its shelf life, to further reduce waste.

Other destinations for their lettuce include local schools and the Comox Valley Food Bank. Lawrence provides elementary students with fresh greens through the Salad Bar program. "We were having some product that didn't quite make the requirements for the grocery stores but was still like a very fine product, very edible. ... And I tried to figure out how to kind of get rid of that product and be able to provide somebody with lettuce instead of just having it in our little farm stand," Lawrence says. "It warms my heart as a mom being able to help these kids get some really fresh, local, clean produce."

Paraphrased from Country Life in BC article.

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