Project Description

Challenge

Green Winter FarmsA family of four in Palmer, Alaska spends $1,300 more on groceries each year than does the same-size Portland, Oregon family, according to the University of Alaska. This is because 98% of Alaska’s food is imported from out of state, per the Alaska Department of Natural Resources. Produce travels great distances to reach Alaskan consumers, running up fuel costs along the way.

Thanks in part to the Division of Agriculture’s “Alaska Grown” public awareness campaign, Alaskan consumers are increasingly seeking out locally grown crops, creating opportunities for community farmers.

Profit gains achieved through boosted sales are sustained because LumiGrow lights keep the farm’s power bills low – about 50% less than they’d be with conventional lighting.

To meet consumer demand, Alaskan farmers can extend their short growing season with conven- tional greenhouse lights. Unfortunately, growers find that the high electrical cost of operating these lights erodes their profit margins.

Solution

Green Winter Farms founder Crystal Boze sought a more economically and environmentally sound means of boosting crop yield. The USDA Farm Services Agency pointed her to energy-efficient LumiGrow LED fixtures, which operate with half the power of ordinary greenhouse lights.

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Rapid Implementation

After reviewing independent research and case studies, Crystal quickly installed 18 LumiGrow ES330 LED lights in a simple, yet futuristic-looking steel structure that she calls the “space station.”

Efficient Climate Control

Right from the start, Crystal observed that the LumiGrow LED lights simplify temperature regulation in the closed-system hydroponic farm. Crystal explains, “With hot-running conventional greenhouse lights, we’d be forced to take in outside air or blast an air conditioner, or even both, to keep the temperature at an acceptable level.”

Bottom Line Gains

Demand for Green Winter Farms’ pesticide-free produce is soaring. The farm, which previously sold basil at farmers’ markets, stepped up production to sell through Carr-Safeway grocery stores.

Quality Crop

Of course none of these benefits would count for much if the lights did not also grow abundantly healthy plants. Crystal reports that the LumiGrow solution, designed to emit a highly uniform, PAR-centric color spectrum, produces, “The bushiest basil I’ve grown.”