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Vertical Roots is a hydroponic container farm that doesn’t use soil, instead, they grow their vegetables in their closed-loop NFT (nutrient film technique) hydroponic systems. These systems use 95% less water to grow full heads of lettuce. It was started by Andrew Hare and Matt Daniels in 2015, and now their operations have expanded to provide leafy greens to restaurants, grocery stores, schools and universities, and more.
Without soil, Vertical Roots can’t sequester carbon through regenerative techniques, so they take climate action in other ways. Their efforts to reduce emissions include minimizing food waste, practicing responsible nutrient wastewater management, and advocating for more renewable energy sources. They will divert 150+ tons of waste from the landfill this year through community donations, recycling, and composting programs.They can also grow 7,000,000+ heads of lettuce on less than 5 acres of land between their two farms in Charleston, SC and Columbia, SC.