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September 18, 2020

Little Leaf doubles hydroponic growing capacity in Devens

Photo | Grant Welker Paul Sellew, co-founder and CEO of Little Leaf Farms

Little Leaf Farms in Devens has doubled its greenhouse growing capacity to 10 acres, allowing the hydroponic greens manufacturer to produce more than 2 million packages of lettuce each month, the company announced on Wednesday.

“It’s been a long time coming, but we have been outselling our competitors in all the major supermarkets for years,” said Paul Sellew, founder and CEO of Little Leaf Farms, in a statement.

Separately, Little Leaf also announced a 180-acre land purchase in McAdoo, Pennsylvania, where it plans to build a greenhouse to aid in lettuce distribution down the East Coast, as well as plans to build a greenhouse in North Carolina. Bank of America has supplied funding for this expansion, according to Little Leaf.

Little Leaf, which grows its lettuce under glass and without pesticides, herbicides or fungicides, using sunlight and captured rainwater, positioned its ongoing expansions as important in the face of droughts, wildfires and climate change impacting growing operations in the western United States.

“The East Coast is accustomed to lettuce that loses its freshness every mile it travels from the West Coast, and whether it’s the problem of COVID-19, soil erosion, wildfires, or drought, the West Coast is no longer a reliable source of fresh produce,” Sellew said.

Little Leaf is part of the country’s critical infrastructure, Sellew added, noting the coronavirus pandemic has underscored the need for strong local food systems in order to improve community resilience. 

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