Project Description

Early in summer 2021, we began providing technical support work for Superior Fresh.  Superior Fresh is one of the largest aquaponic growers in the USA.  They produce leafy greens, on the greenhouse side, and Atlantic Salmon, on the fish grow out side.  Their operation is certified organic and is powered by the mantra, “Save the planet. Feed the world.”

We were hired by Superior Fresh to work on the greenhouse side of their operation, due, in part, to our 10+ years of experience working with large scale outdoor organically certified growers, plus our extensive experience in the formulation and manufacture of soil & plant health solutions for our outdoor grower clients.

The initial work involved assisting the greenhouse team in the identification of ways to grow healthier leafy greens, within the context of their organic certification.  One of the benefits of bringing in an outsider is to provide a fresh set of eyes and get the ‘why?’ questions asked.  Mike serves as that “whys guy.”

During the summer months, we assisted the Superior Fresh greenhouse team in aligning their terminology within the context of their HACCP/Food Safety program. Thus, ways to grow healthier leafy greens can be categorized into either a physical, chemical, or biological approach. Having a common lexicon among the different departments improves communication.

As an organization Superior Fresh welcomes and supports our ingredients-based focus when working with the greenhouse team.  They realize that if you want to build a learning organization, then you have to provide space & time for employees to learn and grow, plus a coach, or guide, to facilitate the learning process.

Part of the process of improving systems is getting into the details.  An area that is full of details is choosing which USDA NOP compliant inputs to use to improve the health of the plants.  As a formulator of inputs (i.e., a cook with a lab coat), I saw this as an opportunity to work with the greenhouse team regarding the ingredients that are used to make inputs, rather than the inputs themselves.  Getting into this level of detail is empowering and exciting for the team. To be able to make rather than just purchase a product creates the space for learning and innovation within Superior Fresh.

Check out more of their amazing operation.