Square Roots farmers grow crops in 10 steel shipping containers converted into hydroponic farms. Square Roots aims to expand to 20 metropolitan areas by 2020.
By Eric Girard
Square Roots raised seed financing to build the campus, which cost more than $100,000. Then, 10 young farmers were chosen from more than 500 applicants for a yearlong stint that started in November.
One of them is Electra Jarvis, 27, an Alphabet City resident who grows kale, mustard greens, and Salanova lettuce and is working on cilantro.
“At farmers markets, people are always impressed with the shelf-life and the taste,” said Jarvis, who had been a master’s student in sustainable environmental systems at Pratt Institute and interned with a hydroponic research and development company and an urban farming consulting firm.
The farmers work about 30 hours per week, splitting their time between working on the crops and sales, Peggs said.
“They build a big network of mentors and learn how to build a sustainable business,” said Peggs, whose background is in technology. “Then they are in an incredible position to go off on their own entrepreneurial journey.”