growing under glass: from seed to harvest at green city growers

green_city_growers_224.jpgBob Perkoski

Green City Growers Cooperative is a for-profit, worker-owned company that operates under the umbrella of parent company Evergreen Cooperatives. From a 3.25-acre hydroponic greenhouse in the Central neighborhood of Cleveland, the company grows and sells a staggering three million heads of lettuce and another 300,000 pounds of herbs per year. All of those products are sold locally, to grocery stores and food service companies within a 50-mile radius.

Without Green City, that money would otherwise travel out of state to growers in California or Mexico.

Green City's 25 employees (which will soon number 42) all are in line to become owners of the cooperative. Employees own 80 percent of the company, with a holding company owning the remaining 20 percent of the equity. The employees are residents of Greater University Circle, living in the Cleveland neighborhoods of Buckeye-Shaker, Central, East Cleveland, Fairfax, Glenville, Hough, Kinsman, and Woodland Hills.

Crops grow in shallow pools of nutrient-rich water. The seeds are planted and germinate in the propagation room and are then transplanted to foam flats. The flats float on the nutrient-rich water starting at one end of the facility and slowly make their way to the other end. By the time they get there, they will be ready to harvest.

Photos Bob Perkoski

Bob Perkoski
Bob Perkoski

About the Author: Bob Perkoski

In addition to his work for Fresh Water, Bob Perkoski is the official photographer for LAND studio and Cleveland Burlesque. He recently published a book of his photos Rust Belt Burlesque. He's had work published in other books like LGBTQ Cleveland by Ken Schneck, Rust Belt Chic: The Cleveland AnthologyRust Belt Chic: The Pittsburgh Anthology and Moon Cleveland by Douglas Trattner. Previously he was co-founder/art director for Balanced Living Magazine. His substantial portfolio includes news coverage, portraiture, commercial imagery and fine art. Perkoski's first solo show, These Walks of Life premiered in December 2016 in Negative Space Gallery. Visit Perkoski Photography for complete profile information.
Originally from Conneaut, Ohio, Perkoski now lives close to the city in Parma. He has been Fresh Water's managing photographer since the publication's September 2010 inception.