Know Our Grower: LaBore Farms

Located in Faribault, Minn., LaBore Farms was founded by Michelle Glinski in 2004. In a greenhouse, Michelle can grow hydroponic lettuce, mixed greens and cress year-round without the use of pesticides. LaBore Farms was the featured Know Our Grower, May 1-21. Demo: Saturday, May 11


Grower: Michelle Glinski

1. When did you begin farming and what inspired you to pursue farming as a profession?
I began farming in 2004. I became interested in hydroponics (or sCEA: soilless controlled environment agriculture) while studying plant biology at UW River Falls, but had to wait for several years after graduation to pursue it. During that time, I worked as an analytical chemist, a K-9 officer, and for the USDA. It wasn't until I was working for the USDA that I really began pursuing the idea of hydroponics as an occupation. I attended my first hydroponic conference and I was hooked.

2. Why did you choose hydroponics over other growing methods?
I choose hydroponics because to me that is the future of agriculture production here in the Midwest. If we want to be able to provide clean produce for ourselves in the Midwest year-round, hydroponics seem to be the answer.

3. What distinguishes hydroponic produce from its soil-grown equivalent?
Hydroponics allows a grower to continuously grow crop after crop in a controlled environment without worrying about soil conditions or the temperature outside. In a good year, I can get up to 14 crop rotations in my greenhouse, while the average outside soil grower can only get a couple. I can also tailor my fertilizer mixture to my crop so there is never an excess of fertilizer being wasted to the outside.

4. What is your favorite way to enjoy your own produce?
I enjoy diced apples, a nice goat cheese, pecans and a light balsamic dressing with my romaine or arugula.