July/August 2022 - 14

" The way we're growing, the plants get all
their nutrients from the growing ponds,
only taking what they need through the
roots, so there's no waste or runoff. All
the water we use, other than cleaning and
sanitizing, leaves the facility in the form
of a plant. It only takes one pint of water
to grow a tub of our lettuce compared to
up to 12 gallons in open field production. "
Factors beyond agronomic practices,
including an experienced grower team,
are important for successful indoor
" The biggest thing is having someone
with experience who has grown the
product but also knows how to get it to
your customers, " said Krieg.
Planning for success
Knowing what your customers want
and being able to supply them with a
large enough product assortment can
capture a buyers' attention and make
it worthwhile for them. That can be a
challenge for smaller operations or ones
focused on one or two core items. As
some growers in the past constructed
growing systems around growing one
particular type of item. Today, growers
should research what their potential
customers want, estimate demand and
consider the most beneficial items they
can produce.
In developing their plans, growers
should assemble a total plan on what
they wish to grow, where they will grow
it, who their customers will be and how
they will transport it to the market.
" Others that have failed or aren't doing
as well may have had one or two pieces of
the puzzles. We feel we have all the pieces
of the puzzle, " said Krieg. " There's a lot of
new technology in this space. Some people
make the mistake thinking everything can
be done with a formula and a computer.
We're not growing widgets. We're growing
living and breathing organisms. "
Revol was founded in 2016 by Steve
Amundson, Marco De Bruin, Jay Johnson,
Brendon Krieg and Marc Vergeldt.
Four were involved in Bushel Boy, a
southern Minnesota greenhouse tomato
operation started by Johnson and growers
Amundson and De Bruin. Krieg was a
leafy greens buyer for 1,800 Target stores,
while Vergeldt later left to do global fruit
and vegetable crop consulting.
With growing demand for plant-based
foods, Krieg said he sees a bright future
for CEA and potential for other produce -
including berries - to be grown indoors.
A decade or two ago, most tomatoes
were grown in fields. Today, about 85%
are grown indoors. As 90% of leafy
greens consumed in the U.S. are grown
outdoors, Krieg said he foresees CEA
production taking a higher percentage
in the near future.
" CEA will be necessary in many
categories just to keep up with demand, "
said Krieg. " We will see exponential
growth for CEA production, especially
for leafy greens and lettuce. There are
obvious challenges to outdoor production.
CEA will never replace field-grown, but
it will continue to obviously be a major
part of the category. "
For Krieg, Revol's name certifies its
making a positive impact and changing
for the better the whole leafy greens
industry. " We truly want to revolutionize
the industry and make an impact on a
broader scale, " said Krieg.
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