February 2022 - 7

EDIBLE
In March 2020, dealing with the
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
innovation, not only on the grower's side,
but also in packaging. It's more than just
growing more with less. "
Organic expertise
Edible Garden is fully USDA Certified
Organic. It works to ensure everything it
uses is approved by the Organic Materials
Review Institute, said Kras.
" We have the highest level of
certification, not only from an organics
standpoint, but also from a non-GMO
standpoint, " he said.
Growers of hydroponics, aquaponics
and aeroponics benefited from USDA
rules allowing organic certification.
" The consumer has more selection, "
said Kras. " Consumers are able to have
additional confidence in the quality
standards. The consumer wants more
organically certified products, so they
receive a certain level of comfort in what
they're purchasing. Ultimately, it's the
consumer who benefits. "
In all of its operations, Edible Garden produces crops on hundreds of thousands of
square feet of greenhouses.
this is done by the major CPGs (consumer
packaged goods) companies because
the devil is in the inventory, the devil is
throwing out perfectly good plants because
the supplier didn't anticipate a buyer. "
Challenges indoors
Despite crops being grown in protected
environments, production challenges,
though not as numerous as field growing,
remain. Hail storms, which can destroy
glass roofs, are one of the biggest threats.
Heat, which can flex and crack the glass,
is another. Gears in motors that open and
close glass can wear out. Energy - the cost
to heat and power an operation - is the
biggest greenhouse cost.
Though Edible Garden's closed-loop
Edible Garden is a producer of organic
greens, lettuces and herbs.
Edible Garden provides its partner farms
advice and support, particularly newer
growers, to show what Edible Garden's
staff has learned about what to do and not
to do, and how to get in front of potential
problems.
" It's always about what you don't see that
can get you, " said Kras.
Edible Garden uses its patented
GreenThumb app technology, developed in
2020, to optimize greenhouse production
and map inventory, retailer demand
versus supply, as well as waste and other
factors. The software adjusts how Edible
Garden grows crops and works with
automated environmental controls, which
allows workers to ensure tight production
controls via phones and tablets. The
technology is greenhouse format agnostic
and works with traditional greenhouses as
well as vertical grows.
" Greenhouses were kind of untapped
as it relates to telling the story of
sustainability, " said Kras. " It's incredible
how quickly this has accelerated. "
Greenhouses receive signals from
the software to adjust shading or other
practices, which could compensate for any
weather issues. The technology helps cut
spoilage and shrink, big pain points for
growers and buyers.
" We truly understand what demand
and seasonality look like, " said Kras. " All
production system helps mitigate many
challenges, greenhouse growers face
challenges from pests and diseases,
including mites, fly outbreaks, fungus
gnats and downy mold. Integrated pest
management helps reduce bugs, but
sometimes greenhouse growers deal with
excessive hunter flies, bugs that fight the
detrimental bugs. Suddenly, greenhouse
growers must determine how to block
pests from entering the packing area.
Consecutive days of rain bring water
outside the greenhouses, which attract
fungus gnats. Soon, the difficult to detect
gnats are inside the greenhouse. Edible
Garden's production crew possesses
decades of greenhouse growing experience
and knows what to do to protect the plants.
" The challenges sometimes come down
to continuing to strive to make sure that
you're learning from what doesn't work
and applying that knowledge to what
you can to make it better, " Kras said.
" Greenhouses don't run themselves, but
the challenges are there every day. "
The biggest challenge affecting all of
organics is pricing, according to Kras.
Theoretically, growers should receive
some kind of premium because growing
organically tends to be more costly than
conventional.
" It's being able to drive value and
being at a price point that makes sense
for everyone where everyone can make
money, " he said.
The costs and effects of logistics remains
a concern. Kras said he wants to become
better at logistics and determine how
Edible Garden can lessen its environmental
impact through transportation.
" For me, sustainability starts as growing,
then comes packing, " said Kras. " How can
we cut our footprint as much as possible? "
Kras recently visited Salinas,
California. He said it was heartbreaking
seeing what was going on with the water
shortages, fires and soil issues.
" It's tough, " he said. " Then to ship all that
across the country, it's even crazier with
that environmental impact. "
Recent reports of increasing global
temperatures may accelerate industry
activity to combat climate change.
" We don't want to think about it, but
we have to think about it, " said Kras.
" We are fortunate to be in an industry
where we can start the push to do more.
But we are only one small part of it. If
we can do our part, it will hopefully help
incite change a little bit, which has to be
happening faster now. "
Origin story
Edible Garden began in 2012. A Dutch
family constructed a five-acre greenhouse
in New Jersey in conjunction with its Terra
Tech cannabis firm. In 2016, Kras joined to
drive sales and branding.
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VGN | FEBRUARY 2022 | 5
uncertainty of demand during the
COVID-19 pandemic, the company's
owners considered closing Edible
Garden. Kras and business partner Mike
James, Edible Garden's chief financial
officer and Terra Tech's CFO, purchased
Edible Garden.
Kras possesses a consumer packaged
goods marketing background with a food
slant. Before joining Edible Garden, he
worked for The Bountiful Co., a functional
foods operation. He also ran a consumer
products division for a Japanese firm that
fermented corn into animal feeds, amino
acids and pharmaceuticals. Kras also
marketed Conagra's frozen dinners at a
New York advertising firm.
Kras said he purchased the company to
secure workers' jobs.
" For me, what was exciting was this is
sort of a Wild West industry, where there
wasn't really a recognizable brand in leafy
greens, " he said.
Edible Garden's future includes
more greenhouses. By 2023, Edible
Garden plans to erect state of the art
" sustainability campuses " in New York
and the Midwest. An old factory outside
of Manhattan is set to be repurposed
into a greenhouse operation.
" We're not looking to put up a
greenhouse, " said Kras. " We want to do it
right. I am sure we will extend it beyond
leafy greens at some point, but we have
really made a name for ourselves for
leveraging sustainability and innovation
and getting the best grower partners. " VGN
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February 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of February 2022

February 2022 - 1
February 2022 - 2
February 2022 - 3
February 2022 - 4
February 2022 - 5
February 2022 - 6
February 2022 - 7
February 2022 - 8
February 2022 - 9
February 2022 - 10
February 2022 - 11
February 2022 - 12
February 2022 - 13
February 2022 - 14
February 2022 - 15
February 2022 - 16
February 2022 - 17
February 2022 - 18
February 2022 - 19
February 2022 - 20
February 2022 - 21
February 2022 - 22
February 2022 - 23
February 2022 - 24
February 2022 - 25
February 2022 - 26
February 2022 - 27
February 2022 - 28
February 2022 - 29
February 2022 - 30
February 2022 - 31
February 2022 - 32
February 2022 - 33
February 2022 - 34
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/march-2024
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/february-2024
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/vgn-digital-seed-guide-2024
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/january-2024
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/buyers-guide-2024
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/december-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/november-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/september-october-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/july-august
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/may-june-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/april-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/march-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/vgn-digital-seed-guide-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/february-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/january-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/december-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/buyers-guide-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/november-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/september-october-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/august-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/july-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/june-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/may-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/march-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/february-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/seedguide-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/buyersguide-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/january-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/december-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/november-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/october-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/september-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/august-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/july-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/june-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/may-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/april-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/march-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/february-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/seedguide-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/buyersguide-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/january-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/december-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/november-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/october-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/september-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/august-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/july-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/june-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/may-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/april-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/march-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/february-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/buyersguide-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/january-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/december-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/november-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/october-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/september-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/august-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/july-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/june-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/may-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/april-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/march-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/february-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/buyersguide-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/january-2019
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