High-tech agriculture blossoms in the city of St Petersburg, Florida at Brick Street Farms
In Farm 1, which has a sweet scent and can be as cold as 60 degrees, there’s Red Cross Butterhead, Rex lettuce (an ideal hydroponic similar to butterhead), heirloom Vulcan lettuce (for all you Star Trek fans) and arugula, to name a few.
By Meaghan Habuda
Nov 18, 2016
The indoor hydroponic farm, owned by wife-and-husband duo Shannon O’Malley and Bradley Doyle, doesn’t look like much from the outside. But spread out over green upcycled freight containers, planted inside a wooden fence that surrounds the former site of an abandoned junkyard at 2001 Second Ave. S., Brick Street has spent close to a year quietly blossoming in St. Petersburg.
What makes up this city farm’s local, vertically grown bounty? Herbs and leafy greens.
“We started harvesting about two or three weeks ago,” says O’Malley, who works for a St. Pete-based IT company, as does her husband. “We’re almost at full scale right now, so it’s been kind of a slow burn getting everything ready.”
It’s taken a significant amount of work to turn their less-than-half-acre Grand Central District property — which was “very dilapidated” and hadn’t had utilities in 20 to 30 years — into an urban farm. They’ve cleaned up old car parts that were left behind, added electric and water, and even had environmental testing done on the site to ensure it’s safe.