Brian Harris, an expert from Hort Americas, recently moderated a roundtable discussion as part of the 2023 GLASE Webinar Series that focused on the unique opportunities and challenges that smaller-scale commercial greenhouses and indoor farms face in the rapidly growing Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) market. The insightful conversation brought together three panelists who have succeeded as small-scale growers in the CEA industry.
Jeffrey Orkin from Greener Roots, Tyler Baras from Area 2 Farms, and Bob Jones from The Chef’s Garden joined the discussion to share their experiences and insights on owning and operating a small-scale CEA facility. The conversation highlighted how these facilities have become increasingly important as the demand for sustainable and locally sourced produce continues to rise.
The panelists discussed various challenges they have faced, including the importance of selecting suitable crops, managing costs, and navigating the complexities of the CEA market. The discussion also highlighted the opportunities small-scale facilities provide, such as offering niche, high-quality products and building strong relationships with local communities and businesses.
Overall, the roundtable discussion underscored the significant potential that smaller-scale commercial greenhouses and indoor farms have in the expanding CEA market. By learning from the experiences of these successful small-scale growers, others can better understand the challenges and opportunities they may face as they venture into this growing industry.