Alegría Farm Opens at the Orange County Great Park
Taking Urban Farming to a Whole New Level
Alegría Fresh, a high performance urban farm company, originated in Laguna Beach, CA in 2009. The Alegría team, led by its founder and Managing Director Erik Cutter, utilizes high-efficiency hydroponic vertical farming and organic Soxx systems to produce and distribute superior, locally-grown salad greens, herbs and vegetables. Erik has over 35 years experience growing food using organic techniques and is a leading pioneer in developing the use of hybrid food production technologies that are far more resource efficient than traditional farming processes. With a background in Biochemistry and Oncology, Erik possesses a lifelong passion for creating haute cuisine using the most nutrient-rich locally-grown ingredients. Erik introduces youth and local residents to the amazing benefits of consuming clean & natural food. The company's mission includes connecting individuals with where their food comes from and how it is grown, influencing positive change in resource management, teaching healthy eating habits, promoting entrepreneurship programs and creating jobs in urban agriculture. The new venture completed the newest Alegria Farm, a one acre interactive demonstration farm located at the Great Park in Irvine, CA. Erik and his team of collaborators which include A.G. Kawamura, ex-Secretary of Agriculture of California, are developing new urban food production systems to develop profitable urban farms using drought resistant farming techniques.
Located at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, CA, Alegría Farm is part of a 1.4 acre solar-powered demonstration center, a project jointly developed by Alegría Fresh and Orange County Produce, LLC. The farm supports more than 60 cultivators growing over 50,000 plants utilizing hydroponic and organic configurations.
Alegría Farm’s resource-efficient technologies demonstrate how urban microfarms can supply their communities with superior quality, locally grown, fresh produce while reducing transportation and preserving natural resources.
Hydroponic farming is soil-less. Alegría’s hydroponic vertical farm uses coconut fiber (coir) instead of soil, which prevents contamination by soil-borne diseases and food-borne pathogens such as E. Coli, Listeria and Salmonella.
Alegría’s hydroponic vertical farm encompasses 3,000 square feet, and contains 130 hydroponic vertical towers in 10 rows, with each tower growing approximately 40 plants in a footprint of 2 sq. ft. Less than ¾ gallon per day is used in watering each tower and no water is wasted. The entire vertical growing system is solar powered.
Alegría’s hydroponic vertical farm system is perfect for home use where space is limited. It uses no soil, 90 percent less water, 70 percent less land and 50 percent less fertilizer than traditional farming. Applicable to commercial or home use, Alegría systems produce clean, natural food faster and allow plants to grow bigger and stronger, making the plants more pest resistant.
Alegria’s new Soxx farm demonstrates organic food production using GardenSoxx, an innovative organic food production system that can be used over cement or other man-made surfaces. The Alegría Soxx farm, a joint venture between Alegría Fresh, Orange County Produce, LLC and Filtrexx Corporation, consists of 13 rows of 5 Soxx each, for a total of 7,200 linear feet of growing space within an 8,500 sq. ft. area (approx. 1/5 acre). Production yields nearly double that of conventional farming. Water usage is 70% less and other cost savings such as being weed-free increase the ROI of this new micro farm. Thirteen different specialty crops including four cultivators of beets, onions, red and green romaine, radicchio, treviso, red and green cabbage and kale are being grown to demonstrate the versatility of the system and prove that urban microfarms can be profitable with no subsidies required. Alegría Farms can be employed in densely populated urban environments bringing access to superior food closer to where people live and work.
Alegría Fresh is developing on-site workshops and entrepreneurship programs to teach urban farmers and create new jobs in high-performance urban agriculture. Courses will be offered in hydroponic and organic food production, alternative energy, food preparation, composting and vermiculture, plant health and mineral optimization, food production and marketing, use of medicinal herbs and integrating holistic health and wellness into your lifestyle. An interactive urban farm training center designed to give veterans and youth hands-on training is under construction and is planned to be completed September 31, 2014.
All Alegría Fresh seedlings originate from certified organic, non-GMO seeds and are supplied by the Plug Connection. This year, Alegría Fresh heirloomed more than 300,000 seeds from its crops. These seeds are used to produce subsequent crops
The Alegría Farm is solar powered and off-the-grid and uses state-of-the-art battery storage systems designed and built by OES in Ojai, CA.
Our mission is to employ existing technologies and develop greater resource efficiencies to provide superior food within the urban envelope, educate youth and veterans how to grow their own food, create greater access to highly nutritious produce and develop jobs in urban agriculture.
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