Controlled Environment Agriculture

Commercial Demonstration Facility

demonstration greenhouse

A 1/5 acre glass greenhouse (0.15 acre growing space) was constructed to demonstrate the feasability of commercial production of hydropically grown lettuce in a deep trough production system. This facility started production in July of 1999. It was originally designed to produce 1000 heads of butterhead lettuce per day, every day of the year. Improved plant spacing has increased this to 1245 heads of lettuce every day of the year, or seventy heads of lettuce, per square foot, per year.

The facility has had a series of different owners beginning with Agway, then Cornell and finally Challenge Industries where it operates as 'Finger Lakes Fresh' and continues to sell lettuce locally. Finger Lakes Fresh is operated by Challenge Industries which is a non-profit vocational services organization that provides employment opportunities for individuals that face barriers to employment.

View the final report for this project, Commercial Demonstration Module Final Report (pdf)