Hydroponics 101

If the idea of a fresh local tomato on your BLT in November or April sounds appealing, you may want to look for hydroponic produce at Lakewinds! While many of us are familiar with this growing segment of the co-op produce offerings, here are a few quick facts about hydroponics.

  • A hydroponic system is one that grows plants without the use of soil. Instead, plants grow out of a nutrient-rich water solution.
  • Everything in a hydroponic system is grown indoors where the temperature, moisture and light can be controlled.
  • Hydroponics can’t be certified organic because they lack organic matter (dirt).

Until the locally grown kale, asparagus and other spring produce arrive in stores, it’s nice to be able to buy local! Lakewinds offers produce grown on local hydroponic farms – and they don’t use any contaminants or pesticides.


Living Water Gardens, located in Wells, Minnesota

Over the past 17 years, farmers Steve and Mary Klingbeil have grown nearly 7,000 hydroponic tomato plants, from seed to maturity. They make multiple deliveries to Lakewinds each week, helping us provide locally grown, fresh tomatoes for much of the year.


Localize, LLC, located in Edina, Minnesota

Ryan Sweeney is an urban hydroponic farmer with a background in sustainability and renewable energy. He specializes in growing basil and a variety of greens, lettuce and herbs. His sweet basil can be found in the Lakewinds’ produce department throughout the year. Interesting fact: he’s able to control the temperature, light and moisture of his growing system all via an app on his phone!



Learn about our local farmers, including those who use hydroponics, in our produce farmer profiles.

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