Go Green Agriculture: An Urban Farm that Exemplifies Sustainability
Besides being known as one of the most beautiful beach towns and surfing spots in our region, Encinitas is also developing a reputation for sustainable agriculture. It’s home not just to the nonprofit Coastal Roots Farm and the Farm Lab run by the Encinitas Union School District, but also Go Green Agriculture – a family-owned hydroponic farm that grows organic produce.
Go Green Agriculture was recently honored by SDG&E as an Energy Champion at our 13th annual Energy Showcase awards ceremony. Each year, SDG&E recognizes local businesses, nonprofit organizations, and public agencies that are the best of the best in energy efficiency, renewable energy use, and sustainability.
Go Green was the only winner in the agriculture category. It was singled out for recognition because it grows produce – such as butter lettuce, watercress and kale – with a fraction of the land of a conventional farm, using the latest technologies in hydroponics, energy efficiency and water conservation.
What Makes Go Green So Green
The quantity of lettuce that Go Green is able to grow in one acre of greenhouse is as much as what other growers produce in up to 25 acres of land, according to Go Green CEO Pierre Sleiman Jr. Every month, he said, his farm produces half a million heads of lettuce in a third of the time compared to other growers. And all that is accomplished using 80 percent less water, and with virtually no runoff.
Go Green’s highly efficient use of water is possible for three reasons:
- It recaptures every drop of water that plants don't take up and recirculates the water in a closed loop system.
- Its rooftop rain catchment system can capture and store 100,00 gallons of rain water.
- It has a computerized irrigation system that sprays plants in short but numerous bursts based on how much water they need in real time.
To get a glimpse of how Go Green maximizes sustainability to produce high-quality produce, watch this short video.
Go Green Founded in a Dorm Room
Sleiman Jr. founded Go Green in 2009 in his dorm room while studying computer science at UC Riverside. He financed his growing system with $2,000 from his first credit card. Upon graduation, he invited his father, Pierre Sr., to become his business partner. Today, Go Green has become one of the largest organic, hydroponic producers in America, and it employs his mom, dad and sister.