WATERFORD, Mich. (WJBK) - Oakland Urban Growers provides fresh, local produce to families and businesses across metro Detroit. It's also a perfect example of how technology and nature can come together.
Mike Skinner and Bruce Ellwanger turned a greenhouse that was about to be torn down in Oakland County into a high-tech agriculture company. Their different types of growing systems allow them to grow fresh produce all year long.
"Really, this is a 21st century way of growing produce," Skinner says. It's mostly done via a hydroponics operation -- which means, without dirt.
That means they're responsible for providing all the nutrients to the plants, which usually come from the soil. They figure out what nutrients the plants need through a small water sample that comes in from the gutter.
The nutrients are them pumped in to all the different plants.
The shop opened up last year in conjunction with Oakland County. Skinner says they're the first ones to bring hydroponics growing to Oakland County.
Other growing takes place at the greenhouse the more conventional way, in the soil, but in an area that's completely climate controlled. Specialty, baby crop versions of the vegetables are mostly grown here.
Skinner says they sell a lot of their products to top notch country clubs and restaurants that are looking for high quality, local produce.
You can learn more about how the systems work by watching the report from Josh Landon in the video player above.