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Sustainable farming blossoms in the Lowcountry

Sustainable farming blossoms in the Lowcountry

The sun is rising on a new form of farming in the Lowcountry.

In the heart of Summerville, there's an up and coming farm that sits in a residential neighborhood.

Stefanie Swackhamer and her team at Tiger Corner Farms says their whole operation is one big science experiment.

"Traditional farmers grow in the dirt," she said. "Hydropantic farmers grow in the water."

Chief Engineer Evan Alusie said the 40-foot crates allow them to farm in an environmentally friendly way.

“Indoor farming gets red of the use of manure-based fertilizing so you reduce the risk of pathogens to humans,” he said.

Inside each crate, lettuce and other leafy plants are blooming at an unbelievable size.

“The roots hang in the air, and get misted every so often," Stefanie said. "That's how they gain their nutrients to be able to grow.”

They use LED lights to stimulate the growth of their plants.

One benefit to container farming is the ability to grow plants outside of their traditional season.

“Lettuce, you can't grow in the summer here, it's way too hot outside." Matt Daniels explained. "In here, everything is temperature controlled. The lights are on a set schedule for optimal growth.”

They’re growing fresh vegetables available to folks right here in the Lowcountry, putting the veggies in the mouths of those in need.

Stefanie, a former high school teacher, said she wanted to plant seeds outside of the classroom.

“There are a lot of students that don't have good quality produce available to them on a regular basis,” she said. "Right now everything we harvest gets donated back into the community."

The team at Tiger Corner is looking for interns. Students who are interested in S.T.E.M. are wanted. You can contact them at tigercornerfarmsmfg.com.

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