Governor Dannel P. Malloy announced that Four Season Farm LLC, a newly formed venture created by a long-time Connecticut farmer, international greenhouse developer, and former Wall Street executive, will develop 10 acres of land in Suffield as a hydroponic farm, where the company plans to create 40 new jobs over the next two years.
“Farming in the 21st century can be very different from what we know, and Four Season Farm can lead the way with this innovative, technologically advanced operation,” Governor Malloy said. “We’re happy to have them establish their operations in our state and look forward to seeing them grow.”
Hydroponic farming is an eco-friendly process, whereby water is recycled, soil is undisturbed, CO2 is consumed, and renewable approaches are used in cultivation.
The partners in the venture are Joe Geremia, who runs seven acres of greenhouses in Wallingford, Henry Froese, a pioneer and expert in the building of greenhouse operations, and Herbert Soroca, CEO of North Cove Capital Advisors in Stamford, which provides financial, management and strategic advice to emerging growth companies.
“We are grateful for the state’s support for our 21st century agriculture project,” Geremia, a third generation Connecticut farmer, said. “Four Season Farm will lay the foundation for a new generation of indoor agriculture to compete with foreign produce, create living wage jobs and tax revenues for Suffield and the state, and provide locally grown, healthy food for Connecticut consumers. It is a win-win for everyone.”
With a state-of-the-art facility, using the latest in technology including computer controlled light, humidity and nutrients, Four Season Farm has a five-year plan that includes a ten-acre facility that will produce 5.75 million pounds of tomatoes the first year and 7.5 million pounds by the third year. Eventually, the farm plans to create a 43-acre greenhouse complex and add crops such as cucumbers, peppers and micro greens.
“Through this project, we are helping to ensure former farm land in Suffield is not only preserved but also continues to be a resource,” Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) Commissioner Catherine Smith said. “It’s great to see technology play a role in improving our farming capabilities, and what could be better than assuring consumers a fresh supply of delicious, vine-ripened, locally grown vegetables year round?”
DECD is providing $3 million in financing support for the purchase of machinery and equipment for the farm.