Spring Born – no hype, all reality
Located on a 254-acre ranch in Silt, Colorado, Spring Born is a newly established greenhouse company that will be providing organic leafy greens to the Denver market. Spring Born currently has 2.5 acres under glass and another 1.5 acres for processing, with a fully automated production system provided by Green Automation.
Spring Born: no hype, all reality
Spring Born is a state-of-the-art greenhouse company newly established in Silt, Colorado and wholly owned by entrepreneur Charles Barr. This, according to Charles, allows the company to be more responsive to the customer and turn on a dime if needed rather than responding to other stakeholders.
“I want to be a business that doesn’t overpromise, which we see a lot of with greenhouses owned by venture capital or publicly traded companies that make promises before being established. These companies need to respond to other stakeholders before the consumer,” Charles says.
As Charles explains, many newer greenhouse companies build websites and introduce themselves before construction has even begun in order to generate interest and attract investors. This can make it confusing to discern between companies in the design, construction or operational stages. With Spring Born, Charles is avoiding that approach by not making announcements until the greenhouse is absolutely ready to deliver.
“I certainly have plans for Spring Born but I won’t be putting anything out there until we have something concrete. We’re not selling an idea; Spring Born is no hype, all reality,” explains Charles.
“We are planting every seed we can get our hands on”
Spring Born has seeded its first crop in its greenhouse to ensure that all systems are working properly. According to Charles, the company is seeding every variety imaginable to test their assumptions and to determine the products that consumers want.
“We have 62 varieties in the greenhouse right now. We’ll be offering a baby leaf, cut product with leaves that are 100-110 mm long with high flavor and high nutritional quality. We’ll be shipping 10,000 packages every day, mostly to foodservice and retailers,” Charles explains.
Spring Born’s 4.5-oz packages will be coming off the production line within the next three weeks. Consumers will be able to purchase greens directly from the farm, but most of the sales will be to retailers and foodservice.
Promoting sustainability and local food systems
Spring Born is driven by sustainability both in an operational and environmental sense. Operationally, complete automation from seeding to packaging allows Spring Born to significantly reduce labor requirements within the greenhouse and improve hygiene throughout the system. From an environmental standpoint, Spring Born will be certified organic from the moment its first packages hit the shelves.
While many companies frame controlled environment agriculture as an alternative form of agriculture, Charles explains that Spring Born is adding another dimension to local food systems and not trying to supplant field-based agriculture. Spring Born is located on a 254-acre ranch which also plans to plant fruit trees to further develop the local food ecosystem.
Spring Born also strives to be as good a neighbor as possible by ensuring that greenhouse operations are not a nuisance to the region. For example, Spring Born will use HPS lighting during low-light periods but has installed shade curtains and will be lighting in the middle of the night when people are sleeping.