EDMOND, Okla. - This weekend, Edmond native and Utah Jazz Center Ekpe Udoh has officially launched his company, LGR Farms, in Edmond.
Oklahomans attended the Saturday night launch party, getting a hands-on tour, even planting some seeds that will eventually grow into crops.
“It’s been four years in the making,” Udoh said.
It’s a hydroponic farm that literally sits in a shipping container. The crops grow vertically with filtered water and nutrients instead of soil and blue and red LED lights instead of sunlight.
It’s herbicide- and pesticide-free for the leafy greens and herbs grown there. And, the “farmer” can control everything from a phone.
“I can turn on and off the lights with the touch of my phone, and it controls like literally everything,” said LGR Farms Vice President Erica Young. “We have in, our farm, approximately nine to 10 different crops being grown currently. We have four or five lettuces, herbs right now, different leafy greens that we’re growing.”
Udoh hopes his farm can make a difference in inner city communities.
“There’s higher rates of obesity and such in inner city, inner city areas. As you can see just going around, fast food’s on every corner in those neighborhoods, unfortunately. And, this is just something different, you know, be able to get them fresh produce and, then, try to educate them along the way,” Udoh said.
One of Udoh’s goals is to provide food for public schools, especially inner city schools.
“Growing up in Edmond, we had salad bars. I didn’t appreciate it back then, you know, being a knucklehead. But, now, I understand it. With all the pictures that have been going viral, Oklahoma City public schools, just want to give them a choice,” Udoh said.
Udoh plans to expand his Edmond operation and go into other states as well, eventually selling to chefs and grocery stores also.
He also announced he’s partnered with Magic Johnson’s food service company, Sedexo MAGIC, to provide produce to kids in inner city schools. And, he said he’s in talks with Oklahoma City public schools to provide food for them as well.