© 2022
1078x200-header-mic.png
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Worker-Owned Commercial Greenhouse Sprouts On Once Blighted Land

An artist's rendering depicts the finished Wellspring Harvest worker cooperative greenhouse at the actual construction site in the Indian Orchard neighborhood of Springfield, MA.
WAMC
/
An artist's rendering depicts the finished Wellspring Harvest worker cooperative greenhouse at the actual construction site in the Indian Orchard neighborhood of Springfield, MA.

Lettuce, greens, and herbs will soon be growing at a location in Springfield, Massachusetts that was once dangerously polluted. 

A worker-owned cooperative commercial greenhouse is under construction at the site of the former Chapman Valve Co. where components for nuclear weapons were manufactured. Many years of soil removal and remediation were required to rid all traces of radioactivity from the property.

Tucked away in a light industrial area of the Indian Orchard neighborhood, the site is a perfect location for the 15,120-square foot greenhouse, according to Fred Rose, co-director of Wellspring Cooperative.

" In a few short months it will be up and we'll be growing lettuce," Rose said Thursday during a ceremony to celebrate the start of construction on the $1 million project.

The greenhouse will use hydroponic technology to grow local produce year round.

Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston. He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester. Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011. Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.