Greenhouse Crops Will Come From A Former Brownfields Site

May 20, 2018

The Wellspring Cooperative Greenhouse in Springfield's Indian Orchard Neighborhood is set to go into production in June.
Credit WAMC

The first worker cooperative commercial greenhouse in Massachusetts is set to open on what was once a badly contaminated industrial site in Springfield.

The start of production will culminate a four-year effort that involved raising $1.5 million, buying part of the former Chapman Valve Co. property from the city, and building the 15,000-square-foot hydroponic greenhouse, according to Fred Rose, co-director of Wellspring Cooperative.

" By June we will be in full production," said Rose during a tour of the greenhouse last week.

A variety of lettuces will be grown for customers that include the local public schools, hospitals, Big Y supermarkets, and regional food co-ops.

Five people are employed at the greenhouse.  After a year, they’ll be eligible to become co-op members.