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.