Lakeside Produce in Mills River, NC
NC State University faculty including the Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences were privileged to tour the new Lakeside Growers greenhouse in Mills River. This Canada based company produces tomatoes and cucumbers in under glass using hydroponics. The 15 acre facility will eventually expand to 45 acres. The facility is capable of producing 700,000 pounds of tomatoes per acre per 40 week growing cycle. Produce from the Mills River greenhouse can be found in grocery stores from New York to Miami but mostly they will be in North Carolina and South Carolina retailers.
The tour was arranged by AgHC, Henderson County’s agricultural economic development authority. AgHC was instrumental in getting Lakeside Growers to choose Mills River as their new home. Lakeside Produce chose the area because of water availability and favorable climactic and geographical attributes including cool nights and elevation.
Lakeside Produce has worked to reduce carbon emissions, recycle water, utilize bio control insects and insect pollinators, and produce their own power. Lakeside is also moving quickly towards robotics, automation, and machine learning improve efficiency. Lakeside is also participating in the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ ‘Got to Be NC’ marketing program.