Karma Farm, a diversified vegetable farm that uses natural and sustainable growing practices, will create a new urban farming operation at Harbor Point, in an announcement made today by Beatty Development Group.
The Monkton, Maryland-based Karma Farm combines outdoor farming, hoop houses, and indoor vertical hydroponic growing methods to provide chefs, home cooks, and food retailers with premium local produce consistently throughout the year. Karma Farm delivers a wide variety of fresh, local vegetables and leafy greens two to three times a week to restaurants and retailers in the Baltimore/Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.
At Harbor Point, Karma Farm will bookend the popular Sandlot, creating two new hoop houses on the northwest side of the site. The hoop houses will be used to grow tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, and squash in the summer and hearty leafy greens and root crops in the winter. Hoop houses allow for extended season growing to the point of year-round production, without the use of any heat other than the sun.
Along Sandlot’s southeast end, Karma Farm will install a hydroponic unit – an insulated shipping container that utilizes custom-made LED lighting, temperature control, and automatic water flow to create an ideal year-round growing environment for leafy greens. Nicknamed the “HerbN’Greens Machine,” the hydroponic unit can produce dozens of varieties of lettuce, as well as arugula, mustard greens, Asian greens, fennel, and many varieties of herbs.
Construction of the new farm facilities will begin in mid-April 2018. Karma Farm will provide their initial harvest to Sandlot and other local restaurants but plans to open a retail stand at Sandlot by mid-summer.
Karma Farm’s arrival at Harbor Point is a continuation of Beatty Development and Foodshed’s ongoing efforts to create a neighborhood committed to supporting farmers and growers throughout the Chesapeake region. In January 2017, Beatty Development announced a partnership with Foodshed, the Baltimore-based restaurant group of James Beard Award-winning local chef Spike Gjerde (Woodberry Kitchen, Parts & Labor, Sandlot) and business partner Corey Polyoka, with the goal of making Harbor Point a destination for retail and restaurants that prioritize local sourcing.
“We are thrilled to work with Beatty Development and Foodshed to establish a high-quality, four-season resilient farm in the heart of Baltimore City,” said Jon Shaw, Founder and Principle Farmer of Karma Farm. “From this unique waterfront setting at Harbor Point, we’ll employ growing techniques from the most basic to the most technologically advanced.”
Shaw added, “We have the ability to create the perfect growing environment for each crop, substantially increasing the amount of fresh vegetables grown in the city, all within a very small footprint. For example, the hydroponic unit will produce about 50,000 heads of lettuce a year. These are optimal methods for producing commercial quantities of super high-quality vegetables and herbs 52 weeks a year.”
“When we originally announced our partnership with Foodshed to make Harbor Point a neighborhood committed to supporting local farmers and growers, I’m not sure many people understood exactly how far we were willing to go with this concept,” said Michael Beatty, President of Beatty Development Group. “Working closely with Foodshed, we have put an emphasis on leasing space to restaurants that share our values regarding local sourcing, and we will continue to do so. Bringing Karma Farm to Harbor Point is a huge next step – a readily available source of nutritious, sustainably grown produce from right within the neighborhood.”