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Indoor hydroponic farm spreading its fresh produce throughout Milwaukee

Posted at 6:29 PM, Mar 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-29 19:30:11-04

Nikeisha Riesling has a passion to help people eat healthy food.

"I want to eat better. I want to live. I want to see my grandkids and my babies grow," said Riesling. "So, it's all about what we put in our body, which is really important."

She started at Hundred Acre Farm in an entry-level position. Now, she's training to manage the 5,000 square foot hydroponic grow.

"It's clean. We don't use pesticides. Any of that. The quality is just better," said Riesling.

The farm moved into a warehouse at Milwaukee's Century City business park in the summer of 2021.

TMJ4 first visited Hundred Acre in January to see how they grow their veggies. We returned this week to check out a harvest and delivery.

At Hundred Acre, every day is harvest day. Their veggies take about five weeks to grow — from seed to sale, as the farm's Chris Corkery puts it.

But with their growing cycle, they're able to harvest a number of healthy vegetables on a daily basis (Monday through Friday), including basil, spinach and Swiss chard.

During our visit, Riesling and her crew pulled racks of basil from the grow room, trimmed the leaves, and bagged it, a pound in each bag.

The basil, after it was boxed, was put on a truck and taken to Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin.

"The food that's higher in nutrients is that fresh produce," said Scott Marshall, the nonprofit's Vice President of Development and Communications. "That's why working with Hundred Acre is one of the great partners that we work with to be able to get that food back in and out to the people who really need it."

Hundred Acre's greens are also found at local cafes, restaurants and grocery stores, like Sendiks.

The farm produces about 1,000 pounds of produce a week.

"I live five minutes away, so, if something goes down, and something needs to be taken care of, I'm usually the one jumping in my car and making sure everything is okay," said Riesling.

She's now training to manage Hundred Acre's farm, their first, in Milwaukee.

The company plans to expand to five locations by the end of 2023.

They hope that Riesling someday owns her own Hundred Acre, to stand as a model for other urban grows and her healthy eating mission.

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