PARKCITYLIFE / High Biz
LET’S TAKE THIS INSIDE.
HARVEST SQUARED BRINGS THE GARDEN UNDER YOUR ROOF. / BY TONY GILL
THE GROWING SEASON in Summit County is a bit finicky. It’s not uncommon to wake up to fresh snow on the ground as late as June and as early as September, which doesn’t leave much time to nurture your beloved homegrown garden unencumbered by fatal freezes. And while nobody would allege there’s a green hue to my thumbs, I’ve assisted in the arduous process involved in keeping plants well-hydrated during the scorching, high-desert temps of Park City’s dog days. It can be a challenge to grow your own food up here. Thankfully, a couple locals are changing the way we harvest. Steve Hough and Mike Motyka are the intrepid individuals behind Harvest Squared, a hydroponic-farming company that’s bringing the garden indoors. That might sound antithetical to your agricultural notions, but hear them out. “It’s far more efficient. The hydroponic systems grow plants faster, and they use a lot less water,” Hough says. All the water in Harvest Squared’s systems is recycled. “The plants only take up what they need, so there’s no waste,” Motyka explains.
built with everything you need—from seedlings to a smartphone app that manages the system. In-home installations will run a couple thousand dollars to start, but hydroponics offer cost savings in efficiency. A small five- by six-foot system can grow up to 64 plants, with each harvested plant running you a total of about 50 cents. Use 90 percent less water. Grow plants faster. What’s not to like? Take the farm inside. 435-901-1525, Harvestsquared.com
THE PLANTS TAKE UP ONLY WHAT THEY NEED, SO THERE’S NO WASTE.
PHOTO ADAM FINKLE
–MIKE MOTYKA After doing some Internet research, Hough built his first indoor farm under a staircase, which evolved into systems suited to any scale. Hough and Motyka developed a full-scale farm that fits in a shipping container—an impressive amalgamation of innovations. The fuchsia and violet LED grow lights lent the plants a subdued brownish tint, but taken out in the sunlight crops boasted a vibrant green worthy of a cookbook photo shoot. Most gardeners have neither the space nor need for a container farm, so the cofounders designed a range of systems for all kinds of end users. Harvest Squared can design complete and customized systems for your home—even a functional and decorative piece for your living room. They’re working with local restaurants that want to produce their own herbs and lettuces. “Utah is behind with local foods,” Hough says. “But there’s a growing movement of people who want to get more involved.” Hydroponics might sound intimidating, but Harvest Squared has all the tools necessary to make managing your own farm a snap. Their systems are
Steve Hough (left) and Mike Motyka and their hydroponic farm in a box PARKCITYLIFE SEPT/OCT 2016