The domestication of plants by humans is a pivotal moment in the history of agriculture. Instead of relying on natural development, it was discovered that planting seeds or cuttings allowed the desired plants to be propagated. The significant discovery of greenhouse productions, hence, came as a result of the necessity to safeguard domesticated plants from biotic and abiotic stressors.
Protected agriculture originated as a technique to shield crops from bad weather, allowing year-round production and the use of an integrated crop production and pest management approach for better pest and disease control. Improved transportation and with the light being one of the most important factors in production, the greenhouses are considered to be the best atmosphere for crops.
With the level of sophistication and advanced technology, greenhouses are becoming a more common reality around the world, depending on the socioeconomic context and local climatic circumstances. Looking at this, Rocket Farms, a certified Minority Business Enterprise, started to grow and distribute unique, high-quality designer indoor potted plants. Based in Half Moon Bay, Rocket Farms is the nation’s leading wholesale grower of plotted floral, foliage, edibles, and culinary herbs.
Extending Quality Solutions
A minority-owned and operated business, Rocket Farms is one of the largest growers of indoor potted plants, fresh-cut herbs, and potted edibles in the country. Constantly striving for innovation in its practices, Rocket Farms is on a mission to find ways to reduce the carbon footprint. With this perspective, almost all their products are grown in natural sunlight greenhouses.
These greenhouses are equipped with heat curtains that work to save energy and a unique irrigation system, which is made up of a state-of-the-art filtration system that ensures the PH and sodium levels are balanced and best for the plants. At Rocket Farms, water conservation, filtration, and cleanliness are critical to producing safe, quality food, and it is something that the company has placed a focus on their plants.
Nurturing Healthy Indoor Plants
Rocket Farms is extremely proud of growing beautiful flowers and nutrient-rich edible herbs in a controlled environment in the greenhouses. Rocket Farms is unique as it grows many edible herbs specifically for indoor purposes.
The company’s herbs such as potted basil are specifically bred, designed, and grown to flourish in an indoor environment. Growing herbs that are designed to thrive indoors really separates the company from many other indoor or potted plants that are active in the market.
Herbs– Basil, Mint, Sage, Thyme, Chives, Rosemary, Cilantro, Oregano, Parsley
Plants– Orchids, Roses, Poinsettias, Venus FlyTraps, Sun Star, Holiday Trees
Edibles– Tomatoes, Peppers
Foliage- Peperomia Caperata Rosso, Emerald Ripple, Red Ripple, etc.
Succulents – Haworthia, Gasteria, Echeveria, Kalanchoe and Calandiva (flowering succulents), Aloe, etc.
The Dynamic Duo
Charles Kosmont, the Founder and CEO of Rocket Farms, has spent his entire adult life in the food and agriculture business and the last 25 years as the owner and CEO of Rocket Farms. His decades of experience as a horticulturist span over the areas of plants, herbs, edible herbs, and the food industry overall.
Nick Bavaro is the President of Rocket Farms and has an extensive background and over 40 years of experience in owning, operating, or managing companies in the agricultural sector. The pair work together to align on initiatives and the vision that they have when it comes to agriculture. Both believe that Rocket Farms has an opportunity to bring healthy, nutrient-dense products to consumers in a safe and sustainable way.
Technology Driving the Wheels of Agriculture Sector
In agriculture, technologies and practices have improved. Farmers see the importance of using water more efficiently, and throughout the sector they have employed a range of technology-based solutions such as drip irrigation and flood tables. Rocket Farms specifically utilizes flood tables which results in 35% of all water used being absorbed into the plant material. The company then is able to recover up to 65% of the remaining water used, and with cleaning and purifying is able to store it for future use.
Nick said, “By leaning into technology, we are proud to reduce our water usage and significantly increase our efficiency with this valued resource.”
People at Rocket Farms not only capture and reuse the water within the greenhouses but also recapture and reuse all runoff water. It is run through a state-of-the-art filtration and storage capacity system and then through an RO system and purified to its purest form. Further, it is treated to the stage where the PH levels and sodium levels are balanced, and it’s best for the plant.
Charles further said, “At Rocket Farms, we think some of the technology we have used is unique to the industry, but the unique thing about ours is we capture all runoff and reuse the water from our greenhouses as well.”
Battling with the Pandemic
Concerning the pandemic condition, Rocket Farms made the tough decision to reduce overhead, preserve positions, and increase operational efficiency. These changes allowed Rocket Farms to continue to produce a premium and consistent product. Lastly, it put forth an easier transition for social distancing and space for offices to be safely apart. The management has instilled a mask policy and even held vaccination sites at its facilities.
The Changing Landscapes of Agriculture Sector
There is now tremendous interest in the field where food comes from. The young generation is now thinking about the food supply and saying where does the food come from and how they can be a part of it, which is exciting.
The myth of the past – “don’t take over a farm, go work in the city and go take over a technology business” is now changing dramatically. Agriculture is a technological business. It is a business that is moving significantly and is being transformed by all these great technologies that are out there. It is an exciting time for people coming out of school to get involved with it.
Towards New Horizons
Charles and Nick are dedicated to the work at Rocket Farms. The two are the first to say that they love what they do and are committed to helping the company continue to grow and flourish in the future. They see Rocket Farms continuing the trajectory that they have already set of providing Americans with gorgeous flowers and great-tasting foods that are all grown in their greenhouses.
The pair believes that with consumers, particularly Gen Z’s, starting to take more of a vested interest in food and where the food they are eating comes from, Rocket Farms is at the forefront for them having the advantage of being locally grown, sustainable, and transparent with its consumers. Therefore, the duo is positioning them to be even more successful in the future when the consumer base becomes more invested in food, agriculture, and the environment.