In the news. What's new in the world of hydroponic growing in the arctic

May 23, 2019

The Art of Growing.

Produce on View at the Anchorage Museum

Many farmers or gardeners might describe the process of bringing a perfect head of lettuce from seed to table as an art. Right now, at the Anchorage Museum, the art of growing isn’t just a metaphor. Inside the museum’s galleries, the scent of verdant mint wafts. Fresh heads of endive grow alongside healthy stalks of swiss chard and kale in hydroponic units on display in galleries. Derived from the English “hydro” meaning water, and the Greek “ponein,” meaning to labor, hydroponics is the growth of plants without soil, using nutrients dissolved in water.

The Anchorage Museum acquired its first hydroponic unit in 2017, a prototype of the Sunny Pro from Vertical Harvest Hydroponics, or VH Hydroponics.


September 17, 2018

Harvest Your Potential with VH Hydroponics

VH Hydroponics (VHH) is a veteran-owned agricultural technology company headquartered in Anchorage dedicated to designing and creating growing systems that utilize hydroponics, the method of growing plants without soil and instead using mineral nutrient solution in a water solvent.  Owners Daniel Perpich, Cameron Willingham, and Linda Janes believe that by using modern technologies and blending with traditional farming techniques that healthy and sustainable food production can be achieved for everyone.


August 25, 2018

Pioneer Home residents embrace hydroponics.

A lot of the elders at the Ketchikan Pioneer Home used to garden as a pastime, but living at a senior center means not having access to their own yard and garden. So, a garden has come to them. The residents have been gardening out of a box since the end of June with a hydroponics system funded by a grant from the Ketchikan Community Foundation. Hilary Koch, activities director at the Pioneer Home, wrote a grant for the hydroponics unit and the organization received the funds in May. The KCF awarded almost $26,000 worth of grant money to seven local nonprofit organizations, and $7,420 was granted to the Pioneer Home for the project. Koch said Shin Berkey, a chef at the Pioneer Home, advocated for the system and encouraged Koch to write the grant.

Click HERE to read the full article


June 20, 2018

2YH: Hydroponic gardening to grow fresh vegetables in Alaska

ANCHORAGE (KTUU) – Looking for growing fresh produce, the University of Alaska Anchorage and the Anchorage Museum are using the hydroponic gardening technology, which is run with water, no soil needed.

Across town, the University of Alaska Anchorage started a hydroponic garden growing spinach, kale, and greens beans.

“Hunger can be an issue homelessness can be an issue that’s nothing different on campus,” Tranberg said.

The Anchorage Museum utilizes their vertical hydrographic garden for growing, learning and teaching.


June 20, 2018

Sustainability entrepreneurs turn a new leaf at VERGE Accelerate


Sustainability startups at VERGE Hawaii this week sought to impress a live audience of business leaders, government officials and investors — as well as a global online audience — in hopes of winning the VERGE Accelerate Showcase.

VERGE Accelerate elevates early-stage entrepreneurs with solutions that address market opportunities across any one of the eight VERGE Tracks: City and Regional Resilience; Next-Gen Buildings; Grid-Scale Power; Connected Transportation and Mobility; Renewable Energy Procurement; Smart Infrastructure; Distributed Energy Systems; or the Circular Economy.


May 31, 2018

Hydroponics in the Student Union


Passing by this cabinet-sized glass unit in the UAA Student Union — filled with lusciously green growing things — you might mistake it for a vending machine. It hums, it has lights. But instead of dispensing little packages of chips or gum or chilled soda, it is home to leafy things. No slot waits for your WOLFcard or for quarters from your pockets; its clear glass doors remain locked.

So what is it? You’re looking at UAA’s first hydroponic garden.

Hydroponic comes from Latin and means “working water.” So hydroponic growing uses nutrient solutions to feed the plants in water, without soil. The nutrients supply nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus, plus trace minerals.


May 02, 2018

Meet the 11 startups accelerating change at VERGE Hawaii


One great joy of producing VERGE events is not only showcasing the big companies and progressive cities at the forefront of the clean economy, but also the startups — the new kids on the block, who are developing the greatest solutions you haven’t heard of yet.

Our VERGE Accelerate program, a cornerstone of VERGE events since their inception, is one way we do this — giving select entrepreneurs the opportunity to pitch from our main stage to a live and global online audience of potential partners and investors.

Over 120 startups have gone through the program since its launch in 2012, coming away with new investors, corporate partners for pilot projects and even Amory Lovins on their advisory board.


March 20, 2018

Hydroponic produce is blooming in Churchill, Man.

Company raising northern veggies in a shipping container sees room to grow

As in most northern towns, the concept of “locally grown” is exotic in Churchill, Man. So when Carley Basler shows up at people’s homes with a big bags of fresh vegetables, it’s little wonder people get excited, “It’s fresh food, fresher than probably anything that Churchill has ever experienced,” Basler said.

She knocks on a door, and inside seven-year-old Karalina Burke is excited. As the door opens, she declares: “I ate three heads of lettuce!” Her mother, Sandra Cook, is subscribing to Basler’s Rocket Greens, Churchill’s first locally grown produce.

“It’s really remarkable we can have this here,” she said

March 16, 2018

How ‘farms in a box’ have begun to transform the way Arctic residents get vegetables

The development of small food-growing systems using LED lights and shipping containers has made it possible to get fresh greens in the Arctic affordably and at any time of the year.

When customers in Unalaska go to Alaska Ship Supply to stock up on groceries these days, they are confronted with choices that seemed impossible just last summer — locally grown heads of butterhead lettuce and romaine lettuce, along with an assortment of kale, cilantro, basil and arugula.

On a late winter day, the produce aisle features green leafy foods fresh from a local farm, not wilted specimens weeks removed from fields thousands of miles away.

February 26, 2018

This Amazing Garden In A Shipping Container Would Only Happen In Alaska

A family of intrepid Alaskans has created a beautiful oasis for fresh greens in a place as grey and windy as it gets: Unalaska. Out on the Aleutians, farms are hard to come by. Over the years, many have tried to farm, ranch and garden on these islands that the sea never stops washing with rain, sleet, snow, and wind. Many and tried and few have succeeded, but the fearless folks at Aleutian Greens have created a garden inside a shipping container that creates bounteous crops of greens for the local population.
February 21, 2018

VH Hydroponics pilots new line of hydroponic growing cabinets in Student Union

A demo unit of Vertical Harvest Hydroponics’ new indoor gardening cabinets is located in UAA’s Student Union. The university is one of only two places that the hydroponic growing cabinets are located in Anchorage, along with the Anchorage Museum.

VH Hydroponics is an agricultural technology company headquartered in Anchorage. The company, founded in 2014, has a mission to “provide an alternate way to source fresh, locally grown and sustainable produce in remote communities, year round,” as stated on their website.

January 04, 2018

Churchill hydroponic garden project serves up fresh greens in northern town

Vegetables grown in a shipping container and sold in northern town will help address food security issues

Fresh greens were a little easier to find in Churchill, Man., on Thursday as the first crop of veggies from a hydroponic garden went on sale. The project, led by the independent, non-profit Churchill Northern Studies Centre, aims to improve food security in the town 1,000 kilometers north of Winnipeg, on the shore of Hudson Bay.

For months, Churchill had to fly in food after spring flood damage knocked out the rail line to the town, Churchill’s only land link. Now, the Rocket Greens project has produced fresh lettuce, kale, bok choy and basil, for a price that’s often cheaper than items at the grocery store, even after federal and provincial food subsidies are applied.


December 12, 2017

How Alaskans Eat Healthy in the Winter

The whole state may be freezing, but the local food scene is heating up.

If you think you have it bad with the lack of produce at your local farmers’ market in the winter, try living in Alaska. “There’s literally nothing growing,” deadpans Beau Schooler, the chef/co-owner of acclaimed Juneau café, The Rookery. “Not even root vegetables. The ground is frozen solid.”

Alaska has two seasons: a very short summer and a very long winter. From June until September, when the days are long and the sun is bright, Alaskans have access to the sweetest tomatoes, brightest berries, and most fragrant herbs. But from October all the way through May, literally the entire state freezes, and residents are reliant on fruits and vegetables shipped from places like Washington, Mexico, and California—much of which gets overripe in transit.
November 28, 2017

Fresh greens from a shipping container in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands? Believe it.

A young family has begun selling the first year-round, locally grown commercial produce in the unforgiving climate of Unalaska in the Aleutian Islands.

Aleutian Greens co-owner Blaine Shaishnikoff said last week that two storms had just blown through the community — and the lettuce and herbs, nestled inside shipping containers set up as hydroponic farms, were unscathed.

“You wake up and there’s a couple inches of snow on the ground, and it kind of makes you think about it for a minute,” Shaishnikoff said.


October 13, 2017

Unalaska hydroponic operation aims to boost fresh produce offering

Getting fresh vegetables in rural Alaska has always been a challenge most of the year, but in Unalaska, that challenge is being met with a new hydroponics operation gearing up to feed the community fresh produce throughout the year.

Aleutian Greens, run by Blaine Shaishnikoff, a Qawalangin tribal member and lifelong Unalaska resident, and his wife Catina are running the hydroponic farm along with their three children.

October 12, 2017

These Cold-Weather Container Farms Let Produce Grow In The Arctic

As traditional Inuit diets change, they’re being replaced with processed food because it’s so difficult to stock markets with fresh produce. Now, they can grow it themselves, even in sub-zero temperatures.


In the subarctic town of Churchill, Manitoba–unreachable by paved roads and best known for its population of polar bears–a head of romaine lettuce can cost as much as $8 without subsidies. Shipments of produce can take weeks from distant farms, and when vegetables arrive, it’s an event. But the town will soon have another option: a shipping container farm growing greens on site.


September 5, 2017

Anchorage Entrepreneur Tests Personalized Hydroponic Cabinets

ANCHORAGE (KTUU) – As the short farming season wraps up across Alaska, an Anchorage entrepreneur is working to develop a portable hydroponic system to more widely grow fresh vegetables and herbs in homes, businesses, and schools year-round.

Vertical Harvest Hydroponics is testing a prototype of a self-containing hydroponic cabinet. It can grow about 60 plants at a time within the dimensions of a large bookcase, powered completely by a single electrical outlet.

“Lettuces, herbs, kale, all the culinary herbs do very well,” said Vertical Harvest founder Dan Perpich.

Vertical Harvest is an Anchorage-based business known for selling and shipping self-contained hydroponic conexes into rural Alaska villages, providing fresh veggies to regions of the state dependent on shipments of produce from hundreds of miles away.


August 25, 2017

Anchorage Museum Prototyping In-Home Hydroponics System

Anchorage, AK – The Anchorage Museum is helping prove that Alaskans can have fresh, local produce.

If you stop by the Anchorage Museum, you might notice a glowing green cabinet in the Discovery Center. That cabinet is full of a variety of growing plants, but you’ll notice no soil. That’s because the Anchorage Museum is prototyping a new hydroponic system built by a local company, Vertical Harvest Hydroponics. So far, it’s been a total success.

The museum is taking this opportunity to teach the community’s youth about agriculture and the options Alaskans have. Children can stop by to build their very own mini-hydroponic system to take home.



August 17, 2017

CXT aims to deepen manufacturing partnerships

Company aids in design of new hydroponic units

Executives at Spokane Valley-based manufacturer CXT Inc. say the company wants to begin deepening manufacturing partnerships with commercial enterprises that need its help researching and designing products.

“As a manufacturer, we offer a lot of different skill sets, which include things like machining, assembly, and welding,” says CXT President Steve Burgess. “Most of what we’ve done previously is cement, and modular construction work, but recently, we’ve begun trying to spread those skill sets across new opportunities.”

A subsidiary of Pittsburgh-based LB Foster, CXT specializes in manufacturing prefabricated restrooms and outhouses, along with utility buildings, shade shelters, and other fabricated products.


read full story 

July 21, 2017

A Grabbagreen Store Grows Hydroponic Vegetables

When you order food + juice from Grabbagreen in Coeur d’Alene, it may look like any other health-conscious beverage or bowl; however, you will be tasting the freshest possible vegetables which are harvested on demand from their hydroponic indoor, mini farm system. Grabbagreen CDA is leading the way by piloting the latest equipment in the restaurant industry. The hydroponic system allows year-round production for hyper local greens, which is the mantra behind the decision to grow greens indoors and harvest them at peak nutritional value.


read full story 

June 21, 2017

Belleque Family Farms pivots, selling produce to subscribers instead of grocery stores

Water rushes through the pipes and fans whir inside the hydroponic growing system that Belleque Family Farms has set up inside a converted shipping container. Kyle Belleque crouches low to inspect the spinach plant on the bottom shelf of his garden.

“Makes me want to have a spinach sandwich,” Belleque said as he picked a deep green leaf and munches on it.

This Dillingham farm is making a concerted effort to provide fresh greens year-round. They grow everything from butterhead lettuce and chard to basil and mountain mint on floor to ceiling shelves that run the length of the container. Belleque points out a new product on a shelf across the narrow aisle.


read full story 

May 25, 2017

Growing Greens In the Arctic

Walking from the snowbound streets of Kotzebue, Alaska, into the Arctic Greens container is like being suddenly transported to the Amazon jungle.

Even when it is pitch black and below zero outside, the “sun” still rises, thanks to rows of high-­tech LED lights. Heaters keep temperatures a balmy 65 to 80 F. Rows of big, green plants line shelves the length of the container, leaves crowding the narrow walkway down the center.

This is where Joe Carr, the only professional farmer north of the Arctic Circle, comes to work.

The first thing he does after removing his jacket is check the computers that were programmed by Vertical Harvest—the company that designed the containerized farm. They control every aspect of this miniature ecosystem and keep it optimized for edible plant growth.


read full story 

January 09, 2017

Vertical Harvest Hydroponics of Alaska Honored as Farm Bureau Entrepreneur of the Year

Vertical Harvest Hydroponics of Alaska is the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Farm Bureau Entrepreneur of the Year, AFBF officials said today. Team leads Linda Janes and Dan Perpich won AFBF’s Rural Entrepreneurship Challenge by beating three other teams from across the nation. AFBF announced the winner at its 2017 Annual Convention & IDEAg Trade Show in Phoenix.


read full story 

December 02, 2016

Fresh in the frozen Arctic

 Vertical Harvest grows produce on site and year-round

Back in 2011, Dan Perpich was somewhat shocked to find rows of wilted lettuce in the local grocery store, retailing for $18 a head. He was visiting Resolute Bay, a town of 130 individuals in northern Canada.

Yet he really wasn’t that shocked, because he knew many rural communities in Alaska had exactly the same situation, due to the challenges of local production, a severe lack of skilled labor and support industries, and highly seasonal weather patterns.

read full story 

November 9, 2016

Unhampered by the cold or by the dark, Belleque Family Farm supplies fresh, locally grown greens to Dillingham City School District and AC Value Center.

No wind. No critters. No rain. Just the whir of machines and the smell of basil greet Kyle Belleque as he inspects his hydroponic garden. This Dillingham resident and lifelong rural Alaskan has been gardening for years, but this year is the first time he’s grown a garden in a box. A containerized growing system to be more precise. Rows of succulent lettuce, kale, and chard fill floor to ceiling shelves on either side of this shipping container that has been converted into a hydroponic farm.

read full story 

November 6, 2016

Growing Food With Hydroponics Could Provide Lifeline In Arctic

“Our vision is that this can be a long-term solution to the food shortage problems in the north.”

The landscape is virtually treeless around a coastal hub town above Alaska’s Arctic Circle, where even summer temperatures are too cold for boreal roots to take hold.

Amid these unforgiving conditions, a creative kind of farming is sprouting up in the largely Inupiat community of Kotzebue.

read full story 

October 5, 2016

Anchorage business, Vertical Harvest Hydroponics, wins $15,000 as a finalist in national rural entrepreneurship competition. 

Anchorage, AK, October 5, 2016 – The American Farm Bureau Federation announced today that an Alaskan agriculture business is one of four finalists in the 2017 Farm Bureau Rural Entrepreneurship Challenge.  The Farm Bureau Rural Entrepreneurship Challenge is the first national business competition focused exclusively on rural entrepreneurs working on food and agriculture businesses.

Vertical Harvest Hydroponics was one of 356 businesses around the nation competing for a piece of the $145,000 in available start-up funds.

read full story 

July 15, 2016

Arctic Greens sets example for northern hydroponics

It’s been a month since the first locally-grown leafy greens hit the shelves at Kotzebue’s Alaska Commercial store.

When the heads of lettuce appeared, local residents had high hopes for the certified Alaska Grown produce and the stakeholders behind the hydroponics pilot project had their sights set on building the foundation for a long-term endeavor.

read full story 

June 10, 2016

KOTZEBUE, Alaska Farming on the wind-swept tundra of Alaska’s arctic is a near impossible endeavor, but advancements in hydroponic technology are now being utilized as a solution to the produce problems vexing rural villages.

read full story 

June 10, 2016

In the middle of a gravel lot, surrounded by rusty equipment and old storage containers, one brand-new connex is making history. Inside, it’s filled with hydroponically grown, leafy green vegetables — the inaugural crop from Arctic Greens

read full story 

June 5, 2016

Frontiers Episode 58: Food for Thought

From above the Arctic Circle to Bristol Bay, there’s a growing interest in raising food closer to home.


watch the full episode 

June, 2016

From Snow to Grow

In Alaska, one company uses an innovative approach to grow fresh greens year round in hydroponics gardens housed within reused refrigerated containers.

Click HERE to read the full article published in the June 2016 issue of Practical Hydroponics and Greenhouses.


May 27, 2016

Dan Perpich asks, “Have you walked into a supermarket in the Arctic and seen the food prices? He pauses without waiting for an answer and then adds, “they are totally ridiculous!” It was happenstance that would lead Perpich, an army veteran with an environmental engineering background, to meet Cameron Willingham who, at the time, was working at University of Alaska Fairbanks in their high latitude agricultural program researching “how to grow all kind of things indoors.

read full story 

May 19, 2016

Spokane Valley manufacturer CXT begins partnership with hydroponics company

Containers set up to grow produce in harsh climates

Spokane Valley-based CXT Inc. has begun a new manufacturing partnership with Vertical Harvest Hydroponics LLC, an Anchorage, Alaska-based company that designs and builds what are called containerized growing systems.

read full story 

March 16, 2016

The New Face of Hydroponics. “As consumer values evolve, retailers take advantage of innovative hydroponic producers to support local, sustainable and environmental ideals”.

The latest issue of Produce Business, an agricultural trade magazine, addresses the shifting behavior of consumers towards a more local and fresher food source. Vertical Harvest Hydroponics was asked to contribute to this article and we gladly accepted.

Click HERE to read the full article



February 18, 2016

It was in 2011 while staring at a lettuce head in a small Canadian village called Resolute Bay that Dan Perpich’s idea began to grow. Based in Alaska as an infantry officer in the US army after graduating from West Point, Dan was shocked at how much vegetables cost in Northern Canada and Alaska – lettuce priced at $18 isn’t unheard of. The reason for this is a farm-to-table distance of thousands of miles. This spun an idea of how, despite inclement weather conditions, vegetables might be grown locally in Alaska to cut out the supply chain. Read the full story below:

read full story 


January 15, 2016

Butter lettuce grows inside a 40-foot shipping container like the one Belleque Family Farms will have installed in Dillingham this spring

Craving fresh (like, really fresh) romaine or bok choy this winter? You’re out of luck for now, but next winter Dillingham entrepreneur Kyle Belleque hopes to be growing lettuce inside a shipping container. An investment from the Bristol Bay Development Fund is helping Belleque launch his small business with a hydroponic grow system – learn more in this segment. Listen to the interview below:

listen to interview 



January 14, 2016

Hydroponic Vegetable Containers Could Bring Produce to Rural Alaska

It’s a way to bring fresh produce to rural villages.

“My wife and I are life-long rural Alaskans and when we were kids and my wife is from a small village, if they didn’t grow fresh produce themselves, there wasn’t any and I grew-up here in Dillingham and you know in the winter months, there was very, very little in the grocery stores,” said Kyle Belleque who is the Co-Owner and Operator for Belleque Family Farm. Watch the video below:

watch video 


January 13, 2016

Rising Veggie Prices and Growing Produce with Hydroponics

Produce is getting expensive – one company has found a way to grow lettuce all year round close to home. Of course they came up with the idea because they are in Alaska where the produce is both expensive and the quality is awful. Bruce interviews Dan Perpich, Co-Founder of Vertical Harvest Hydroponics in Alaska.  Listen to the full interview below:

listen to interview

January 5, 2016

Two Indoor Farm Startups Stand Up to Alaska’s Short Growing Season

How do you turn Alaska’s icy tundras into lush, year-round farms? Two forward-thinking startups just might have found the solution: growing indoors. Check out the full story below:

read full article

January 4, 2016

Hydroponic Lettuce Start-Ups Want to Bring Local Produce to Alaska

Finding fresh and affordable produce in rural Alaska has essentially been impossible, but two new start-ups, Alaska Natural Organics and Vertical Harvest Hydroponics, want to change that by bringing local, year-round farming to a state where officials say as much as 95 percent of food is imported. Check out the full story below:

read full article


January 3, 2016

Closing the Farm-to-Table Gap in Alaska

An Anchorage startup company has found a new use for the refrigerated container vans that once brought perishable items to Alaska, repurposing them to create transportable hydroponic gardens that can produce leafy greens year-round in northern communities. Check out the full story below:

read full article


January 3, 2016

Hydroponic farm in a box offers portable, year-round crop growing

An Anchorage startup company has found a new use for the refrigerated container vans that once brought perishable items to Alaska, repurposing them to create transportable hydroponic gardens that can produce leafy greens year-round in northern communities. Check out the full story below:

read full article


September 30, 2015

Anchorage company grows produce year-round in shipping containers

Imagine being able to grow fresh produce in a place like Barrow in the winter time. No sun and freezing temperatures may make that sound impossible, but an Anchorage-based business would disagree. The company, called Vertical Harvest, has designed a way to grow leafy greens year-round, anywhere in Alaska. Check out the full story below:

watch video

July 3, 2015

Q&A with Vertical Harvest Hydroponics

Alaska Startups recently had the opportunity to chat with Linda Janes, one of the founders of Vertical Harvest Hydroponics, an innovative startup in Alaska. Check out the full interview below:

read full article