Despite frigid temperatures, the immense greenhouse in Madison announced in 2005 has produced its first crop of vine-ripened tomatoes. They're being marketed under the name Backyard Beauties and will be available at Hannaford supermarkets.
In Madison, the glass-covered greenhouse on a former dairy farm stretches nearly as far as the eye can see. At more than 1 million square feet, it's roughly the size of six Wal-Mart Supercenters or more than 20 football fields.
With a capacity of 240,000 plants growing up to 10-feet tall, the greenhouse is projected to yield 1 million tomatoes a week. That adds up to 7.7 tons a year.
If all goes according to plan, this is only the beginning. Backyard Farms, based in Lexington, Mass., envisions three or four additional greenhouses that would also turn out other hydroponic produce, including cucumbers, peppers, eggplant and culinary herbs. [Link]