FISHERSVILLE, Va. (WHSV)-- Have you ever wanted fresh, local produce, but the selection wasn't very great because it's not in season? One Valley farmer is trying to change that so you can have fruits and vegetables all year long.
It all started when William Layton wanted to grow Virginia's biggest pumpkin. Layton says when he tried to grow the pumpkins with fertilizer, they couldn't get over 250 - 300 pounds. He decided to take things into his own hands and grow vegetables a new way. After his first year, he broke the state record. He knew he was on to something.
"And all of a sudden, I had tomatoes all the way until frost killed 'em. I mean big, beautiful tomatoes and they tasted better," said Layton.
Now he is patenting his system, and bringing it to the Valley. Local farmer Mark Viette is glad to have Layton experimenting on his farm. He hopes this new way of growing will spread to other farmers and become a learning opportunity.
"People want to learn, they want to take home something they can easily do in their own garden," says Viette.
They hope to have one of the greenhouses in working order by October so they can grow fruits and vegetables, 365 days a year. They plan to renovate a total of 11 greenhouses one by one. Layton doesn't use chemicals, fertilizers or solutions in his system. What he does use is special lighting which helps his vegetables grow larger and year-round.
Viette says, "just imagine eating fresh strawberries right off the vine in November, December, January, and February."
Layton says this can be put in any abandoned building and can help solve world hunger.
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