This month we learn from the experience of Brian Patterson, who grows heirloom tomatoes and greens using hydroponics. Brian was born and raised in West Palm Beach and found his passion for farming when he purchased some land in Indiantown, Florida in 1994.
“I originally started with fish farming growing tilapia and red claw lobsters. However after visiting a hydroponic tomato farm, I was hooked on this high tech method of farming. I quickly purchased a greenhouse and started to produce red tomatoes for several years. The production was phenomenal, but market prices were low. We then switched over to heirloom tomato production and haven’t looked back since.
We love to grow the great varieties and are able to command a much better price for our product. We grow our tomatoes in perlite under greenhouse cover. I also started another greenhouse for a hydroponic tower system growing a variety of specialty lettuces and recently we started to grow vegetables in the ground as well. We have grown zucchini, eggplant, purple beans, purple scallions, red kale and many other specialty vegetables. We utilize our own blend of liquid fertilizer in all of our growing systems. This blend is one I mix and I keep the recipe my secret with the intention to commercially produce it some day. This blend of fertilizer produces the best tasting vegetables at a tremendous growth rate. I am still farming with my wife and daughter and we are looking forward to a great year.”