Hydroponics and Good Humor: Visiting Lee’s Produce

Ron Lee is not afraid of new technology. When I visited his farm in Benson, North Carolina with Monica Wood from the State Farmers Market, I was blown away by the interesting techniques his family farm was using to grow the wide variety of products they sell to the State Farmers Market as well as to larger retailers. More than that, Ron Lee is incredibly generous and funny and was a pleasure to work with to film these videos. And I’m not just saying that because I was bribed with some delicious green tomatoes in April.

Sometimes low-tech works best. That’s the case with the sprinkler system Ron Lee set up to protect his strawberry blooms and fruits from cold spring temperatures.

Did you know that honeybees can’t pollinate tomatoes well? You need heavier bumblebees to buzz the right way to fully pollinate a greenhouse tomato. See the video below to learn more.

Ron Lee also has a hydroponic greenhouse set up which sounds like walking into an echoing hotel lobby with a big fountain inside from all the fertilizer-water pumping through the PVC pipes feeding the plants. Hear it for yourself in the video below.


In addition to Ron Lee, I owe a huge thanks to the State Farmers Market and the North Carolina Department of Agriculture for introducing me to the farmers that I got to film.


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