MONETA, Va. – A new veteran-owned farm in Moneta is revamping traditional farming with advanced technology to serve up the freshest greens all year long.
Ditching the soil and bringing in a laptop, there’s a new hydroponic farm in Moneta.
Using selective lighting, balancing pH and nutrient levels and releasing water through a bar of foam, Vittone Farms is growing 6,000 greens a month in a 40-foot box.
“365 days a year is what we can do,” Jeff Vittone, owner of Vittone Farms, said. “Which is also busting some paradigms. Like, ‘how do you do this and why is it ready and why is it so green?’ And it’s like well, it’s all grown here.”
The farm also uses green power by using a solar panel to produce a variety of foods stemming from lettuce to radishes to even carrots.
A lover of salads, Vittone said he got into hydroponics after noticing major food waste after E. coli scares.
After serving eight years active duty in the Air Force and a total of 12 years in the Virginia Air National Guard, Vittone turned his hobby into a business to put more fresh food on local tables.
“I believe if you ask any veteran they will say that after my duty to my country was served,” he said. “It’s like going without water. You still want to serve to some capacity.”
Now, he is calling on other veterans to get into the business.
By using only about five gallons of water a day, he encourages people to try container farming if they don’t have much land.
“If you have two, three acres of land that is just not enough to produce to make money but that’s enough for this to be there…small local communities and food deserts need this kind of technology.”
Hosting the Smith Mountain Lake Farmer’s Market, Vittone plans to highlight other local businesses from now till the week before Thanksgiving.
The farmer’s market is open on Fridays from 2 p.m to 6 p.m and Saturdays from 10 a.m to 2 p.m.