Amazing greens grown in a shipping container near you, and sold in Brookline
At Brookline Grown, shelves are stocked with sauces and dressings, jams and chocolate — all crafted within a 7-mile radius of the rustic Coolidge Corner shop. Bakers in nearby towns provide crusty breads, challah, and pastries; goat cheese and eggs come from New England family farms. Wares from 100 local vendors are sold here, and many offerings are vegan, gluten-free, and kosher. “There’s lots of hard-working people in the area making really great food,” says co-owner Bobby Zuker, 41. “We want to be a place where local food entrepreneurs can sell their stuff.” Grab-and-go salads ($8 to $12) have exquisite leafy greens, crisp slices of radish, and rounds of hakurei, a salad turnip. The premium produce is grown year-round 100 steps from the store’s back door. Zuker and business partner Chris Mutty, 29, started Green Line Growers two years ago, purchasing three retooled shipping containers called Freight Farms, which they park inside an abandoned Waldo Street garage that once housed a taxi company. Inside the containers, the crops are grown hydroponically, without soil or sunlight, in planters with nutrient-rich peat moss, an irrigation system, and red and blue LED lights. The three Freight Farms are the equivalent of 4½ acres of land, says Zuker. Each week the duo picks 2,000 heads of lettuce, 50 pounds of kale, kohlrabi, wasabi arugula, mustard greens, radishes, turnips, and more. Some of the harvest goes off to restaurants. Much of it is used for the salads or sold in the shop. The produce is also sold through a farm-share program. Brookline Grown, 14 Pleasant St., Brookline, 617-487-8687, www.brooklinegrown.com.
ANN TRIEGER KURLAND