About 15 miles south of Toledo, Ohio, is Shared Legacy Farms, a certified organic vegetable farm that runs as a community-supported agriculture membership program. Co-owned by Kurt Bench and his wife Corinna, Shared Legacy Farms has met the organic produce needs for 400 people in Elmore and Northwest Ohio for 10 years.
With a total acreage of 25, 10 acres are used to grow vegetables of all kinds. While they primarily produce lettuce-based crops like Asian greens and salad, they also grow tomatoes, peppers, onions and radishes, just to name a few.
As a third-generation farmer, having a green thumb was inevitable for Bench, but his production enhanced once his cooperative, Great River Organics, switched to Proptek’s trays, which are made of reprocessed material and have a lifespan that's often up to 10 years, or even more.
“The plant quality is awesome and out of this world,” Bench says. “The plants grow faster and harden off differently in these trays. They root out faster and there’s a quicker turn so I can move them in the cold frame faster than I would using a 128. I’ve even had to change my soil mix to a heavier soil because it drains so well.”
Shared Legacy Farms uses the trays for about 70 to 80% of its crops. At first, Bench was skeptical about switching from a tray of 128 cells to 231 cells because of the double in size. He was worried about plant health, diseases and the lack of air movement, which according to him, was eased with Proptek’s swift assistance with any questions and concerns he had. Luckily, the transition to their 10x20 trays saves him space and improves production.
“The biggest thing about Proptek is that they help us become more efficient farmers,” Bench says. “We can produce a plant faster in a smaller amount of space, which saves money. And, since the plant health is better, that’s less time worrying about applying certain products.”