APS partners with local farm to offer students healthier options

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Albuquerque Public Schools recently partnered with a local farm in Corrales — Silver Leaf Farms. This new partnership offers something for APS that other farm partners in the district don’t.         

“Silver Leaf has given us a great opportunity to have fresh salad greens throughout the whole year because of their growing conditions, and what they’re doing special down there at Silver Leaf Farms,” said Sandra Kemp, executive director of APS Food and Nutrition Services. 

Silver Leaf Farms is owned by two brothers and will provide different kinds of lettuce that can grow all year long no matter the weather, because of a growing method called hydroponics.

“Essentially, the nutrients come through the water source and so there’s a million ways that that can manifest itself,” said Elan Silverblatt-Buser, co-owner of Silver Leaf Farms. “We just were, we were able to feed the plants, feed the lettuce, the exact right amount of nutrients. So we can really control for quality and really control for flavor.”

And without having to fight all the natural elements, the greenhouse aspect of it all helps make growing lettuce — and a few other greens —  easier and accessible for different schools here in the metro all year long.

“It’s totally climate controlled. So we have heating in the winter, cooling in the summer, tons of sunlight here in New Mexico,” said Buser. 

And this isn’t Silver Leaf Farm’s first rodeo, they’ve worked with other school districts in Bernalillo and Santa Fe too.

While this farm feeds APS students partially right now, there’s a bigger goal in mind for the future.

“The goal is to be able to, at some point, provide all the lettuce that APS could ever need,” said Buser.