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Meet the vendor: LandSeaFood

Meet the vendor: LandSeaFood
Posted on 05/28/2019
Terrance and Carl Waldenmaier holding greensCarl Waldenmaier had a long career as an industrial engineer until he and his son Terrance decided to get into aquaponics, raising shrimp. Aquaponics refers to a combination of aquaculture — raising aquatic animals such as shrimp and fish — with hydroponics — cultivating plants in water. They diverted a little from the original idea and landed on hydroponics. 

Their current business in housed in an industrial strip mall in south Overland Park, Kansas. ActNow, LLC, which sells under the name LandSeaFood, grows arugula, spinach and eight varieties of lettuce, including red and green romaine, sweet crisp and butter lettuce. Their products are harvested and go to market within 48 hours. Carl recommends consuming the lettuce within the week for optimal nutrients. 

Carl has designed a special system to efficiently grow 575 heads of lettuce each week. The entire operation is hooked up and controlled by electronics that can be monitored from Carl’s phone. Carl says he can be at a farmers market and take care of his crops at the same time. Most hydroponic farmers grow horizontally, but LandSeaFood grows vertically to use space more efficiently. Light, temperature, carbon dioxide and air are tightly controlled. All the water used in the operation is purified through reverse osmosis. They literally take everything out of the water before adding back the specific micro and macronutrients that are need to optimal growing. 

LandSeaFood has taken Carl and Terrance four years to build. Last November, they expanded into a 1,200-square-foot space that has allowed them to start growing mushrooms. They are currently at work testing their mushroom-growing techniques and plan to have the mushrooms available at market before the end of summer.  

Learn more about hydroponics by chatting with Carl and Terrance at the LandSeaFood vendor stall on Tuesdays and Saturdays at the Lenexa Farmers Market. And buy their beautiful greens!

Published May 28, 2019