LAKEWOOD, Colo. -- A new Denver grow house isn't growing marijuana, but it is growing lots of leafy greens that are changing the way some restaurants do business.
For the past month, Beast & Bottle restaurant has been serving up some seriously fresh greens that wouldn't normally be in season locally.
"It's all baby romaine," said Alex Mathieu, chef de cuisine at Beast & Bottle. "The texture is just unbelievable. It's super crisp, very nice."
Infinite Harvest delivered the lettuce from its new Lakewood warehouse, which acts like a farm and looks like a lab, complete with sterile suits, gloves, booties and hairnets.
“We go through the garb, the airlocks, the cleanup process so that we don’t bring any contaminates into the room with us," said Tommy Romano, CEO of Infinite Harvest.
By growing lettuce and herbs such a tightly controlled environment, Infinite Harvest doesn't need pesticides, herbicides or dirt. They also need 95% less water than a traditional farm thanks to a system that recycles and conserves water.
"Bringing nutrients to each individual plant at the right time," Romano said.
And by stacking plants vertically, the ceiling is the limit.
"This building only has about 16 feet (ceilings)," Romano said. "We can go to 30 feet ceilings and get the plants all the way up that high."
And the efficiency doesn't stop with the water or stacked plants, the company also uses proprietary LED grow lights that give off a purple color.
"The sun puts out every color spectrum available, the plants only need one or two of those," Romano said. "So we can produce more light, with just those two wavelenghts, for less electricity."
That means Infinite Harvest will soon be able to produce the equivalent of 2 acres of farmland each month, all in a 5,000 square foot warehouse just down the road from restaurants.
"We'll harvest in the morning and deliver to them within a couple of hours," Romano said.
That's something Chef Mathieu can appreciate.
"Their product is outstanding and their price point is unbelievable too," he said.
Infinite Harvest currently serves six Denver area restaurants at it's current size, but there is a waitlist of others that will also begin ordering once the warehouse expansion is complete.
The company also plans to sell to local grocery stores by the end of the summer.