Edmond native and Utah Jazz power forward Ekpe Udoh has created LGR Farms in south Edmond, a hydroponic container farming operation.
What hydroponic crops does LGR Farms specialize in? Are the items for sale?
LGR Farms can grow over 100 varieties of crops. We specialize in different lettuces, spinach, swiss chard, greens, and some herbs. Produce will be packaged and available for sale beginning in August. Customers can place orders at email@example.com or (405) 759-0318 and pick up items at LGR Farms office.
Tell me a little bit about your Edmond roots and where you currently live when you’re not in Edmond.
I was born and raised in Oklahoma and was born to Nigerian parents. I went to Edmond Santa Fe High School and my mother had a garden while I was growing up so I saw fresh produce my whole life. Since I play for Utah Jazz, I currently live in Utah year-round.
Has hydroponics always been a hobby of yours?
I wouldn’t use the word “hobby.” I’ve always been accustomed to fresh produce. It’s something I enjoy.
What is the benefit of hydroponics vs. traditional farming?
Traditional agriculture can have ups and downs due to weather and animals. Hydroponics is more controlled and uses less water. Hydroponics is soilless. Traditional farming usually has extra chemicals to help the crops grow. Our farm is herbicide and pesticide free. I cannot vouch for other hydroponic farms, but I know ours is herbicide and pesticide free.
Do you plant in the spring and harvest in the fall as with traditional farming?
We plant year round! Our crops grow and are ready for market in 4-7 weeks.
What does ‘LGR’ stand for?
Let’s Get Right. It’s a common phrase I always say as encouragement or motivation, as in ‘do better, be better.
How big is the farm?
The farming operation is housed in a repurposed shipping container. It measures 40’ x 8 x 9.5’. The hydroponic operations are controlled by an iPhone app or manually through a control panel inside the container.
What inspired you to start the farm, and what made Edmond the choice location?
I am big on healthy, fresh, but affordable produce. Our mission is committed to providing the community with fresh vegetables and herbs. More than just a farm, we also work hard to educate people on nutrition and alternative farming methods. I want to partner with schools to help students learn about the benefits of local, fresh produce.
How does your NBA career affect your involvement with the farm during basketball season?
During season, Erica Young operates day-to-day and harvesting. Off season, I am home in Edmond often to help with the day-to-day. During the season, I handle more of the conference calls and the social responsibility efforts for LGR Farms.
Are there any new developments on the horizon for you or the farm?
LGR Farms will be working with SodexoMagic (Magic Johnson company) to provide fresh produce to some historical black colleges & universities.
Visit www.lgrfarms.com for more information.