Everything you see at the grocery store these days, you always have to wonder, “Where exactly does this stuff come from?” or “How am I getting a seasonal vegetable year round?”

Yes, you will see organic labels at Whole Foods, but it always seems to be coupled with or followed by “conventionally” grown. Especially in Chicago, you can imagine how hard it is to find fresh produce when, in the dead of winter, all the fields are frozen. However, CEO of MightyVine, Gary Lazarski, is one of many farmers utilizing hydroponic farming.


Chicago MightyVine Local Tomato

Photo By Caitlin Reynolds

MightyVine is a Rochelle-based hydroponic tomato farm, that has doubled its operations due to increased demand for their quality product. Their team has accomplished the art of growing fresh tomatoes available year-round using state-of-art glasshouse technology, and exceptional sustainable practices.

Now getting scientific, what the heck is hydroponic farming? In the simplest terms, it is industrial-sized farming indoors. Think of it like a giant greenhouse on fertile farmland. Gary Lazarski and his passionate team of tomato lovers recognized the issue of tasteless tomatoes during this crops off-season. The peak season for tomatoes beginning in June, MightyVine’s innovative farming techniques make those sweet cheery and plump-juicey tomatoes available all year round.


Chicago MightyVine Local Tomato

Photo Courtesy of @localfoods on Instagram

You can find their two tomato varietals, the Roterno and the Robinio at your local WholeFoods, Local Foods, Sugar Beet Food Co-op, or select Jewel-Osco locations.

Root for your local tomato!