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Kansas City hydroponic farm growing in the East Bottoms

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Things are looking green in the East Bottoms.

A Kansas City-based start-up bought an old warehouse around a year ago with the goal to curb urban blight.

“My uncle had the idea to purchase blighted real estate and turn it into hydroponic farms,” chief grower Lena Sleyster said. “If we can take these buildings and make them useful and create farmers out of our community while providing fresh and sustainably grown produce all year round we’re solving three problems in one. That will ultimately carry us for future generations to come.”

Urban Bounty Farms took the new-to-them space and turned the inside into a hydroponic farm. They grow herbs, vegetables, micro greens and mushrooms at the East Bottoms warehouse.

Sleyster’s goal is to increase the property value in the area, and make it a more attractive area for other businesses while also having an impact on those already there.

“People may see commercial buildings, I see them as potential farms for our community,” Sleyster said.

Daily Culture makes Kombucha next door. Owner Chris Boyle moved in around the same time as Urban Bounty and realized he could save a trip to the grocery store.

“If I have kombucha in certain places I will let those places know ‘Hey I have a hydroponic farm next to where we’re brewing and so if you’re interested I can get you samples or get you in contact.’ Just try to collaborate and help each other grow and get more into the Kansas City community essentially,” Boyle said.

Urban Bounty Farms also has a container in Lee’s Summit with the same function as the warehouse. They sell direct to consumers and to several area Hy-Vee’s, a Sunfresh and multiple restaurants.

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