Deeply fragrant, Minnesota-grown basil in March? Believe it. Urban Greens has made garden-fresh herbs a convenient, year-round reality.

Co-owners Joel Love and Andrew Rescorla are childhood friends who grew up to be farmers, although they're not tilling soil.

Instead, their agricultural medium of choice is water. At their technologically advanced Columbia Heights facility, a half-dozen varieties of herbs are cultivated, pesticide-free, in a hydroponic environment that's powered by renewable energy.

Along with top-selling basil, the farm — which is a 6,000-square foot warehouse — turns out dill, chives, sage, sorrel and parsley, plus microgreens. They're sold at Seward Community Co-op, Wedge Community Co-op and Lakewinds Food Co-op, along with most Kowalski's Markets.

"We wanted to provide a local option for fresh, healthy, safe food, but in Minnesota, 'local' and 'year-round' can't be done outdoors," says Love. "With hydroponics, you can grow the same quality product 365 days a year."

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