“The low-slung building on Evans Avenue with the greenhouse roof blends into the surroundings in an uninspiring stretch of Denver, all nondescript retail and pockets of ranch homes. It’s a hydroponic farm, run by partners Jake Olson and Lauren Brettschneider. The produce is all on tables at waist height, and the plumbing is subtle and minimalist. There is no soil anywhere. From the street it’s easy to miss Rebel Farm; inside, it looks like an Apple Store hosting a farmer’s market.
One afternoon this summer, Kimbal Musk, a tall, lanky man in a cowboy hat, ducked in through the front door. He was here to see about the produce for his Denver-area restaurants. Unlike, perhaps, the average restaurateur, he’d brought a couple of assistants, who used smartphones to photograph his entrance, and his greeting with Olson and Brettschneider, and the huge smile he put on when he surveyed the farm. He’d never been to Rebel Farm before, but the operation was already providing him gem lettuce, a trendy green, and now he wanted to see what else it might offer. Olson and Brettschneider start walking him up and down the aisles. The building’s southern exposure is a heat-exchanging wall, and they start there, in the cool-climate crops.”
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