Historic 19th Century Mill Building Gets a “Green”, High Tech Makeover for Cannabis Cultivation

Historic 19th Century Mill Building Gets a “Green”, High Tech Makeover for Cannabis Cultivation

(SOUTHBRIDGE, MASS.) January 28, 2021 – Today Green Meadows Farm (Green Meadows), a cannabis company recently launched by the Patton family, unveils its new cannabis cultivation, processing, and retail facility in the Simonelli Innovation Center, restored from a 19th century mill building in Southbridge, Mass.

Downtown Southbridge is a showcase of historic architecture, so it was important for Green Meadows to work in close coordination with Southbridge officials along with the engineering and design team to ensure the new Green Meadows facility, particularly the external façade, maintained the aesthetic of the historic mill building.

“The expectations that come along with the restoration of a historical property gave us the opportunity to really connect with the history and the values of the Southbridge community,” said Bob Patton, CEO, Green Meadows. “Southbridge has a rich heritage, and we look forward to contributing to the city’s economic resurgence, while also remembering and honoring the city’s history.”

The more things change, the more they stay the same

The restoration of existing mill structures can be complicated, but there are a lot of benefits, too. For example, at the original site, there was already a robust sprinkler system in place, and the 14-foot ceilings afforded adequate room for air handling equipment. Beyond these practical benefits, restoration is a critical element of sustainable development and strengthens the heritage of historic cities like Southbridge. In the case of this facility, the previous building owners had already taken steps to make the mill building more energy efficient by installing solar panels. For the exterior, Green Meadows maintained the historical attributes of the property, including keeping the front façade intact.

Naturally, the existing 19th century load bearing features weren’t intended to hold the weight of 21st century equipment, so they were either reenforced or replaced entirely. Custom tunable LED features with six spectrums—blue, white, red light frequencies—were also installed, bringing very specific control over the bands of light. While aesthetically pleasing, the wood floors posed a unique challenge when designing and installing floor drains, a critical feature for indoor cultivation. This was further complicated by the fact that the basement floor is in use, with tenants working in the space. To solve this challenge, Green Meadows brought in stainless steel panels to create completely isolated spaces within the mill, similar to a pod system.

AI-Driven Environmental Monitoring

While the outside of the building was meticulously restored to preserve its mill aesthetic from centuries ago, the technology that lives inside the building provides a peak into the future of smart, data-driven horticulture. Green Meadows installed Priva, an environmental monitoring system, which provides hardware and software for climate control, energy saving and optimal reuse of water.

“The entire cultivation facility is equipped with low voltage sensors to monitor soil content, including soil nutrients as well as heat and moisture levels,” said Benjamin Bourque, Executive Vice President of Cultivation and Processing, who oversaw this development and restoration. “The AI software processes the sensor data and makes decisions to change nutrient contents, along with other environmental adjustments to optimize growing and water usage. We also customized the technology to create the ideal environment for each strain—matching the fertilizer recipe for a given strain  to align with key production goals such as higher THC percentage or higher yield.”

Green Meadows was approved for its license to open as an adult-use retailer earlier this month and plans to open its doors in early February. In a rarity for Massachusetts cannabis, Green Meadows will launch its cultivation and processing facility within the same restored 19th century structure, ensuring a seamless integration of customer-facing retail and premium organic production. Once vertically integrated from seed to sale, Green Meadows will activate its pending medical cannabis license and serve registered patients along with adult-use customers.

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About Green Meadows:

Green Meadows is a cannabis company based in Southbridge, Massachusetts, committed to providing its customers with the highest quality cannabis products through both curation, and ultimately cultivation. It plans to open an adult use dispensary in Southbridge at its 35,000-square-foot cultivation, extraction and dispensary facility; medical cannabis sales and production will also commence, all pending regulatory approval. Founded by the Patton family, Green Meadows is committed to veteran and diversity employment, as well as the continued scientific study of the potential benefits of cannabis in treating PTSD and other conditions of urgent importance to improving the quality of care for our veterans. For more information, visit: https://greenmeadows.com/

Media Contact

Nicole Stenclik: 716.226.6989 or nicole@akrete.com

We Support Veterans

Green Meadows was originally a produce farm established on land purchased by George S. Patton in 1928. The Patton family continues to honor the General’s legacy through its commitment to diversity employment and to helping veterans and their families cope with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, social isolation, and pain-related issues.

General George S. Patton Jr. in Tunisia, 1943
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