Food: Taking Mache Mainstream

THE GREENS KEEPER

There was a time in the U.S. when salad meant a wedge of iceberg lettuce. But in the late 1980s, as European salad mixes like mesclun were capturing the attention of gourmets, visionary farmer Todd Koons had the idea of packaging an organic spring-lettuce mix. Mesclun had never been grown in a large-scale industrial way, and mass cultivation proved to be a challenge. But Koons persevered, and by 1993 his company was farming 10,000 acres a year and shipping bagged spring mix nationwide. His enterprise helped change the way Americans get their greens, earning Koons, 45, the nickname...

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