Bowery opens new vertical farm in Pennsylvania

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When I wrote mine big TC1 at Bowery Farming late last year, there was a lot of talk about the company’s third commercial farm site in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Today, the facility is finally up and running after a big press release. The New Jersey-based vertical farming startup says the facility, built on a former site of an abandoned lot, is the most technologically advanced to date.

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The commercial farm is Bowery’s third, including the first farm I visited in Kearny, New Jersey, and a farm in Nottingham, Maryland. Baby steps, but the company says it plans to double those three by next year. The company does not give official information about the farm, although real estate reports over the past few years have estimated it at about 156,000 square feet. Sounds like it’s a big site, although others have outlined the details for even larger objects.

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Of course, there are some ongoing questions about the environmental impact of vertical farming. There are many benefits, including a much smaller footprint and less water consumption, although detractors often cite the efficiency of using LEDs instead of natural lighting. Bowery says his new farm will be powered by 100% renewable energy, combined with water capture and filtration designed to return runoff to the system.

“If we have learned anything over the past two years, it is that we are in a period of unprecedented turmoil and uncertainty due to our climate and geopolitical circumstances, which unfortunately will persist. We also see first hand that our global food system is inextricably linked to this dynamic,” said Founder and CEO Irving Fein. “At Bowery, wherever food is needed, we can grow it. We are solving problems in our system by growing smart food for more people in more places – and that work to feed our future continues today with the opening of our farm in Bethlehem.”

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The new farm will also create 70 jobs in Bethlehem, next door to Allentown and an hour and a half from Philadelphia. The place is designed to serve within a 200-mile radius thanks to retailers such as Whole Foods, Giant of Landover and Albertsons, according to Bowery.


Credit: techcrunch.com /

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