Indoor aquaponic vertical farming company Upward Farms has announced plans to add what it says will be the world’s largest vertical farm to its network.
The new 250,000-square-foot facility, located in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, is slated to be complete and operational in early 2023 — providing fresh, locally sourced microgreens and sustainably raised hybrid striped bass to consumers throughout the Northeast and beyond.
Upward farms is localizing production of what are today among the most dislocated perishable foods — 90 percent of leafy greens are grown on the West Coast and 90 percent of seafood is imported — increasing access to fresh, healthy, and responsibly grown food.
Upward Farms says its new facility in Pennsylvania will be 2-4x the size of the next largest vertical farms operated by their sector peers. The company’s 250,000 square foot facility will conserve more than 100 million gallons of water and more than 120 acres of land on an annual basis, and eliminate 1.7 million food transportation miles per year.
“Farming is one of the sectors that’s both highly exposed to the perils of climate change and one of its key drivers,” said Jason Green, CEO & cofounder of Upward Farms. “Solutions for food production that are good for people and the planet are sorely needed. With the construction of the world’s largest vertical farm — our third aquaponic vertical farm overall — we’re demonstrating the power of nature and nurture, adding our proprietary Ecological Intelligence to the accelerating trend of indoor and vertical farming.
“With this new facility, we’ll be able to reach some of the most populous areas of the US, and nearly 100 million Americans, within a single day of distribution versus the week it can take to receive products from the west coast. This is a local success story with massive global implications for how and where food is grown, and the next generation of manufacturing technology.”