Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

World's Largest Indoor Vertical Farm Breaks Ground in Newark, New Jersey

Food
An artist rendering of the 69,000-square-foot AeroFarms headquarters in Newark, New Jersey. AeroFarms

Newark, New Jersey will soon be home to the largest indoor vertical farm in the world. The city just broke ground on the massive, 69,000-square-foot AeroFarms headquarters that's capable of producing up to 2 million pounds of vegetables and herbs annually once it's in full operation.

The new $30 million complex dwarfs Japan's (already impressive) 25,000-square-foot vertical indoor farm, which had been the world's largest until now.

Merging agriculture and the latest in technology, the AeroFarms system relies on LED lights, aeroponics (where plants basically grow in nutrient-rich mist) and climate control. Plants grow in stacked racks without sun, soil or pesticides.

The company's patented controlled growing environment purportedly uses 95 percent less water than traditional farms. Photo credit: AeroFarms

In the Bloomberg video below, AeroFarms CEO and co-founder David Rosenberg explains how conditions such as lighting, oxygen, carbon dioxide, temperature and pH balances can be optimized inside the farm to create the perfect growing environment.

"If we're talking about feeding a planet of 8 billion or 9 billion, we need a new paradigm of how we grow our food. This is it. This is the future," Rosenberg said about the project.

According to projections from the United Nations, the world's population will reach 9.6 billion people by 2050, 86 percent of whom will live in cities that might be far-removed from traditional farms. For people who live in major commercial cities such as Newark, these sky-high farms allow access to fresh, nutritious food year-round.

Vertical farms have been touted as the future of food and agriculture. As we have mentioned before, these farms are ideal because they grow produce where traditional agriculture would have been impossible. Since growing is done indoors, the plants are immune to inclement weather and natural disasters that can wreak agricultural havoc and cause food shortages. So while we might not think of Newark as an agricultural hub, a vertical farm actually makes a lot of sense for a city with long winters and memories of Hurricane Sandy still fresh.

Not only that, NBC News reported that the project will create nearly 80 local jobs, which is much-needed for a community with twice the unemployment rate of the national average. The farm will also supply fresh produce to local businesses and restaurants, cutting transportation costs and the many miles that food usually travels to get to plates, the news outlet reported.

Newark Mayor Ras. J. Baraka also spoke about how the farm is an important educational tool for the community. "Any sort of urban farming will have a positive impact on the physical health of its citizens. There will be opportunities to educate our citizens about eating smart, even on a budget," Baraka told NBC News. "Many students who grow up in urban communities never experience rural living—they have never seen fruits or vegetables growing from their source. What an incredible science lesson it will be to bring classes to this urban farm."

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Women walk from Santa Monica beach after a social media workout on the sand on May 12, 2020 in Santa Monica, California. Al Seib / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Independence Day weekend is a busy time for coastal communities as people flock to the beaches to soak up the sun during the summer holiday. This year is different. Some of the country's most popular beach destinations in Florida and California have decided to close their beaches to stop the surge in coronavirus cases.

Read More Show Less
Daily fireworks in many U.S. cities in recent weeks have no doubt been interfering with the sleep and peace of mind of thousands of veterans and others who suffer from PTSD. Flickr / CC by 2.0

By Arash Javanbakht

For some combat veterans, the Fourth of July is not a time to celebrate the independence of the country they love. Instead, the holiday is a terrifying ordeal. That's because the noise of fireworks – loud, sudden, and reminiscent of war – rocks their nervous system. Daily fireworks in many U.S. cities in recent weeks have no doubt been interfering with the sleep and peace of mind of thousands of veterans.

Read More Show Less
Koala populations across parts of Australia are on track to become extinct before 2050 unless "urgent government intervention" occurs. Mathias Appel / Flickr

Koala populations across parts of Australia are on track to become extinct before 2050 unless "urgent government intervention" occurs, warns a year-long inquiry into Australia's "most loved animal." The report published by the Parliament of New South Wales (NSW) paints a "stark and depressing snapshot" of koalas in Australia's southeastern state.

Read More Show Less
NASA is advancing tools like this supercomputer model that created this simulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to better understand what will happen to Earth's climate if the land and ocean can no longer absorb nearly half of all climate-warming CO2 emissions. NASA/GSFC

By Jeff Berardelli

For the past year, some of the most up-to-date computer models from the world's top climate modeling groups have been "running hot" – projecting that global warming may be even more extreme than earlier thought. Data from some of the model runs has been confounding scientists because it challenges decades of consistent projections.

Read More Show Less
A child stands in what is left of his house in Utuado, Puerto Rico, which was almost completely destroyed by Hurricane Maria, on Oct. 12, 2017. U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Jon-Paul Rios. Flickr, CC by 2.0
By Mark Hertsgaard and Kyle Pope

To hear many journalists tell it, the spring of 2020 has brought a series of extraordinary revelations. Look at what the nation has learned: That our health-care system was not remotely up to the challenge of a deadly pandemic. That our economic safety net was largely nonexistent. That our vulnerability to disease and death was directly tied to our race and where we live. That our political leadership sowed misinformation that left people dead. That systemic racism and the killing of Black people by police is undiminished, despite decades of protest and so many Black lives lost.
Read More Show Less
President Trump's claim last September that Hurricane Dorian was headed for Alabama's gulf coast was quickly refuted by employees at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). An independent investigation found that NOAA's chief violated the agency's ethics when he backed Trump's warning and doctored map that used a Sharpie to alter the storm's path, as EcoWatch reported.
Read More Show Less

Trending

African bush elephants in the Makgadikgadi Pans Game Reserve in Botswana on Nov. 22, 2016. Michael Jansen / Flickr

More than 350 elephants have died in Botswana since May, and no one knows why.

Read More Show Less