The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
World's Largest Organic Rooftop Farm Powered 100% by Renewables Opens in Chicago
Located in the historic Pullman area on Chicago's South Side, the farm is the company's fourth greenhouse facility and its first outside of New York. The 75,000-square-foot farm is located on top of a Method manufacturing facility, and is powered completely by renewable energy. The farm employs more than 50 people and "will produce nearly 10 million annual crops of local, premium-quality, pesticide-free, leafy greens and herbs," according to the company.
"With more than $1 billion in venture capital invested in the city in 2014, Chicago continues to emerge as the country's newest hot spot for innovation and growing companies," Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. "Gotham Greens' expansion means even more jobs and investment in the Pullman neighborhood and through cutting-edge agricultural innovation, they will provide fresh, healthy and locally-grown foods to residents across Chicago."
The produce will be available in select markets around the Chicago area, including Whole Foods Market, Peapod, Treasure Island, Sunset Foods, Plum Market, Target and others. The company has also partnered with local institutions such as the Greater Chicago Food Depository, Greater Roseland West Pullman Food Network, Pilot Light, Chicago Botanical Garden's Windy City Harvest and more.
Thanks to "sophisticated computer control systems" that "continually adjust the greenhouse environment to ensure optimal growing conditions all year round," the farm is able to produce despite even the coldest of temperatures. "For Chicagoans, this means premium-quality, hyper-local produce that often hits store shelves and restaurant plates the very same day it's harvested, 365 days a year," Gotham Greens said in their press release.
There are numerous benefits to growing food this way in addition to year-round production. According to the company, their "proprietary growing methods" produce up to 30 times more crop per acre than field production. They claim their two-acre facility can produce yields equivalent to more than 50 acres of conventional field production.
And because Gotham Greens recycles all of its irrigation water, the company says, "it uses 10 times less water than conventional agriculture (while also eliminating all agricultural runoff—one of the leading causes of global water pollution)." Additionally, by growing and selling their food in Chicago, they drastically reduce the food waste and environmental footprint inherent in long-distance food transport.
At EcoWatch, we featured Gotham Greens when they announced that they were building the Chicago facility last year. We also featured them as one of six urban farms revolutionizing how food is grown. Its flagship facility in Brooklyn, built in 2010, was the first commercial scale rooftop greenhouse in the U.S., according to the company.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Dan Gray
Pediatricians are being urged to start writing "exercise prescriptions" for the children they see in their office.
An indigenous rail blockade that snarled train travel in Canada for more than two weeks came to an end Monday when police moved in to clear protesters acting in solidarity with another indigenous community in British Columbia (B.C.), which is fighting to keep a natural gas pipeline off its land.
A Florida hiker recently stumbled across a slithering surprise — a rare snake that hadn't been spotted in the area for more than 50 years.
By Genna Reed
The EPA announced last week that it is issuing a preliminary regulatory determination for public comment to set an enforceable drinking water standard to two of the most common and well-studied PFAS, PFOA and PFOS.
This decision is based on three criteria:
- PFOA and PFOS have an adverse effect on public health
- PFOA and PFOS occur in drinking water often enough and at levels of public health concern;
- regulation of PFOA and PFOS is a meaningful opportunity for reducing the health risk to those served by public water systems.