Vertical Harvest: Testing Urban Farming In Wyoming
A startup called Vertical Harvest is in the process of putting together one of the most extensive experiments in urban farming to date. Vertical Harvest are working with the Jackson, Wyoming municipality to create a three-story greenhouse filled with micro greens, herbs, tomatoes and other crops.
The goal is to provide Wyoming with freshly grown food that would ordinarily be shipped from Mexico or California. The town owns the building and enters into a partnership with the startup, who are responsible for running the operation.
Within the farm itself, an innovative system of conveyer belts moves the plants around the greenhouse ensuring that each plant gets equal amount of time in the warmer and sunnier south side of the building saving energy costs and the need for artificial light. The system can also be used to move plants to workers when they are ready to be harvested.
Vertical Harvest’s initial project is still relatively small scale, producing 37,000 pounds of greens, 4,400 pounds of herbs and 44,000 pounds of tomatoes in one year, less than the supply required for Jackson alone.
Still, the project has potential benefits for the local economy and could be part of a more resilient model for food production in the future.