The World’s Largest Indoor Farm Is Opening Next Year in … Camden?
The Garden State will soon be a little more lush thanks to AeroFarms LLC, a New Jersey-based agriculture company that Philly.com reports has plans to open what owners have called the world’s largest indoor farm in Camden by 2018.
Yes, you read that right. Camden will soon be home to a state-of-the-art, 78,000-square-foot warehouse responsible for churning out kale, arugula, and other leafy greens for the health-conscious consumer.
AeroFarms’s mission is to transform the agriculture industry through the creation and operation of “environmentally responsible” farms that both foster local production and provide communities with “safe, nutritious, and delicious food.”
The company defies the restrictions of growing seasons by functioning completely indoors, all while using 95 percent less water than field-farmed foods and with yields up to 130 times higher per square foot annually. It works because AeroFarms has developed complex technology that allows it to germinate seeds in a 12- to 48-hour span that would normally take eight to 10 days out in the field.
Following that process, the seedlings for red-leaf lettuce or bok choy are then placed on beds of proprietary synthetic cloth and laid underneath LED grow lights that are calibrated to the exact specifications of AeroFarms so the produce can be grown to maturity “aeroponically.”
Airborne roots are sprayed periodically with a solution consisting of purified water and mineral nutrients found in ordinary soil. AeroFarms is so high-tech that their grow trays are even monitored electronically to ensure health and vitality. Of course they are.
On May 11th, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority awarded AeroFarms a grant of $11.14 million in tax incentives over 10 years to build its indoor farm – the company’s 10th – in Camden. Without the tax break, co-founder and CEO David Rosenberg admitted that AeroFarms likely wouldn’t have made the move, which will reportedly create nearly 60 new jobs in the area.
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