Saturday, April 20, 2013

Urban Farming

Industrial Rooftop Greenhouses

 ~ Whole Foods Markets has announced plans to erect a commercial greenhouse atop its Brooklyn store:
Artist's conception of Brooklyn Whole Foods rooftop greenhouse
Today Whole Foods Market has announced Gotham Greens as its operating partner of the nation’s first commercial scale greenhouse farm integrated within a retail grocery space. The 20,000-square-foot greenhouse, currently being constructed on the roof of the forthcoming Whole Foods Market store in Gowanus, Brooklyn, is scheduled to open later this fall. Gotham Greens will grow premium quality, pesticide-free produce year round in the greenhouse for Whole Foods Market Gowanus, as well as other Whole Foods Market locations throughout New York City.
Apart from all the benefits of having a green roof, the initiative will also grow produce that requires fewer water, energy and other inputs. Transportation costs and environmental impacts will also be minimized.

It will be interesting to see how well a retailer can vertically integrate their operations in this way. Locally, a couple of startups,including Suncrest Farms and Urban Harvest, are working on similar concepts.

If this is the start of a trend, and it sure looks like one, where are all the plants going to come from? Especially for hydroponics, tissue culture provides the best answer.

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