Forward Greens, a Vancouver, Washington-based vertical farm is re-envisioning and repurposing existing machinery, technology and traditional farming methods. Founder Ken Kaneko who previously worked in tech at Intel and Apple is now looking at how to make indoor farming an accessible resource across the nation.
"When I was working at Apple, I went to Japan on business to look for real estate for manufacturing electronics components for phones and other devices. We took a look at many of these older sites, which were oftentimes empty or repurposed for other activities. One of the sites was operating as an indoor farm, and that piqued my interest," says Kaneko.
"My background is in R/D for semiconductors, and the fact that there were plants growing in an old semiconductor fabrication made me think, “Maybe I can try this.” So I did."
Forward Greens was funded through a mixture of capital from friends, acquaintances, and from Kaneko's own savings. "Everything about this experience has been humbling. For the first harvest, things went surprisingly well with respect to product formulation, product packaging, quality assurance, and food safety."
"From an idealistic engineering perspective, I would like to think anything is possible in terms of making vertical farming more cost-effective. The difficult part is executing this possibility at a reasonable cost. To do it, the industry requires collective learnings built on the successes and mistakes of everyone involved. You see something similar with the recent technologies in electronics and automobiles. As companies start iterating on others’ ideas, innovations happen. And when more companies build on these solutions it actually helps drive down costs associated with those solutions."
Read the complete article at www.forbes.com.