Westfield residents Michele Modestino and Greg Redington announced the start of their new business venture, Redi-farms, LLC, an indoor, vertical, hydroponic farm, providing a locally grown food source to the community.
REDI-farms will be located at 610 North Avenue East, in the 100-year-old brick industrial building. Michele & Greg plan to restore the building to its historical grandeur with an industrial-chic atmosphere to house the vertical farm. After living in town for 28 years, the pair have received many historic preservation awards on previous projects, including their Queen Anne Victorian home. They hope to emulate the modern industrial style they designed for their REDCOM offices on North Avenue.
“As an architect and engineer with an appreciation for the past, our adaptive re-use approach to historic buildings has always been a passion. Continuing the mindset of a low carbon footprint by reducing waste, we aim to bring old buildings back to life with a fresh, new use,” said Modestino.
Redi-farms plans to provide a wide assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables for purchase to the local community. With sustainability efforts top of mind, Redi-farms intends to avoid the use of all plastics in their packaging and in other single-use applications. “We only have one planet, and to sustain it properly we need to minimize how much waste we generate and how many natural resources we use up,” Redington said.
The building will also contain a mostly plant-based high-end restaurant, a retail “farm store,” a teaching kitchen for adult classes, a banquet hall for up to 80 people, and a large educational not-for-profit component. School children from Westfield and nearby towns will have the opportunity to learn about modern, sustainable farming and how healthy food can be grown locally throughout the year.
“Redi-farms will give our community access to fresh healthy food, grown locally, year-round,” added Modestino. “If you see a green pepper in a supermarket in February, it has traveled over 1,000 miles to get here. With Redi-farms, Union County residents will be able to buy one that has been grown under the same roof as our farm store.”
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