Forget Iowa's rich and abundant soil. If the future is growing lettuce vertically indoors, then the future is now. Tucked in a spacious room at the Iowa State University Research Park are walls upon walls of lettuce hugging shelves upon shelves of microgreens and tomato plants.
The indoor farm, called Nebullam, offers a startup subscription service for free delivery of fresh-grown produce to residents' doorsteps throughout the Ames and Des Moines metros.
Co-founder Clayton Mooney knows that feeding hundreds of people with walls of lettuce grown indoors seems improbable in a state famous for its endless fields of corn and soybeans. But it's a system he said he and fellow founder Danen Pool believe is the shape of things to come.
"We want this technology to get out into the world to prove out our mission to create access to reliable, local food everywhere year-round," Mooney said. "Our vision with the company is to remove seasonality in food from existence. We hope to bring that to fruition so you no longer have to worry about a food being in season, no matter where you live."
"Most of our subscribers are health-conscious," Mooney said. "The biggest benefit for us stepping away from soil is there's less pests."
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