Vertical farming may be the next big thing as the nascent industry continues to gain traction in the Garden State, with the latest roots being planted in Passaic. The City of Passaic is not what comes to mind when discussing the future of farming in Passaic County, but Mayor Hector Lora thinks otherwise.
The city is prepared to modify its zoning laws to encourage vertical farming firms such as AeroFarms of Newark or Bowery Farming of Kearny to set up shop. If the Council approves the zoning changes next month, Lora wants to explore bringing vertical gardens to Big Apple West, a former industrial building off Market Street. The site is also slated to house a micro cannabis grower.
"The City Council loved the idea," Lora said. "With areas in our city considered food deserts" and climate change concerns, Lora said these new farms bring "a level of security and effectiveness" that "conventional farming and transportation from one coast to another cannot."
Passaic is spot on, said Jim Simon, distinguished professor of plant biology at Rutgers University. Increasingly, indoor and vertical farming is taking hold in New Jersey.
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