US (AZ): Avondale-based, 12,000 sqft vertical farm battles water scarcity

OnePointOne is a 12,000-square-foot “vertical farm” in an Avondale industrial park that grows kale, arugula, spinach, basil, dill, baby leaf lettuce, and strawberries.

The Silicon Valley startup was launched in 2017 by brothers Sam and John Bertram, which consists of OnePointOne and Willo Farm. “We knew we needed to do something big and impactful, so we set out on a mission to unleash the power of plants on human health to nourish and heal humanity.”

OnePointOne is not the first vertical farm in Arizona; others are located in shipping containers and greenhouses, which make for easily controlled environments. OnePointOne’s website says that’s 250 more plants per acre than a traditional farm, using very minimum amounts of water. 

Water is an existential issue for the state, with the two major reservoirs on the Colorado River at historic lows and more cutbacks expected for central Arizona farmers. Nearly 47% of Arizona is classified as in moderate drought, and nearly 13% is in severe drought.

Kevin Fitzsimmons, a professor of environmental science at the University of Arizona Controlled Environment Agriculture Center, said vertical farming could help Arizona’s water outlook.

Read more at azpbs.org


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