US (VA): How growing food indoors may fix Arlington's empty office space issue

Amazon is setting up shop in Arlington, but the county still has serious economic challenges post-pandemic, including record-high empty office space. It's costing Arlington millions every year, and now there's an outside-the-box idea to turn things around. Growing food indoors.

"I don't know if it's a round peg in a square hole as much as it's a round peg in an oval hole," said Ryan Pierce, owner of Fresh Impact Farms. Northern Virginia's first urban, vertical farms.
"You can make it fit if you wiggle it, right? But does it fit? Well?"
Tucked away in an Arlington strip mall, Pierce is cultivating the future with Fresh Impact, which has been in business since 2017.
Using hydroponic technology, all water, no soil, and a ton of LED lighting, Fresh Impact grows herbs, greens, and 23 varieties of edible flowers cultivated for specific flavors.

From Wasabi Arugula to the exotic Szechuan Button. Inside this once-empty strip mall warehouse space, you will find greens used to garnish delicacies at some of D.C.'s finest restaurants.


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