The Craft Brewery Model for Vertical Farming

In Prospect Heights, Brooklyn lies a demonstration of agricultural innovation and culinary expression: a 10,000 sq. ft. hydroponic indoor vertical farm. Born from a desire to simply enjoy fresh, flavorful herbs year-round, FarmOne have transformed from a small specialized Chef's farm into an evolving example of how to develop a sustainable, local urban farming model focused on leafy greens. This transformation has been both strategic and necessary, driven by the global pandemic and guided by a vision to create a new category in indoor vertical farming - the Neighborhood Farm.

"In 2016, the company's journey began in the creative kitchens of New York's Michelin-star restaurants, where we supplied chefs with the freshest and most vibrant microgreens, herbs, and edible flowers grown anywhere in the world. We carved out a niche for ourselves, marrying technology with agriculture to grow extraordinary produce in an urban setting. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit and the restaurant industry, like others, was critically impaired, we had to adapt. We pivoted to a direct-to-consumer model by broadening our line of leafy greens to include salad mixes and other amazing, impossible-to-find, flavorful greens for home cooks, salad aficionados, and families at large. From there, we forged a direct relationship with consumers who appreciated our commitment to quality, freshness, flavor, and sustainability," Derek Pitts writes.

"The core tenet of our Neighborhood model is to marry vertical farming, which is a high-cost endeavor (mostly employee wages & benefits), with an experiential concept that, together, generates enough revenue to support the farm and provide a profit. The experiential aspects are intended to be fun, super enjoyable, and include activities that people can get passionate about. In our case, this means private events, public events, tours, a retail farm stand, a non-alcoholic taproom, on-demand salad meal delivery, food & beverage pop-ups, farm dinners, and other creative uses unique to our indoor farm. These are activities that consumers look forward to on a regular basis in addition to buying our produce."

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