US (IA): Growing in existing buildings: We really just need an outlet and some water

Tucked between an autobody shop and doggy daycare, an organic vertical farm is growing acres of produce year-round in just a few thousand feet of a Virginia warehouse.

Area 2 Farms put down roots in Arlington in 2022. A passing pet parent or driver seeking car repair might overlook the new neighbor if it wasn't for the large, green-painted door. Even with the bright white letters spelling out Area 2 Farms, it's hard to believe what's behind the brick building's façade.

"This is the farm," Jackie Potter told WJLA's Victoria Sanchez as the pair walked through the humid warehouse. Potter held back a transparent curtain to reveal a towering device that held eight levels of growing greens that reached nearly to the corrugated ceiling.

"Our growing apparatus is called Silo, and it helps us replicate our plants' day cycle very naturally," she said. "The bottom two layers here are not lit. So, this is where the plants are 'sleeping',’ and then they'll come up to this third layer, they will get watered, they'll heat up, their morning will start to happen, and they'll flow all the way through the entire apparatus."

Potter is the marketing coordinator and said the new venture is planning to grow fresh food in city centers. Getting that idea to take root took some convincing. "It was a little difficult to get landlords to take a chance on a farm," she said. "The landlord was so nice to take a chance on us."

Read the entire article at CBS Iowa

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