AeroFarms is on track to produce 2 million pounds of food per year in its 70,000-square-foot facility in Newark, under construction less than an hour outside of Manhattan. Their efficient operation, based on previous experience at similar but smaller facilities, can accomplish this astonishing output “while using 95% less water than field farmed-food and with yields 75 times higher per square foot annually.”
This new facility is comparable in efficiency to what is currently the world’s largest vertical farm in Japan, but nearly three times the size. Staggering its crops is part of the success behind AeroFarm’s strategy at their new and existing locations – at a given facility they are able to switch between 22 crops per year. Their all-season growth works with specialized LED lights and climate controls all without the need for sunlight or soil.
“We use aeroponics to mist the roots of our greens with nutrients, water, and oxygen.,” explains AeroFarms. “Our aeroponic system is a closed loop system, using 95% less water than field farming, 40% less than hydroponics, and zero pesticides.”
Smart pest management and highly-detailed data feedback loops help keep the system operating at peak efficiency and provide opportunities for iterative improvement. Proximity to the Big Apple makes for lower transportation costs and a large urban market eager for fresh local produce.
After breaking ground last year, the new facility is nearing completion, becoming operational in stages along the way. “Our passion is great tasting food and sharing our harvest with the world. In Newark, New Jersey, we are growing and selling into the New York Metro area.”
Of the larger operations, AeroFarms elaborates: “There has been tremendous demand for our locally grown, delicious, produce, and we have farms in development in multiple US states and on four continents. There has never been a greater need for safe, dependable, nutritious food, and we are scaling quickly to transform agriculture around the world.”
First Lady Michelle Obama recently visited the Garden State and toured a nearby school, planting seeds in a rooftop garden and sharing healthy snacks with students involved in a youth program as young AeroFarmers. As at the primary facility, stacked racks allow the farming system at the school to rise vertically and occupy less floor space.