World’s Largest Vertical Farm Comes With a Twist!

This unique indoor aquaponic vertical farm will grow fresh microgreens and more.

Upwards Farm's microgreens.

(Courtesy Upward Farms)

An indoor aquaponic vertical farming company is constructing the world’s largest indoor farm. The Luzerne county, Pennsylvania facility will provide locally sourced microgreens and a twist; fish.

That’s because Upward Farms, headquartered in Brooklyn, New York, is combining indoor microbiome rich regenerative agriculture with sustainable fish farming according to a company press release. The waste from the fish will be transformed into organic fertilizer for the leafy greens.

Upward Farm’s Mission

The company was founded in 2013 with the mission to heal a broken food system where food is transported long distances – 90 percent of leafy greens are grown on the West Coast – to the Eastern US by reconnecting people to locally grown healthy food.

Upward Farms grows all of its products sustainably. The leafy greens are certified organic from the USDA, non-GMO, and are free of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers.

The striped bass the company farms are certified for Best Aquaculture Practices because there is no waste material and are free of mercury, hormones, and antibiotics. In fact, this type of farming reduces water waste by 95 percent.

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Upward farms is using proprietary microbiome technology – it calls Ecological Intelligence – to provide a self-optimizing and highly productive agricultural platform that increases plant yields that are essentially disease and pest-free.  The company currently has yields two times higher than other vertical farms due to the use of the microbes rather than relying on AI.

The company sees vertical farming as a way to mitigate climate change. “Solutions for food production that are good for people and the planet are sorely needed,” Jason Green, CEO and Cofounder of Upward Farms said in the press release.

 “With the construction of the world’s largest vertical farm — our third aquaponic vertical farm overall — we’re demonstrating the power of nature and nurture, adding our proprietary Ecological Intelligence to the accelerating trend of indoor and vertical farming.”

Microgreens and fish are sold locally.

(Courtesy Upward Farms)

World’s Largest Vertical Farm

The 250,000 square foot (23,225 square meter) facility is slated to open in 2023, reported Fast Company. It will be as large as two city blocks in Manhattan and the largest indoor farm in the world.

The massive size of the new farm will get greens to more consumers in the Northeast than it currently serves.

“Vertical farming is a market with tremendous promise, [however] to have impact requires scale,” Green told Fast Company “And so in our perspective, bringing vertical farming to scale [so] that it can become a rival or an alternative to field parity is of critical importance.”

The company is planning to keep expanding its markets to bring fresh greens and striped bass to more locations and that’s no fish tale.