Job offersmore »

Tweeting Growers

Top 5 - yesterday

Top 5 - last week

Top 5 - last month

Exchange ratesmore »

Vertical Harvest to partner in Pennsylvania project:

US(PA): 60,000 sq.ft. vertical greenhouse to bolster Lancaster's less fortunate

Inspired by Vertical Harvest in Jackson Hole, a group of Pennsylvania entrepreneurs has announced an ambitious plan to realize a similar community-supporting vertical glasshouse downtown Lancaster. By partnering with their industry peers in Wyoming, the group soon hopes to break ground for the construction of the 60,000 square feet project on the side of an existing parking garage. 

The Lancaster Urban Farming Initiative was founded by a group of entrepreneurs with a shared social ambition to re-develop underutilized infrastructure with urban farming projects to bring in jobs, gain availability of local produce and provide beautification of the downtown area.

Soon after they started their in-depth analysis of opportunities and locations, Lancaster mayor Rick Gray got acquainted with their initiative and composed the idea for a vertical farm at the local Prince Street Garage, along Orange Street. "He showed us a picture of the Vertical Harvest greenhouse in Jackson Hole and asked us if we could do the same. And a few years later here we are, about to complete our feasibility study for a similar farm and design, only three to four times larger in size", representatives of the initiative said. 

The project will be built onto the side of the garage, using a space that really cannot be used for anything else.  The walk faces the famous Lancaster Central Market which is the oldest continually operating Market in America. It is the heart of the city and walking out, visitors will soon see an impressive vertical greenhouse rather than a brick wall. 

Vertical Harvest will partner in the non-profit Lancaster vertical farm that is touted as bringing in jobs to mentally underdeveloped and disadvantaged and disabled people, as well as veterans, people with Down syndrome, autism or those who are unemployed or underemployed. "We want to provide them with a rewarding job in high tech agriculture. We will also create partnerships with local hospitals and industries to support the local community and its access to local, healthy food."

Aside from providing jobs, local food and making underdeveloped parts of the downtown area walkable again, the Farming Initiative also hopes to sprout the development of indoor agriculture in general by becoming a technology leader. Their facilities will grow a variety of crops in several production systems. It will serve as a dedicated testing space to trial new innovative vertical growing systems. The group said it will incorporate the latest in hydroponic and LED systems, and might even consider bringing in cogeneration to supply the greenhouse with a sustainable energy source. 

The Lancaster Urban Farming Initiative is currently in the process of completing funding. Up next is going through the design phase, which is expected to take a while, since building a vertical greenhouse is also a challenge in terms of strict building codes and complex architecture. Nonetheless, the group hopes to kick off the construction early to mid 2018. 

The Lancaster Urban Farming Initiative Board of Directors: 

  • President - Corey Fogarty - Federal Taphouse Holdings LLC
  • Vice President - Todd Bartos, Esq. - Aspire Ventures / Spruce Law Group LLC
  • Secretary - Gordon Kautz II - Kautz Construction / KC Green Roofing
  • Treasurer - Scott Arment, CPA - Stutz Arment LLP
  • Mary Ann Garrett - Owl Hill Learning Centers
  • Ross Martin-Wells, Ph.D - Rijuice LLC
  • Mark Pontz - Fine Living Lancaster
  • Fritz Schroeder - Lancaster County Conservancy
  • Joe Sheldon - Gordon Food Service
  • Scott E. Kuhn - Wells Fargo Bank

Publication date: 9/6/2017
Author: Boy de Nijs



Other news in this sector:

9/25/2017 Disinfection: Well begun is half done
9/25/2017 UK: Thompson & Morgan announces company changes
9/22/2017 Lighting Science appoints technology executive Khim Lee as president
9/22/2017 FMC receives antitrust clearances to acquire DuPont crop protection assets
9/22/2017 NL: Certhon builds own Innovation Centre
9/22/2017 Belgium: "Cheaper energy through flexible control"
9/22/2017 Svensson welcomes new Climate Consultant in Latin America
9/21/2017 Canada: Agrium and PotashCorp receive clearance for merger
9/21/2017 BioSafe Systems adds to Food Safety and QA/QC Teams
9/21/2017 Agritech Solutions and Delphy join Latia as shareholders
9/21/2017 Marsha Bro named Executive General Manager for Kemin Crop Technologies
9/21/2017 Dole goes back to the stock market
9/20/2017 Bayer Crop Science unveils plans for the future
9/20/2017 2nd annual itís #timetochill event during Canadian Greenhouse Conference
9/20/2017 Australia: Successful IPO for CropLogic
9/20/2017 30 year Biobest celebrations spark enthusiasm
9/20/2017 "Unusual business as usual"
9/19/2017 Grigg Brothers re-brands as Grigg
9/19/2017 Wolfgang Nickl named new CFO at Bayer
9/18/2017 Peruvian grape growers embrace next level propagation