US (WY): How a vertical farmer is strengthening the community

Penny McBride, co-founder of Vertical Harvest, has made it her mission to educate others about how the vertical farming industry can not only improve the way we eat, but the way we build communities.

Vertical Harvest, a 13,500 square foot, three-story hydroponic greenhouse in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, sells locally grown, fresh vegetables year round to local restaurants, grocery stores and directly to consumers through on-site sales. “I’ve always loved the idea of bringing back the local farmer, and it’s amazing to see the resurgence going on. Young people have become interested in farming again, as well as creating greater food security and sustainable production,” she says.

Beyond being an environmentally friendly and space efficient means of farming which benefits both the producer and consumer, Vertical Harvest also plays a large role in the local community and economy. The greenhouse provides meaningful employment to local residents with intellectual and physical disabilities in a fully integrated workplace. The program is designed to personalize the employment relationship between employee and employer in a way that meets the needs of both, recognizing the employee’s strengths, conditions, and interests.

Read more at Skift

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