Element Farms will begin operations at its new 70,000 square foot Lafayette, New Jersey, greenhouse facility this month. The company will outfit its new site, once home to a horticulture company, with proprietary technology and supplemental lighting to produce a wide variety of leafy greens. At full capacity, Element Farms will produce over half a million pounds each year of baby spinach, arugula, baby lettuces, pea shoots, beet greens, and more.
The new facility is an evolution from Element Farms’ current home: the structure is made entirely of glass, which allows for more efficient transmission of sustainable natural sunlight, and the hilltop location moderates temperatures, bringing heating and cooling costs down during the company’s year-round production. Most of the operation’s everyday tasks will be automated with Element Farms’ custom machinery, like seeders and harvesters, to increase yield per square foot. The new greenhouse is ideally situated on delivery routes for New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania’s population-dense and produce-hungry cities. As before, greens will be delivered directly to retailers within 24 hours of harvest for maximum shelf life.
“We couldn’t be more excited for our new greenhouse. We’re customizing every aspect for operational efficiencies, integrated pest management, and sustainability,” said company founder Serdar Mizrakci. “We’re also thrilled that we’ll be able to meet our ever-increasing demand and bring more pesticide-free, safe, and delicious greens to the retailers and customers who have been clamoring for it.”
The new greenhouse will have dedicated areas for research and development and fully climate-controlled space for both growing and packing. As the company grows, so will the facility: the rest of the property is similarly zoned for agriculture and can support more acres of greenhouse space. Element Farms expects to double its greenhouse team after launch and bring jobs to the surrounding area.
The Lafayette greenhouse is just the first part of Element Farms’ growth plan. The company is currently pursuing greenhouse projects in two other states where the markets for year-round local produce are ripe for disruption. Element Farms expects to announce these projects in the coming year.
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