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US (NY): Governor announces indoor farms to advance urban farming in Harlem

Governor Kathy Hochul announced an indoor farming pilot project in Harlem that will increase the year-round availability of fresh fruits and vegetables for local underserved families and further national research about optimal indoor growing conditions and crop production. Part of a multi-state demonstration funded by the New York Power Authority and led by energy R&D institute EPRI, the large shipping container outside a New York City Housing Authority building will help communities grow produce throughout the year, develop healthy habits, and learn about sustainability and environmental issues. Harlem Grown, a local non-profit, will manage the food production and support distribution to the community. 

"With year-round indoor farming, our communities will have the opportunity to grow fresh, healthy produce locally to help build a more sustainable New York," Governor Hochul said. "I'm proud to announce this hydroponic garden in Harlem, which will provide healthy food to local families and help educate the next generation of urban farmers. As we learn more about the environmental and energy impacts of urban crop production, New York is taking another nation-leading step in advancing our clean energy and greenhouse gas reduction goals."

The New York Power Authority and project organizers celebrated the project's launch and viewed the new system in Harlem - a hydroponic greenhouse that grows produce in a soil-less environment. As part of a national collaborative research effort headed by the non-profit EPRI, the Harlem farming project will help increase learnings about the environmental, energy, and community impacts of indoor agriculture. These learnings will help inform a broader understanding of the sustainability of local indoor crop production, including energy and water consumption. Findings will also help increase community engagement, provide educational opportunities on technology and agriculture, stimulate local job creation, and expand local crop availability.

New York Power Authority's Environmental Justice team, which is funding the $250,000 program with New York Power Authority's Research, Technology Development and Innovation program, managed the placement of the 40-foot shipping container branded "Planting fruits and vegetables. Growing healthy communities." The outdoor weatherproof container is in an open lot off 140th Street next to the P.S. 139 Senior Center, which is currently being converted to an outdoor garden and meeting place.

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