With its unique 3D vertical architecture in place, alongside dozens of patent assets, US firm Plenty says its newly opened farm is the most technologically advanced indoor vertical farm in the world.
Based in Compton, California, the new farm will deliver an industry-leading yield of up to 350 times the yield per acre of a conventional farm. It is forecast to grow up to 4.5M pounds (2M kg) of produce annually to supply partners including Bristol Farms, Walmart and Whole Foods Market.
“After investing nearly a decade into research and development, Plenty has cracked the code on a scalable platform for indoor farming,” said Plenty CEO Arama Kukutai. “With Plenty’s first commercial farm, we’re proving that our uniquely vertical indoor farms can deliver a reliable, year-round supply of fresh produce with positive unit economics. This is the first step in putting indoor-grown produce on a path to becoming a meaningful part of the global food supply, and we’re honoured to be taking that step in our home state of California with the community of Compton.”
Plenty has developed a completely new way to grow plants. While greenhouses and other ‘vertical’ farms grow on flat planes that mimic the field, Plenty grows in 3D – on vertical towers nearly two stories high. That unique architecture makes indoor farming increasingly efficient, growing more produce in less space and easily automating every step of growing from planting to harvest. It’s at the heart of how Plenty is driving down the cost of indoor-grown produce to work toward making affordable produce accessible to every community.
“California agriculture is at the forefront of efforts to ensure climate-resilient food systems through the adoption of innovative technologies and practices,” said Secretary Karen Ross, California Department of Food and Agriculture. “Plenty’s new indoor vertical farm is an example of those efforts and provides an important additional method to grow fresh produce in urban centres, closer to consumers, reducing the draw on our natural resources.”
“The Plenty Compton Farm is bringing field-scale farming back to Compton and introducing a new generation of our community to careers in agriculture – more than 30% of the farm’s hires came from Compton,” said Mayor Emma Sharif. “Plenty’s farm is a model for how we can increase access to fresh, locally grown food for urban populations, while supporting cities’ economic development.”
The perfect spinach growing environment
Initially the Plenty Compton Farm is going to be growing four varieties of leafy greens: Baby Arugula, Baby Kale, Crispy Lettuce and Curly Baby Spinach, Plenty’s newest product that just launched out of Compton. It’s among the only vertically grown, pesticide-free spinach available in the world and the result of more than two years of development in Plenty’s advanced plant science research centre. From designing a new filtration system to analysing nearly 2 billion data inputs from trials, Plenty perfected the spinach growing environment to consistently produce spinach with a distinct sweet flavour and unique crunch.
Plenty’s technology on show – take a tour