Tuesday, June 6, 2023

A Revolutionary LA Indoor Farm Will Grow 4.5 Million Pounds of Vegetables a Year


Los Angeles gets the world’s most “technologically advanced” indoor vertical farm courtesy of Plenty.

Plenty, a trailblazer in modern farming technologies, has unveiled what it says is the most sophisticated indoor vertical farm on the planet, the Plenty Compton Farm, located in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Compton.

The farm promises to revolutionize the farming industry, with a projected annual yield of 4.5 million pounds of leafy greens grown in an area covering just one city block. Plenty’s groundbreaking farm leverages a collection of the company’s patented technologies, including an innovative 3D vertical farming structure that boasts a yield of up to 350 times per acre of traditional farming methods.

Baby Spinach
Baby Spinach | Courtesy Plenty

“Our efforts spanning almost a decade in research and development have led to Plenty cracking the code on indoor farming at a scalable level,” Arama Kukutai, CEO of Plenty, said in a statement.

“The Plenty Compton Farm marks our maiden commercial enterprise and demonstrates that our proprietary indoor vertical farms can provide a dependable, year-round supply of fresh produce with profitable unit economics. This milestone aligns indoor farming with the global food supply chain and we are thrilled to be making this stride in our home state of California alongside the Compton community,” Kukutai said.

The company’s farming method deviates significantly from conventional approaches. Unlike greenhouses and similar vertical farms that mimic traditional flat-plane farming, Plenty has introduced a 3D model, employing vertical towers nearly two stories tall.

Propagating greens
Propagating greens | Courtesy Plenty

This architectural innovation propels indoor farming efficiency, cultivating a higher crop yield in a smaller area, and simplifying automation from planting to harvesting. This strategy underpins Plenty’s mission to decrease the cost of indoor-grown produce and promote affordable, accessible fruits and vegetables for all communities.

As global food demand is set to surge more than 50 percent by 2050, existing farming techniques are struggling given that almost 90 percent of all soil faces degradation at current erosion rates.

In response to this challenge, Plenty has pioneered a unique, environmentally resilient farming technique that requires a fraction of the land and water resources compared with traditional farming. The Plenty Compton Farm stands to conserve millions of gallons of water yearly, presenting a sustainable alternative to field farming.

Grow room
Grow room | Courtesy Plenty

Karen Ross, Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, praised the initiative, saying, “California agriculture is spearheading the drive towards climate-resilient food systems through the adoption of cutting-edge technologies and practices. The Plenty Compton Farm exemplifies such endeavors and offers a crucial, alternative method to cultivate fresh produce in urban centers, reducing the strain on our natural resources.”

The farm has started growing four varieties of leafy greens, including Baby Arugula, Baby Kale, Crispy Lettuce, and a new addition, Curly Baby Spinach. Plenty’s meticulous research and data analysis over two years has led to what it says is the perfect indoor environment to consistently produce distinctively sweet and crunchy spinach, which is among the only vertically grown, pesticide-free spinach available globally.

Customers can now purchase Plenty’s pesticide-free leafy greens at Bristol Farms, Northern California Whole Foods Markets, local grocers in Compton, and Walmart stores in Southern California. Additionally, the greens are a featured meal ingredient on all Singapore Airlines flights leaving Los Angeles International Airport.

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