Late last week, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett's office announced that Green Spirit Farms LLC will establish an indoor vertical farm system to grow leafy vegetables, peppers and tomatoes at East Benton, north of Scranton, Pa. The company, according to the Governor's office, expects to invest more than $27 million to acquire an existing 300,000-square-foot building and create at least 100 jobs.
That's a major expansion compared to its first facility at New Buffalo, Mich. Green Spirit Farms' first indoor farm began operating in 2012 in a reclaimed plastics factory with close to 20 employees using a combination of full-spectrum induction lighting and hydroponics to grow vegetable crops in rotating wheel mechanisms and in flat rack system.
"Our mission is to provide local communities with high-quality, fresh, pesticide-free, non-GMO, and sustainably-grown produce at a fair price," explains Milan Kluko, Green Spirit Farms' president. "When we build our indoor vertical farms, we believe they are sustainable, healthy places to grow plants and a work force."
The project was coordinated by the Governor's Action Team. Green Spirit partnered with the Department of Community and Economic Development to receive a $300,000 Pennsylvania First Program grant, $303,000 in Job Creation Tax Credits and a $45,450 Guaranteed Free Training grant to be used to train Green Spirit's new workforce.
GSF was formed in 2011 to commercialize rotary and vertical farming systems using patented, patent pending and proprietary growing systems and techniques to grow local, sustainable vegetables, herbs and some fruits using less water and less energy than traditional greenhouse or hydroponic applications. The goal is to develop local vertical farms in Brownfield sites using carbon neutral or renewable energy when practical plus use compostable and/or recycled packaging for produce sold to retail customers.
For more details, visit www.greenspiritfarms.com.