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Newark, New Jersey will soon be home to the largest indoor vertical farm in the world. The city just broke ground on the massive, 69,000-square-foot AeroFarms headquarters that’s capable of producing up to 2 million pounds of vegetables and herbs annually once it’s in full operation.

Photo credit: AeroFarms
An artist rendering of the 69,000-square-foot AeroFarms headquarters in Newark, New Jersey. Photo credit: AeroFarms

The new $30 million complex dwarfs Japan’s (already impressive) 25,000-square-foot vertical indoor farm, which had been the world’s largest until now.

Merging agriculture and the latest in technology, the AeroFarms system relies on LED lights, aeroponics (where plants basically grow in nutrient-rich mist) and climate control. Plants grow in stacked racks without sun, soil or pesticides.

The company creates a controlled growing environment and claims to use 95 percent less water than traditional farms. Photo credit: AeroFarms
The company’s patented controlled growing environment purportedly uses 95 percent less water than traditional farms. Photo credit: AeroFarms

In the Bloomberg video below, AeroFarms CEO and co-founder David Rosenberg explains how conditions such as lighting, oxygen, carbon dioxide, temperature and pH balances can be optimized inside the farm to create the perfect growing environment.

“If we’re talking about feeding a planet of 8 billion or 9 billion, we need a new paradigm of how we grow our food. This is it. This is the future,” Rosenberg said about the project.

According to projections from the United Nations, the world’s population will reach 9.6 billion people by 2050, 86 percent of whom will live in cities that might be far-removed from traditional farms. For people who live in major commercial cities such as Newark, these sky-high farms allow access to fresh, nutritious food year-round.

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