Manufactured Lean in the USA
The Revolution Blog

America’s largest greenhouse is about to take a big bite out of the fresh produce market

Sunday, Sep 27, 2020

Of all the existential questions you’ve asked yourself in 2020, we’re betting this one wasn’t in the top two?

“How can I get more fresh veggies in my life?”

Even so, the folks at AppHarvest are here for you. In an effort to make our nation’s food production fresher and more sustainable, the startup is planning to open the world’s largest greenhouse in Morehead, Kentucky, this fall. At 60 acres, it’s big enough to lower costs on materials, production and food distribution—and poised to be a produce hub for the country.

Location is just as important as size here for this to be a cost-effective venture. The high-tech greenhouse is deliberately located less than a day’s drive from 70 percent of America’s population. This means it will take less fuel and food waste to feed the entire eastern seaboard with fresh-picked produce. AppHarvest also uses sustainable practices that include sun and LED lighting, recycled rainwater and nonchemical growing methods.

The company is betting that—with the pandemic disrupting supply chains—large grocers will increasingly choose domestic produce sources (heaven knows we’re all about re-shoring product.) The hope is that AppHarvest will start shipping 45 million pounds of fresh produce—including tomatoes!— annually to grocery stores when it opens next summer.

Hey, while we’re on the subject of greenhouses, let’s give a shoutout to 80 Acres Farms. Located right here in downtown Hamilton, 80 Acres employs the same indoor vertical farming technique as AppHarvest.

Yet another reason to eat your veggies.

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