By now, most people with an interest in where their food comes from have heard about sustainable, full-cycle operations like that at Chicago's The Plant, where the tilapia feed the plants and the plants feed the tilapia and everybody's happy and growing without a lot of inputs or waste. But even on the scale of something like The Plant, it's still kind of a demonstration of potential, rather than its realization. The next step up is full-sized factory-level production— and that's what Anthony Todd saw when he visited the just-opened FarmedHere plant in southwest suburban Bedford Park, where year-round herbs are grown for Whole foods and tilapia (aka chicken of the tank) swim on their way to being fish tacos. It's the largest indoor vertical farm in America:
Rather than buying lettuce from Mexico in the winter, lettuce can be produced by FarmedHere year round. The process is efficient (the system wastes practically no water and recycles everything) and reduces the distance the food has to travel from thousands of miles to around 30 miles into the city. The company started as a 4000 square foot farm that delivered its produce by hand in ziplock bags, but after getting some startup capital (partly through the Good Food Financing Conference) they were able to expand.