Gigantic indoor growing farm opens in Hamilton

Noah Zelkind of 80 Acres showed people the indoor growing area of the company's newest, and highest-technology facility. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
Noah Zelkind of 80 Acres showed people the indoor growing area of the company's newest, and highest-technology facility. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

The immense indoor growing operation that 80 Acres opened in Hamilton on Wednesday continues a move toward a “a new standard” in food quality, company CEO and co-founder Mike Zelkind said at its grand opening.

“What we are here to celebrate today is an automated farm that can grow a variety of fruits and vegetables — not just leafy greens and lettuces — but soon, tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers, and berries, in the same system, year-round, without any pesticides, using 97 percent less water,” he said.

“What you’re seeing here today is a new standard being set for food quality, way beyond the organic, which was the best until today. A farm that smartly removes much of the back-breaking labor through innovation, creates high-quality jobs, a farm that is designed for food-safety and quality, a farm that is built to keep workers safe and customers healthy.”

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The ceremony, with a champagne toast and a recorded video speech by Gov. Mike DeWine, was linked to company partners in the Netherlands, United Kingdom and Sweden, among other companies, as well as to other 80 Acres farms in this country, officials said.

A machine on Wednesday transplanted seedlings to larger containers at 80 Acres Farms' indoor growing farm so the plants would have more room to grow. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
A machine on Wednesday transplanted seedlings to larger containers at 80 Acres Farms' indoor growing farm so the plants would have more room to grow. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

“Ohio is showing the world what future farms can look like,” DeWine said in his remarks.

He noted the new $30-million-plus, 62,000-square-foot building will be able to ”grow more than 10-million healthy servings of fresh food each and every year.”

“This facility’s already growing unprecedented yields of high-quality, most varied produce that you’ll find anywhere in the world,” Zelkind said. “And it really took a village to make this happen, so thank you all very much.”

Mayor Pat Moeller said “the future visited Hamilton, Ohio, a couple years ago when 80 Acres came to town. And the future has now put down even more roots, and Hamilton is very, very grateful.”'

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People involved with creating 80 Acres Farms' newest indoor growing farm snipped a long purple ribbon to ceremonially open the facility. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
People involved with creating 80 Acres Farms' newest indoor growing farm snipped a long purple ribbon to ceremonially open the facility. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

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