People in New York will be able to look through a large window in the indoor farm to view a crop of fresh tomatoes being grown continuously during the next six months. The first tomatoes grown will be ready for harvesting and consumption by late March.
The "Countryside, The Future" exhibition will examine political forces, social issues, and environmental factors altering landscapes across the world, including traditional farmlands.
“We believe that what we are doing is about the future of food,” said Mike Zelkind, chief executive officer of 80 Acres Farms. “We are changing the way fruits and vegetables are grown and harvested locally then delivered to grocers the very next day. There is an enormous market and consumer appetite around the world for produce that our crop scientists and other food experts have been perfecting during the past five years.”
MORE: Dilapidated Hamilton building transforms into an industry-changing grow facility
Zelkind said 80 Acres' participation in the "Countryside, The Future" exhibition will allow New York residents and visitors to experience how "the freshest, tastiest locally-grown tomatoes" can be grown year-round indoors in one of the busiest cities in the world.
For the Guggenheim exhibition, 80 Acres Farms, Infinite Acres, and its Priva partners have collaborated on the 700-square-foot grow center, which is expected to grow 50,000 tomatoes in six months. Additional tomatoes will be donated to City Harvest, a New York City food rescue organization that recovers excess food and distributes it to people in need.
MORE: Hamilton’s large indoor growing operation is so advanced they want it around the world
Last year saw massive year of growth for 80 Acres. It opened its automated facility on Enterprise Drive, a facility that grows leafy vegetables, herbs and strawberries, then a downtown Hamilton location on South 2nd St. that grows vine crops, including tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers.
The company also launched Infinite Acres, an independent joint venture aimed at providing large-scale indoor farming facilities worldwide.The venture also includes UK-based Ocado Group, one of the world’s largest dedicated online grocery retailers, and Netherlands-based Priva Holding BV, a leading provider of technology solutions, services and automation systems to horticultural and other industries.
That partnership is now building large-scale, fully automated indoor farms in the United States, Asia and Europe.
It also inked a deal to moved its headquarters from Cincinnati to Hamilton and was granted a tax credit for committing to create 125 new jobs and investing at least $26.9 million.
MORE: Innovative Hamilton indoor growing company part of worldwide deal to supply food