Vertical farming, first of its kind coming to Vermont


In late November most farmers are getting the winter cover crop in the ground. But, two farmers are preparing crops as if it were spring. 

Vermont is well know for agriculture, and in Barre a first of it’s kind farm is coming to the state, vertical farming.

“It’s growing horizontally in layers or in our case vertically, and we go up 16 feet,” said Greg Kelly. He and Jake Isham are co founders of Ceres Greens. The two men are taking farming to the next level, growing produce indoors, in vertical tubes.

“What this industry is able to do is revitalize urban communities that no longer have their factories operating. You can convert them into vertical farms,” said Isham.

Isham and Kelly are converting an old granite shed in Barre into a state of the art indoor farm.

“We are going to be growing year round, leafy greens and herbs, arugula, basil, salad mixes,” said Isham.

Once the quarter acre size warehouse is up to speed, they are projected to produce a thousand pounds of produce a day. Which will create 10 to 12 new jobs.

“In our cold climate you can’t grow year round outdoors. Even in the green house it’s a little bit difficult, if we go in doors we are able to grow year round,” said Isham.

Which will allow for a quick growing process Kelly explained, “between four or five weeks till harvest. We will plant every day, and harvest every day.”

This is because the facility will have ideal growing conditions 24/7, and will use LED lights to replace natural sunlight. 

Both men tell us, this farming model will help to cut down on the carbon foot print, and reduce water consumption.

“We use about 90% less water, because we don’t have the evaporation that you would have outdoors,” said Kelly.

This way of farming will guarantee a scheduled harvest, different than the conventional farm.

Seeds will hit the soil come mid to late December with the first harvest expected late January to early February.

For more information about Ceres Greens, click here.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.