CHICAGO, Ill., Oct. 18, 2012 /PRNewswire-iReach/ — With the financial support of Whole Foods Market, FarmedHere expands operations within its 90,000 square foot facility in Bedford Park, IL. FarmedHere, the first USDA Certified Organic aquaponic indoor farm, qualified for the loan in recognition of the quality of its products and the soundness of its business plan. FarmedHere has been selling its fresh, locally grown produce in Whole Foods stores since 2011.
“Whole Foods loan will let us swiftly create at least half a dozen new jobs and increase the availability of our greens across the Chicagoland. Whole Foods and FarmedHere are consistent supporters of healthy, fresh, locally grown and sustainably distributed food, our cooperation embodies this idea,” comments Paul Hardej, the Vice President of Development at FarmedHere.
The newest FarmedHere’s urban farm is located in a postindustrial building and will provide over 200 jobs. The approximate 90,000 square feet of space grants 150,000 square feet of growing surface, thanks to the ability to vertically stack rows of produce and fish nursing tanks. Production is based on two independent systems: aquaponic and aeroponic. The aquaponic system produces organic herbs like basil and other greens, while at the same time growing tilapia fish. The aeroponic system produces a variety of leafy greens ranging from arugulas to watercress to be offered in nutritious salad mixes. Both systems are extremely efficient when it comes to the use of water and power. In comparison to traditional agriculture, FarmedHere virtually eliminates the water runoff, while preserving over 97% of fresh water.
“The ingenuity of FarmedHere’s approach to growing produce will help shape the future of not only agriculture, but also urban planning,” says Michael Bashaw, Whole Foods Market Midwest Regional President in their own news release. “We’re thrilled to support a company whose inventiveness is pioneering the increase of food production and access to fresh, local foods in Chicago.”