PITTSYLVANIA COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — AeroFarms CEO David Rosenberg admits when you think of Virginia agriculture, you probably don’t think of microgreens.
“Leafy greens, most of the leafy greens in the United States are grown in California and Mexico, so that crop isn’t that relevant here in Virginia.”
The company AeroFarms broke ground on Thursday, April 29 on the site of their upcoming 136,000
square foot indoor vertical farm in Ringgold — soon to be the world’s largest aeroponic vertical farm.
AeroFarms has developed its own proprietary growing technology to be able to grow produce all year round with annual productivity up to 390 times greater than traditional field farming.
The facility will grow microgreens, which take about two weeks to grow.
“Baby arugula, baby bok choy,” said Sen. Frank Ruff, who represents the 15th District. “Micro spicy mix, and on and on. All new terms for this old country boy.”
The vertical farm facility is set to create more than 100 jobs for the area.
Gov. Ralph Northam says the farm will grow greens 390 times more productively than a traditional field.
“This site will house AeroFarm’s largest, most sophisticated indoor vertical farm to date, the largest of its kind in the world,” Northam said.
According to the company, they’ll provide more than 100 good-paying jobs to the area, but Rosenberg didn’t specify what that means.
“We’ll see what’s right. I don’t want to make a commitment here of what exactly we’re going to pay, but we pay well, and we expect a lot from our workers, we treat them well, and it will be a great partnership.”
Rosenberg says the facility will begin producing greens in the second quarter of 2022.