Bowery Farming, a New Jersey-based vertical farming company, considers its mission to democratize access to the high-quality food it grows in its farms. As more and more people move to urban areas, the company wants to make sure it can provide healthy, clean food. By investing in technological improvements, the company can grow better food for its customers and work toward improving efficiencies.
“People are moving to urban areas, but land and water for agriculture is scarce near those areas,” says Henry Sztul, SVP of Science and Technology. “So, Bowery developed a system to deliver 100 times more produce in terms of land productivity and uses 95% less water than a traditional farm.”
In addition to using less water and improving workflow with automation throughout the farm, a key part of Bowery’s technology investments are the LED lights it purchased from Fluence Bioengineering, by Osram. With the LED lighting, Bowery is able to produce crops such as leafy greens, herbs and bok choy year-round.
Currently, through Whole Foods stores and Amazon delivery, Bowery Farming sells its products in the greater New York City metro area, where traditional field agriculture isn’t possible and could limit residents’ access to fresh foods.
“There is a large market for fresh produce in the New York metro area and by growing less than 10 miles from NYC, we are able to deliver the purest produce imaginable within just a few days of harvest,” Sztul says.
“When it comes to LED in our farms, there’s been a lot of great research in academia, but scaling into commercial production has its own set of challenges,” Sztul says. “We value the ability to partner with Fluence to investigate the impact of various light intensities to provide the ideal recipe to grow plants with the best possible yield, flavor and taste. This capability doesn’t normally exist in indoor farming and this allows us to get every last leaf into our consumers’ hand imaginable within just a few days of harvest.”