Manufacturer of commercial, vertical indoor farm granted loan by Whole Foods

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FARMEDHERE LLC SWEET BASIL vertical indoor garden

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You’d think Whole Foods had turned into a bank of some sorts, following its announcement that it is lending capital to an organic farm.

FarmedHere is expanding operations within its 90,000 square foot facility in Bedford Park, IL – with the financial support of the national grocer. Farmed Here is the first USDA Certified Organic aquaponic indoor farm. The company qualified for the loan from Whole Foods in recognition of its quality products.

FarmedHere has been selling its 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 more than 200 jobs. The approximate 90,000 square feet of space grants 150,000 square feet of growing surface. This is 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.

FarmedHere says both systems are very efficient when it comes to the use of water and power. In comparison to traditional agriculture, FarmedHere says it virtually eliminates the water runoff, while preserving more than 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.”

FarmedHere is the first vertical urban farming company to introduce locally grown greens to grocery buyers, retailers and restaurants across Chicago. Since 2011, the company’s indoor aquaponic and aeroponic growing systems have created a sustainable farming environment.

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