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Vertical urban greenhouses will feed import-reliant Jackson Hole, Wyo.

A start up aims to reduce the city’s susceptibility to food deficits by building vertical greenhouses.

March 18, 2015 |
Vertical urban greenhouses will feed import-reliant Jackson Hole, Wyo.

The garden will occupy a vacant lot next to a parking lot that is only one-tenth of an acre. Renderings courtesy Vertical Harvest Jackson Hole

The city of Jackson, Wyo., gets around 400 inches of snow falls a year, and its valley location means most of the city’s produce is brought in from other places, ArchPaper reports. With these two conditions, there can be times when the city is cut off and becomes a food desert.

This sparked the concept of building vertical gardens so the city has a better chance of self-sustaining when it comes to fresh produce. Sustainable community specialist Penny McBride and designer Nona Yehia came together and founded Vertical Harvest Jackson Hole, which will construct a three-story, 13,500-sf hydroponic greenhouse to be placed on leftover land that’s only one-tenth of an acre. The company enlisted Larssen Ltd. to engineer the greenhouses and assist with design. 

Though the greenhouses may be lean and narrow, the multiple stories add up to five acres of agricultural space. A timed, carousel system will revolve trays of plants to maximize south sun exposure.

“We will be growing 100,000 pounds of vegetables a year,” Yehia said, adding that the produce can be sold to restaurants, hospitals, and the local community.

Fruits and vegetables aren’t the only thing Vertical Harvest will produce—jobs will also be part of the greenhouse’s repertoire.

“Vertical Harvest will establish an innovative model to employ an under-served Wyoming population: adults with developmental disabilities,” the firm said in a statement.

The greenhouses are slated to open in December 2015.

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