Thanks to Amy in Portland for sharing this story. Hopefully this catches on here, what a great repurpose for all of the empty office buildings in Portland.
Arlington, Virginia, gateway Washington D.C., is not the kind of place you’d expect to be able to get an abundance of farm-fresh produce.
But Area 2 Farms is growing greens, herbs, and root vegetables in a vertical farm thanks to the lack of traditional office tenants. With high-rise office space remaining vacant even after the end of the pandemic, landlords are open to ideas.
Jackie Potter and Tyler Baras pitched the idea of an indoor farm and it was obviously a good one because Area 2 is already well-established in the Arlington area such that they offer subscription delivery of fresh veggies to fellow urbanites starting at $40 per week.
Area 2 Farms uses a sophisticated conveyor belt system to cut down on the more laborious hours of indoor farming. It’s not a hydroponic system: there is soil inside Area 2 Farms which means they can grow root vegetables like potatoes, carrots, and radishes.
A recent study found that 20% of office space in the US, including here in Portland, is unoccupied, and that by 2030, about 300 million square feet across the country’s cities will simply be obsolete.