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Farming the Sky

Winters in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, are long, and the growing season is short. A head of lettuce travels an average 2,000 miles to get there, often arriving shriveled and tasteless.

Architect Nona Yehia knew there had to be a better way to get food to eat. Traditional industrial scale agriculture might never be replaced, but she was sure it could be improved. She designed a new kind of greenhouse: a building that would pack a perfectly controlled growing environment into a space built up vertically on a sliver of town land.

Many were skeptical. It took Nona and her partners seven hard years of researching, persuading local politicians, and fundraising, to get permission to build their planned greenhouse. Finally, in 2016 Vertical Harvest opened – the first vertical farm in the northern hemisphere. Today the farm produces lettuces, tomatoes, microgreens and more, supplying the community with hyper-local, super-fresh produce, no matter the weather outside.

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