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Fifth Season builds 60,000-square-foot vertical farm

Indoor farming pioneer Fifth Season will build a commercial-scale indoor vertical farm in the U.S.

The 60,000-square-foot vertical farm will open in early 2020 in Braddock, near Pittsburgh. Austin Webb, Fifth Season’s co-founder and CEO, said the company’s farm will set a new vertical agriculture standard for efficient, safe and sustainable production of pesticide-free leafy greens and herbs in urban communities.

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Fifth Season developed its technology with two R&D vertical farms in Pittsburgh. Their leafy greens have been sold at local retailers, such as Giant Eagle and Whole Foods Market, along with Pittsburgh restaurants. - Photo: Fifth Season
Fifth Season developed its technology with two R&D vertical farms in Pittsburgh. Their leafy greens have been sold at local retailers, such as Giant Eagle and Whole Foods Market, along with Pittsburgh restaurants. - Photo: Fifth Season

Complete control of hydroponic growing process

“We have developed fully integrated, proprietary robotics technology to completely control the hydroponic growing process and optimise key factors such as energy, labor usage and crop output,” Webb said.

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"The result is a vertical farm design that has over twice the efficiency and grow capacity of traditional vertical farms. Our unprecedented low costs set a new standard for the future of the industry," said Austin Webb.
"The result is a vertical farm design that has over twice the efficiency and grow capacity of traditional vertical farms. Our unprecedented low costs set a new standard for the future of the industry," said Austin Webb.

95 percent less water required

Webb said the Braddock farm will produce over 500,000 pounds of lettuce, spinach, kale, arugula and herbs from its 25,000-square-foot grow room during the first full year of operation. The facility is partially solar-powered and requires 95 percent less water compared to traditional growing operations.

Webb said Fifth Season (originally founded as RoBotany Ltd) is planning a staged expansion in additional, similar-sized cities across the U.S.

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