A partnership between America’s largest grocery retailer Kroger and Infarm will bring modular living produce farms to North America.
The living produce farms were launched at 2 of the 15 stores planned at QFC – a Kroger banner – at locations in Bellevue and Kirkland, Washington.
Using hydroponic technology, the produce grows on site at the participating QFC stores, removing the need for extended transportation and storage. The farms are designed to scale.
The individual farms are connected and remotely controlled by Infarm’s central farming platform (via sensors) that learns, adjusts and improves itself continuously, so each plant grows better than the one before.
From the cloud, at Infarm’s Berlin headquarters, the company is able to gather up-to-the-minute information about how the plants are growing (including specific metrics such as temperature, pH, and nutrient concentration) and how they respond to different growth environments on a minute scale.
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Infarm says it can make many of the needed adjustments remotely. Their growers also offer support for the farms on site as needed. The so-called Infarmers visit the farms regularly to harvest mature plants, place them at the point of sale, and plant new seedlings for the next cycle.
According to Infarm, each 2 square meter in-store farm produces more than 8,000 plants per year, and it’s hub farms are able to produce much more.