The indoor urban farm, located in the city of Milwaukee’s Century City Business Park, uses a vertically stacked system within a 5,000-square-foot controlled environment, allowing it to grow greens at a more efficient rate than an outdoor farm.
Hundred Acre, which is owned by New York-based Planet to Plate Inc., encountered a series of challenges bringing its vision to life this fall, including numerous supplier issues. The team had initially planned to install an off-the-shelf vertical hydroponics system before its supplier announced it was pulling out of North America.
Founder Chris Corkery and his team went back to the drawing board and decided to develop their own grow system using primarily locally sourced materials. In the end, building a system in-house aligned with Hundred Acre’s ethos, Corkery said.
“Because we were no longer buying this product from China, we sourced all of our material from the U.S., mostly from Wisconsin,” he said. “To assemble it required us to contract local labor. … Instead of (our money) going to some foreign country, it went back to the local area. So, we basically made good on our mission before we even grow food. Now, we’re asking customers to follow in our footsteps.”
Hundred Acre plans to begin supplying customers this month with fresh greens, including its spring mix and basil varieties.