The Fields team chats with domestic farming entrepreneur and nutritionist Mary Wetherill about her company, Green Food Solutions. They set up farms in urban buildings using Tower Gardens (hydroponic growing towers) and conduct farmer trainings. Mary’s urban-agriculture business grew out of the Square Roots vertical farming accelerator in Brooklyn, but then quickly led to a new farm on a rooftop in the Bronx. From there, Mary’s team explored a whole new business model: to be a “vertical farming training company” that also provides equipment (turn-key solutions) to new growers. She always wanted to focus on connecting folks with food, and she was suspicious of many claims made by new commercial vertical farms.
Today, Green Food Solutions runs “farms as amenities”—hydroponic farms within and atop residential buildings—from New Jersey to Tо̄kyо̄. Through training programs and consulting on new urban farms, especially with new professional growers, Mary hopes to empower a whole new local food system. This is a passion-driven, breathless, sometimes controversial conversation about the present and future of vertical farming.
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