Bowery Farming opened its largest technologically advanced and sustainable commercial smart farm May 26 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Transforming a former Bethlehem brown field from an industrial site into modern farmland, the company’s commercial farm lays the groundwork for the next chapter in climate-smart agriculture.
The Bethlehem farm features technological advancements and pioneering sustainability initiatives and is the key to accelerating expansion of the company’s network of farms across the U.S. With this blueprint, Bowery has created a replicable system to grow food where it is needed as it continues its growth trajectory.
“If we’ve learned anything from the past two years, it is that we are in a period of unprecedented disruption and uncertainty across our climate and geopolitical circumstances, which unfortunately is going to persist. We are also seeing firsthand that our global food system is inextricably tied to these dynamics,” said Irving Fain, founder and CEO of Bowery Farming.
“At Bowery, wherever food is needed, we can grow it. We are addressing the challenges in our system by growing food smarter for more people in more places – and that work, securing food for our future, continues today with the opening of our Bethlehem Farm.”
Bowery’s Bethlehem Farm is powered with 100 percent renewable energy and features 15 percent more efficient LED lighting. A water recapture and filtration system has been custom-built to harness even the water that is transpired from the plants. The BoweryOS, combined with proprietary farm design, custom hardware, AI, data and robotics, has increased the speed of farm operations and processing allowing the company to continue to grow more food smarter. These learnings will be applied across Bowery’s network of farms in the future.
Bowery’s Bethlehem Farm will bring fresh produce to a population of 50 million people within a 200-mile radius of the farm via regional retail customers including Whole Foods Market, Giant of Landover and Albertsons Companies’ stores, as well as e-commerce partners like Amazon Fresh. Working with local distributors, including Four Seasons Produce, Bowery produce will be available to specialty and independent grocery partners throughout the region, like local grocer Gerrity’s in Bethlehem.
“In addition to bringing at least 70 jobs to Bethlehem, Bowery Farming is innovating to feed the future and fight food insecurity. This project is a win for agriculture and a win for Pennsylvanians,” said Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf. “I’m proud to have invested in Bowery to help them set roots in the commonwealth and grow a sustainable, food-secure future for us all.”
Bowery has partnered with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as part of a larger redevelopment project at the site of the flagship plant of the former Bethlehem Steel Corporation in Bethlehem, in Lehigh Valley Industrial Park VII. This farm will create more than 70 full-time, year-round green jobs with no prior farming or agricultural experience required. Through a partnership with Second Harvest Food Bank of the Lehigh Valley and Northeast Pennsylvania, Bowery will donate fresh produce to address food access and insecurity within the community.
Two additional farms in the Atlanta, Georgia, and Dallas, Texas, metropolitan regions are currently under construction to meet increasing demand for Bowery’s local, sustainably grown produce, helping to alleviate the strains food insecurity puts on the U.S. food supply and economy.
For more information, visit boweryfarming.com.