Business report

Bowery Farming opens new smart farm in Bethlehem

© Bowery Agriculture

Bowery Farming recently opened its largest, most technologically advanced and sustainable commercial smart farm in Bethlehem.

The company – the largest vertical agricultural enterprise in the United States – has transformed a former Bethlehem industrial wasteland from an industrial site into modern farmland. The new Bethlehem Farm, which features technological advancements and sustainability initiatives, is key to accelerating the expansion of the company’s network of farms across the United States. With this plan, Bowery created a repeatable system to grow food where and when needed.

“If we have learned anything from the past two years, it is that we are going through a period of unprecedented disruption and uncertainty about our climate and geopolitical circumstances, which unfortunately will persist. We are also seeing that our global food system is inextricably linked to these dynamics,” said Bowery Farming Founder and CEO Irving Fain. “At Bowery, wherever food is needed, we can grow it. We meet the challenges of our system by growing smarter food. 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 by 100% renewable energy. It has a water collection and filtration system designed to exploit even the water transpired from the plants. Additionally, the BoweryOS, combined with proprietary farm design, custom hardware, AI, data, and robotics, has increased the speed of farm operations and transformation, enabling the company to produce more food more intelligently. These practices will be applied across Bowery’s network of farms in the future.

Additionally, the Bethlehem Farm will bring fresh produce to a population of 50 million within a 200-mile radius of the farm through regional retail customers, including Whole Foods Market, Giant of Landover and Albertsons Companies stores, as well than Amazon Fresh. Additionally, in conjunction with local distributors, including Four Seasons Produce, Bowery products will be available to specialty and independent grocery stores throughout the region.

“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,” Governor Tom Wolf said. “I am proud to have invested in Bowery to help them put down roots in the Commonwealth and develop a sustainable and secure future for all of us.”

This farm will create over 70 full-time, year-round green jobs with no prior farming or farming experience. Bowery also has a partnership with Second Harvest Food Bank of the Lehigh Valley and northeastern Pennsylvania. The company will donate fresh produce to address food access and insecurity within the community.

Additionally, Bowery has partnered with the state on a larger redevelopment project at the site of the former Bethlehem Steel Corp’s flagship plant.