1st July 2022
Americas Urban Farming Vertical Farming

Colorado is Home To Many Indoor Vertical Farms

Colorado vertical farm
Beyond the globally renowned landscapes, wildlife, and ski resorts, Colorado is welcoming an increasing number of indoor vertical farming facilities. Many vertical farming companies have implemented operations or, are headquartered in the Centennial State, the latest joining was the indoor vertical farming company, Kalera AS as they recently opened their Aurora facility and started producing a range of leafy greens. 

Kalera Opens in Denver, Colorado

Kalera joins a list of indoor vertical farming facilities operating farms in Colorado. The newest farm, located at 18000 E 40th Avenue, in Aurora, Colorado, is a 90,000-square-foot-facility thus increasing the footprint of the company in the US. Globally, Kalera operates farms in Munich and Kuwait with a farm set to open in Singapore later this year. The Denver facility has already started production with first harvests expected for May.
“Increasing our national and global footprint has been a priority for our team as we seek to serve our major retail and foodservice customers,” said Curtis McWilliams, Kalera’s interim chief executive officer. “Opening this facility is an exciting step towards this goal, and we’re proud to serve urban communities like Denver with clean, nutrition-dense leafy greens that are accessible to local consumers.”
Kalera greens are pesticide-free and non-GMO, offering consumers fresh, clean, great-tasting lettuce. The climate-controlled environments at Kalera facilities allow for sustainable farming methods, such as water recycling and optimization of plant nutrient formulas that maximize production.
Currently, Orlando, Houston, Atlanta and now Denver, Colorado, all Kalera’s large-scale farms in the US, are operating above the company’s 80% throughput yield target. Additionally, Atlanta and Houston (Kalera’s newest facilities prior to Denver) have achieved this performance significantly ahead of schedule.
Beyond achieving high yields, all Kalera farms are also making improvements in production capacity and corresponding revenues as demand for Kalera products continues to increase. “Innovation is our focus, it’s what Kalera was founded on,” said McWilliams. “We are thrilled with these results, but not surprised, and are eager to bring this same efficient performance to our Denver farm.”
The Denver opening follows the news of Kalera’s recent merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), Agrico Acquisition Corp. The partnership will result in Kalera becoming the first vertical farming company to go public on the NASDAQ market, which the company plans later this year.
“Our partnership with Agrico will enable Kalera to fund the development of more farms worldwide,” said McWilliams. “We anticipate continued rapid growth in 2022 and are looking forward to providing food security to more urban communities.”

The List of Companies/facilities in Colorado

  • Gotham Greens: Windsor (CO) will soon be able to see new state-of-the-art greenhouse facilities developed by Gotham Greens, upon completion. Gotham greens will own and operate 12 high-tech, climate-controlled hydroponic greenhouses across eight states, joining its existing greenhouse network in New York, Rhode Island, Maryland, Illinois, Colorado, and California.
  • Urban-gro, Inc: urban-gro, Inc. (Nasdaq: UGRO) is a fully integrated architecture, engineering, and cultivation systems integration company serving the commercial cannabis and food-focused Controlled Environment Agriculture (“CEA”) sectors. With experience in hundreds of Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) facilities spanning millions of square feet, urban-gro architects, engineers, design, and integrates complex environmental equipment systems for high-performance facilities.
  • Altius Farms: Altius Farms’ mission is to build stable and lasting farms that produce beautiful greens and produce, locally grown, year-round. We are the highest (elevation), vertical aeroponic, farms in the US and one of the largest.
  • FarmBox Foods: A developer and manufacturer of container farming solutions for hydroponic and gourmet mushroom farms, striving to decentralize food production.

Colorado Faces Unprecedented Environmental Challenges

The Colorado governemnt offers a range of grants and financial stimulus to innovative companies as well as the agriculture sector. This comes as the state faces a decades-long megadrought, leading the federal government to consider Colorado as a primary natural disaster area. The U.S. Department of Agriculture typically qualifies individual counties as primary natural disaster areas, unlocking emergency funding for farmers, ranchers and more. The drought is so bad across the entire state that each of Colorado’s 64 counties qualifies.

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