Vertical Harvest, a Jackson-based L3C, is proposing to build a three-story, 13,500 square foot greenhouse on a town-owned in-fill lot alongside a parking lot in downtown Jackson at the corner of Millward and Simpson. The $2.3 million project would be able to grow produce year-round at Jackson's 6,237 foot elevation while employing area disabled folk to run it. The town will lease the land for $1 a year, and Vertical Harvest will be applying for a $1.5 million grant from the state of Wyoming to supplement the $800K they've already raised.
The greenhouse hopes to grow produce 12 months a year in Jackson, with the current growing season a tiny four-month window. The 30' by 150' south-facing plot will feature plants grown hydroponically on rotating shelves. This growing technique is said to grow plants 30% faster using 90% less water and 100% less pesticides than traditional in-ground farming. The architect's brother has developmental disabilities, part of the inspiration for the special employment considerations of the project, which Vertical Harvest can be replicated worldwide in towns and cities big and small. Vertical Harvest is registering as an L3C, which is much like a B Corp - a non-profit/corporate hybrid. Whole Foods and Patagonia both operate under this model.