AeroFarms Plans to Grow 1.5 Million Pounds of Leafy Greens in the Middle of Newark

Soil-free farming gets its first real shot, thanks to cheap LEDs—and “the ladies at JoAnn Fabrics”
Photograph by Zoonar GMBH/Alamy

The last thing you expect to find midway down a shadowy alley in downtown Newark, N.J., is a farm. But that’s exactly what’s inside the former Distinct 89 nightclub and lounge, which closed last year. Past cluttered tables and industrial rolls of fabric, the dance floor has been cleared to make room for a 15-foot-high stack of planters, each one 10 feet long, 3 feet wide, and a foot or two deep. Stranger still, there isn’t any soil beneath the leafy green vegetation bursting from the flower boxes. There’s only air.

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