Coming soon: An indoor farm that promises fresher produce, jobs for the Atlanta area

Parsley is among the crops grown indoors by Bowery Farming, which is set to open a farm in Locust Grove in early 2023. (Courtesy Bowery Farming)

A company based in the northeast U.S. that specializes in indoor farming has announced plans to expand to the metro Atlanta area soon and create 100 jobs.

The facility in Locust Grove is expected to open in the first part of next year.

Since 2015, Bowery Farming has been fine-tuning the science of “vertical farming” at its indoor farms in New Jersey and Maryland.

“We stack our crops from the floor all the way up to the ceiling,” said CEO Irving Fain. “We grow under lights that mimic the spectrum of the sun.”

Fain knows the importance of traditional agriculture in Georgia, the state’s largest industry. But he also sees his company’s approach to farming — relying on technological innovations — as a way to answer two pressing questions.

“How do you get fresh food to urban environments?” asked Fain. “And how do you do it in a way that’s both more efficient and more sustainable?”

Bowery Farming was founded in New York City and has mainly operated in the northeast and mid-Atlantic. It touts its farming techniques as less resource intensive and pesticide free. And it’s now expanding to Georgia and Texas.

“We’re really pushing, in our mission to democratize access to high-quality fresh food, to move into new regions and locations,” said Fain. “And Atlanta is perfect because of the population, the growth and the vibrancy.”

The indoor farm will be located at Colvin Drive and Highway 42 in Locust Grove, according to a press release from Gov. Brian Kemp’s office.

Fain says the company’s main output now is leafy greens and herbs. But they’re also researching ways to profitably grow other vegetables and berries, too.

“You can actually grow anything inside,” he said. “But that doesn’t necessarily mean that every crop is going to make economic sense.”