The United Nations predicts that the world’s urban population will increase by 2.5 billion people within the next 35 years. That means that farmers will need to increase food production by up to 70%. However, 80% of the world’s land that is suitable for growing food is already in use. In addition to the challenges posed by rapidly growing urban populations and the need to grow more food, farmers also have to contend with an increasing frequency of extreme weather patterns across the globe, which regularly devastate crops. Also, each year more pesticide-resistant organisms evolve, which also reduce crop yields.
Green Sense Farms is the creation of Founding Farmers Robert Colangelo and Carl Wenz who are entrepreneurs and innovators. They wanted to show that fresh produce could be grown and distributed profitably all-year-round within the Midwestern United States, providing a consistently fresh supply of food for consumers, and dramatically reducing the emissions associated with long-haul food transportation. Green Sense Farms is located in Portage, Indiana, only 40 miles from downtown Chicago. The operation is one of the world’s largest indoor commercial farms using LED grow lights. It grows micro greens, baby greens, culinary herbs and lettuces 24 hours a day, 365 days a year – and can produce around 1.5 million tons of produce annually.
Green Sense Farms leases a 30,000-square foot warehouse in an industrial park with excellent access to the Interstate highway system. The farm is centrally located and can serve a 5-state Midwestern region. It has built two climate-controlled grow rooms. Each grow room is equipped with seven 12-meter tall grow towers, containing 60 tubs of growing space in each tower. In all, 7,000 Philips GreenPower LED production modules illuminate each tub.