Washington D.C. To Grow World’s Largest Urban Greenhouse

East, News, Urbanism
Monday, May 19, 2014
Officials from BrightFarms inside one of the company's Pennsylvania facilities. (Courtesy BrightFarms)

Officials from BrightFarms inside one of the company’s Pennsylvania facilities. (Courtesy BrightFarms)

From junk metal and rubble to tomatoes and kale. That’s the plan for a vacant lot in the Anacostia neighborhood of Washington, D.C. located just under six miles from the United States Capitol building. Over the next few months, the 2.3-acre site, which has been covered in trash for years, will be transformed into the world’s largest urban greenhouse.

Rendering of the proposed greenhouse in DC. (Courtesy BrightFarms)

Rendering of the proposed greenhouse in DC. (Courtesy BrightFarms)

The National Journal reported that the project is getting some help from BrightFarms, a company that supports urban agriculture projects around the country. This latest project in D.C., though, will be much bigger than anything they’ve created before. When complete, the 100,000-square-foot greenhouse will produce one million pounds of produce a year. That major haul will be sold at 30 local grocery stores, which will boost fresh food options and cut down on the stores’ carbon footprints. The space will also host educational programs to teach kids about urban farming, and is expected to create 20 to 25 permanent jobs.

The project was first announced a year ago, but got a boost earlier this year when grocery store chain, Giant, signed on for the project. According to a press release, the greenhouse is being built “in partnership with the City’s Department of General Services and the Anacostia Economic Development Corporation in support of the Mayor’s Sustainable D.C. Plan, which aims to make DC the greenest, healthiest and most livable city in the nation.” It’s expected to take four to five months to build.

The site today. (Courtesy Google)

The site today. (Courtesy Google)

The site today. (Courtesy Google)

The site today. (Courtesy Google)

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