September 19, 2020

11 of the world’s most high-tech farms


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screen-shot-2014-10-15-at-9-08-04-amBy Lyndsey Gilpin, From TechRepublic



PlantLab grows crops without sunlight in buildings under LED lights, using 90% less water than most outdoor farming practices. They control the plant production unit (PPU) by remotely uploading recipes, which specify the conditions like temperature, irrigation, etc. each crop needs to grow; and the controlled growing environment allows for consistent, safe production. The 200,000 square foot headquarters in the Netherlands was founded in 2010.

Green Spirit Farms

Green Spirit Farms is a vertical farming company that operates out of old, vacant buildings, including one that is an old plastic molding factory. Green Spirit uses a hydroponics system and produces several vegetable crops that they sell in local markets in Michigan.

Sharp’s strawberry farm in Dubai

Sharp, which makes consumer electronics, announced its plans last year to start lab tests for a strawberry-growing farm in Dubai. Strawberry plants from Japan are normally sold at high prices, but sending them overseas has been difficult because they spoil. Cultivating them in an indoor environment with Sharp technologies, including LEDs and other equipment, could increase production and efficiency the company said. They have plans to eventually start a plant factory engineering business.

Fujitsu Numazu Plant

As electronics manufacturing is outsourced to China, Japanese companies have decided to make use of their abandoned manufacturing facilities by turning them into high-tech farming operations. One room in Fujitsu Numazu Plant, reported CNET last year, is used to grow low-potassium lettuce for people suffering from kidney infections. Special cloud-based software allows the plant to increase productivity. The government is behind many of these types of refurbishments because they are looking to revamp after the 2011 Fukushima disaster.


FarmedHere is a Chicago-based indoor vertical farm that uses aquaponics technology. It reuses 97% of fresh water and uses no herbicides or pesticides. The vertical growing technology, special LED lights, and local distribution reduces energy use and increases efficiency of the farm, which produces salad greens, arugula, basil, and mint.

Green Farms Agronomics & Mycology

This is a vertical farm in Valparaiso, Indiana that uses aquaponics to grow crops for people in the Chicago area. Their model is open-sourced that can be utilized in other locations, and the farm has its own farmer’s market so people produce year-round.

Red Sun Farms

Twenty thousand acres in Dublin, Virginia were dedicated to hydroponically growing tomatoes in a new greenhouse. Mexico-based Red Sun Farms opened this high-tech farm, their first in America, in July, and will grow 60,000 plants.

CDA Aeroponic Garden

Inside a rotunda at O’Hare airport in Chicago is the world’s first indoor airport garden, the CDA Aeroponics Garden. The garden was built in 2011 and hosts 1,100 planting spots in 26 towers. Some of the restaurants in the terminals use crops from the garden. Guests can also sit and relax inside the garden.


Panasonic has begun growing vegetables at one of their old production facilities in Singapore, claiming to be the first licensed indoor farm in the country. Currently, it produces 10 different vegetables in a soil environment using special LED lights, but they want to increase production to 30 varieties in the next few years.

Gotham Greens

This New York-based company runs many rooftop farms with climate-controlled hydroponic growing systems for local restaurants and food vendors. Their flagship greenhouse, built in 2010, was the first commercial-scale rooftop greenhouse in the US, and now annually produces 100 tons of greens. The company uses tech such as 60kW of solar photovoltaic panels, LED lighting, passive ventilation, and thermal curtains.

Sony indoor farm

In an old Japanese Sony semiconductor factory, a plant physiologist used special GE LED lights and 25,000 square feet of space to create an indoor farm. So far, it only grows cucumbers and tomatoes, but there are big plans for the space. The 17,500 lights in the building use special wavelengths that are great for growing crops.

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