Vertical farm Bowery Farming announced on May 18 that it opened its plant science innovation hub Farm X in Kearny, next to Bowery’s original R&D Center of Excellence and first commercial farm.
Farm X is one of the largest and most sophisticated vertical farming R&D facilities in the world and will further accelerate the commercialization of products specifically designed for Bowery‘s indoor system, according to a release.
The facility cultivates strawberries, root vegetables, tomatoes, peppers, and leafy greens, expanding Bowery’s R&D capacity by approximately 300%.
“From day one, our R&D team has been working tirelessly to unlock the next frontier in agriculture, and Farm X enables us to expedite the discovery of new vibrant crops and pioneering technological advancements that will further accelerate our momentum as the category leader,” said Irving Fain, founder and chief executive officer of Bowery Farming in a prepared statement.
With the launch of its Farm X property, Bowery will be able to accelerate the discovery of new crops, growing recipes, and efficiency improvements that can be replicated at scale across the company’s network of commercial farms.
Farm X is also launching Bowery’s first-ever on-site breeding program, under which Bowery’s team will be able to develop varieties that thrive in its unique growing conditions, and evaluate each one for optimal taste, quality and yield, rather than to survive outdoors, pest-resistance and long-haul transportation.
Bowery is launching a new small-batch green every four months under its Farmer’s Selection banner. Bowery Mustard Frills, a hearty mustard green and the first green released under the program, was available through April 2021. Green Sorrel, baby greens with a zing and the next release in the series, is available from May through August 2021.
The new facility opens during a time of explosive growth for the company: Bowery has experienced more than 750% brick-and-mortar sales growth, and more than quadrupled sales with e-commerce partners, including Amazon, since early 2020, the company said.