The Plant: Harnessing Waste and Closing Loops

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The Plant: Flowchart

An abandoned meatpacking warehouse becomes a model for sustainable food production.

The work of vertical farming pioneer and 2012 Utne Visionary John Edel continues at the The Plant, his 93,500-square foot vertical farm and business incubator on Chicago’s South Side. Operating out of a repurposed meatpacking facility, The Plant is taking on recycling in a complex and interrelated urban farming operation that will divert more than 10,000 tons of food waste from landfills every year while providing 125 jobs for the local community.

Already home to an aquaponic farm system that includes mushrooms, greens and tilapia, The Plant will soon house a beer and kombucha brewery, as well as a commercial kitchen, thanks to a recent successful Kickstarter campaign and a $1.5 million dollar grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. Here is an inside look at The Plant:

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