Innovator Spotlight: Farm.One

Manhattan, New York

To have Farm.One in New York, just a few steps away from our kitchen, gives us access to a huge range of rare ingredients, year-roundRonny Emborg, Executive Chef of Atera
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Inside Farm.One: Vertical Farming in Downtown Manhattan

Michelin star restaurants are rare. Only 0.2% of all restaurants in the United States have the distinguished accolade, with New York City being home to more Michelin star restaurants than any other city in the country. Noted for their rarity, but renowned for their quality, exceptional and high-quality ingredients are the foundation for dishes which command perfection.

So how do the world’s most elite chefs at the most elite restaurants in the most urban of environments get fresh, high-quality ingredients?

Enter Farm.One

Farm.One grows more than 500 different varieties of rare produce for the top chefs in New York City out of their indoor Manhattan-based vertical farms using hydroponics and Fluence RAZR LED lighting solutions. Founded in 2016 by CEO Robert Laing, Farm.One grows pesticide-free rare herbs, edible flowers and microgreens year-round, delivering by bike and subway to New York City’s elite restaurants including Daniel, Atera, Pizza Loves Emily and others with a combined total of 14 Michelin stars.

It starts with rare genetics, but ultimately it’s our responsibility as farmers to create an environment which allows them to fully express their potential. We scour the globe for rare seeds, and built a vertical farm with the very best technology to provide an edible experience unlike anything before
Robert Laing CEO

Traditionally, NYC restaurants would source their ingredients same as everyone else. Typically by boat, freight or plane from Upstate New York, California, Mexico or from the most remote places in the world to obtain the rarest of edible plants. Not only does this require ample shipment time, but depreciates the crop quality and increases cost. All of Farm.One produce is delivered same-day with the capability of delivering less than 30 minutes after a crop is harvested.

Not only does the proximity of Farm.One enable a fresher, higher-quality product, but the techniques and equipment selected by Farm.One produces a quicker, cleaner, and more reliable product without pesticides. “Since we are constantly evolving our menu of products, we needed a light that could adjust with the diverse plant species cycled through the farm. Being able to grow up to five inches to the RAZR makes it possible for us to cultivate everything from microgreens to leafy greens,” said Laing.  Farm.One grows without soil in an advanced hydroponic system that delivers the exact nutrients each plant needs (while using 90-95% less water than a conventional farm) with temperature and humidity control to create an optimized climate zone year-round.

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When it comes to lighting, Laing knows that all LEDs are not created equal. His team spent more than a year testing various LED lights from multiple manufacturers to find the best lighting solution for his crop and business. The Fluence RAZR solution outperformed all other lights, both in cultivation by growing a better plant, but also on paper with a lower operating cost thanks to the superior energy efficiency.

Since Robert and his team operate in the most expensive zip code in the country, they calculate operating expenses not only down to the square foot, but to the square inch. “Fluence has exceeded our every expectation. Their lighting solutions, and team of experts, have helped us create a controlled environment that allows us to grow produce which exceeds our customers expectations.” -Laing

Farm.One is bringing vertical farming to the forefront, and proving this is no longer a concept, but a viable path forward. Their farm is a model of sustainable agriculture that can grow in other US cities and around the world.

© Copyright 2018. Fluence Bioengineering, Inc. | Designed and Built In Austin, Texas

 

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