Area 2 Farms, a Public Benefit Corporation, will operate a new organic, indoor farm and retail farm store in Arlington County, Virginia. The $1.8 million project is expected to create 30 new jobs over the next three years.
In addition to growing and selling fresh produce, the company’s plans include the production of value-added products featuring items grown at Area 2 Farms.
“The opportunity to build a true neighborhood farm is the most exciting endeavor of my career,” said Area 2 Farms Chief Scientific Officer Tyler Baras. “The connection between people and their food has grown too distant. This distance forces farmers to select crops well suited for transportation routes instead of focusing on which root crops taste best! A true neighborhood farm can grow crops you’ve likely never even tried. If you think kale was a hot trend, wait till you try the sour purple shamrock, sweet borage flowers or crunchy purslane”.
“Today’s announcement is further evidence that Virginia is open for business and businesses are ready to take advantage of our growing entrepreneurial ecosystem. The surging consumer demand to create exciting new enterprises will add to the Commonwealth’s quality of life,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “I thank Area 2 Farms for their investment in the Commonwealth and look forward to their future growth and success.”
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) worked with Arlington County to secure the project for the Commonwealth. Governor Youngkin approved a $40,000 grant from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) Fund, which Arlington County will match with local funds.
“It is always exciting when successful entrepreneurs like those behind Area 2 Farms bring their ideas and technologies to help grow Virginia’s largest and oldest industry, agriculture,” said Secretary of Ag & Forestry Matthew Lohr. “This project adds to the region’s growing cluster of innovative, indoor urban agricultural operations and shows us how the Commonwealth’s oldest industry will remain a vital and growing part of the Virginia economy going forward.”
Area 2 Farms uses proprietary indoor growing technology that incorporates micro-robotics, and more efficiently manages heat and humidity allowing the facility to produce hundreds of different crops, all while using 25% fewer LED lights than typical indoor farms. All the food grown at the farm is not only nutrient-rich but sustainably grown as well. Area 2 Farms is a truly local farm, directly serving the community within 10 miles of its location.