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Indoor vertical farm expanding to Muncie

(rendering courtesy of Living Greens Farm)

MUNCIE, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — A Minnesota company that bills itself as the world’s largest indoor vertical aeroponic farm is setting up shop in Delaware County. Living Greens Farm says it will invest nearly $70 million to establish a 200,000-square-foot farming, processing and packaging facility in Muncie and create up to 120 jobs by the end of 2024.

The company says the new location will allow it to expand its bagged salad and salad kit offerings to retailers and consumers throughout the Midwest and Midsouth regions.

Chief Executive Officer George Pastrana says Muncie is an ideal location to begin the company’s national expansion.

“It will help us to better supply our current retail partners, such as Walmart, Whole Foods, HyVee, UNFI and others, as well as allow expansion into additional leading retail and wholesale operations across the Midwest,” Pastrana said in written remarks. “I wish to thank the fine people of Muncie and Delaware County for the work they put into making this new farm a reality. As we are from a rural town in Minnesota, they made us feel that Muncie would be exactly the environment that would work well for us.”

Living Greens says the Muncie facility will use an advanced farming system that requires “significantly less” water than traditional farming methods. The farm will be able to grow and harvest nearly 5 million pounds of pesticide-free leafy greens annually.

The farming system is expected to save an estimated 103 million gallons of water per year.

The company expects to begin hiring for production, processing, shipping, management, and administrative positions for the Muncie location beginning in the second quarter.

“We are so pleased to have the Living Greens Farm investment in Delaware County,” said Delaware County Commissioner President Sherry Riggin. “Diversification of industry in our community is incredibly important. The leafy greens product is a wonderful addition, and we’re happy to welcome them to the county.”

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. has offered Living Greens Farm up to $1.2 million in conditional tax credits, which the company will not be eligible to claim until Hoosier workers are hired for the new jobs and the planned capital investments are made. Delaware County has approved additional incentives.