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Indianapolis indoor farm packages leafy greens to uplift east side

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — An indoor-farming facility using cutting-edge technology is bringing new food options to the city’s east side.

Uplift Produce grows, harvests and packages leafy greens in a renovated 60,000-square-foot facility in Indianapolis.

“We say that we’re fresh-to-market in hours and the reason for that is we actually harvest, pack and ship within a matter of a few hours into distribution channels,” Chris Arnold, CEO of Uplift Produce, said Friday.

Keith Cooper, Uplift Produce location manager, said depending on the product, they grow from seed to finish in 14-21 days, with a “100% controlled environment. So, we’re controlling the CO2, the humidity and temperature to be exactly at the set points that the plant needs.”

The business is a joint venture with a Dutch company called PlantLab. The first product launched from the Indianapolis facility in October. Arnold said the company is committed to uplifting the community.

“It’s working well here in Indianapolis to have that partnership, meaning that every dollar that’s ever made here, a portion of those goes directly right back here into the community,” Arnold said.

They’ve got 11 employees right now. Uplift produce donates about 150 pounds of food a week to places that include Second Helpings hunger relief and the Cafe Patachou Foundation. This area is in the midst of revitalization.

“Everything that we do is really centered around, ‘How do we uplift people and the whole community support?’ Really that partnership with Englewood and the work that the folks at the Englewood Community Development Corporation are doing here in the community, we’re really just trying to equip them to continue to do the work that they do,” Arnold said.

Arnold said he is called to do this work — not only to feed people, but also to help this area.

“Our desire is that people would be able to just live, work and play in this neighborhood. Be able to directly walk into work and never have to get in a car,” Arnold said.

The Englewood Community Development Corporation is an ownership partner, Arnold said. The facility is housed at the historic P.R. Mallory campus, inside the Bunker Building.

Arnold told News 8 there are plans to expand the facility even more by the end of this year and bring an additional 20 jobs to Indianapolis.

Uplift Produce is in stores in seven different states. You can find their products online at Green Bean Delivery and hope to sell on retail shelves in Indianapolis soon.

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