Jersey City Housing Authority and AeroFarms to Partner on City’s First Vertical Farming Program

View inside an AeroFarms vertical farm - Photo courtesy of AeroFarms and the Jersey City Housing AuthorityView inside an AeroFarms vertical farm - Photo courtesy of AeroFarms and the Jersey City Housing Authority

The Jersey City Housing Authority is preparing to launch the nation’s first municipal vertical farming program in an effort to provide free, nutritious food to vulnerable communities. The Vertical Farming Program will consist of ten vertical farms throughout Jersey City.

The Housing Authority is working in collaboration with AeroFarms and the World Economic Forum, which selected Jersey City as its first municipal partner in the Healthy Cities and Communities 2030 Initiative. The first farms will open within Curries Woods Community Resource Center and Marion Gardens, two multifamily public housing sites.

Curries Woods - LWDMR Architects

Curries Woods – LWDMR Architects

When complete, the farms are projected to yield 19,000 pounds of vegetables annually. All produce will be available at no cost to residents and distribution will be folded into ongoing food access initiatives and senior meal programs. According to city officials, the only requirement for residents is participation in five healthy eating workshops.

“We’ve worked hard to keep the Vertical Farming Program a priority despite the impacts from this pandemic, which have disproportionately affected the more economically challenged areas and exacerbated societal issues such as healthy food access,” said Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop. “We’re taking an innovative approach to a systemic issue that has plagued urban areas for far too long by taking matters into our own hands to provide thousands of pounds of locally grown, nutritious foods that will help close the hunger gap and will have an immeasurable impact on the overall health of our community for years to come.”

Additional city agencies include the Jersey City Department of Health and Human Services, the Boys & Girls Club, and Head Start Early Childhood Learning, which will help coordinate produce distribution and healthy eating education. A special advisory committee will provide strategic oversight and guidance throughout the program.

The city’s Health and Human Services Department will run the program with a health-monitoring component to track participants’ progress under a greener diet in the areas of blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, and obesity.

The City Council voted to approve a resolution granting a three-year contract with AeroFarms. The program will cost Jersey City around $1 million, which will fund maintenance and construction that is now underway.

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7 Comments on "Jersey City Housing Authority and AeroFarms to Partner on City’s First Vertical Farming Program"

  1. David in Bushwick | March 10, 2021 at 8:46 am | Reply

    Vertical farming is really a great new industry. No pesticides or herbicides are used and produce isn’t trucked thousands of miles from California or Mexico meaning it stays fresher days longer. Grocery store chains don’t like to place stores in poorer neighborhoods because their margins are so low. Some cities have found paying companies to locate stores in inner city areas is the best way to get residents the healthier food they need.

  2. More insane do-gooder-ism. Nothing wrong with vertical farming, but I’ll tell you right now that 80% of the free food they hand out is going into the trash, if anybody picks it up in the first place.

    “the only requirement for residents is participation in five healthy eating workshops.”

    Oh man, I hope they live-stream these! It will be hilarious.

    • Brooklynberger | March 11, 2021 at 6:07 am | Reply

      You should probably volunteer at City Harvest for a day. You’ll see lines around the block for fresh vegetables.

  3. I grow hydroponic vegetables for my own use through the winter so I’m not against the concept, but $1 million for 19,000 pounds of vegetables works out to over $52 a pound. With the advent of high tunnel agriculture for winter production I’m sure you could find New Jersey farmers, organic or not, that would be glad to sell to the housing authority a much wider selection of nutritious produce at half the price throughout the year. Community supported agriculture on a larger scale.

  4. My question is how much electricity do these consume? I see row after row of lights and immense climate control. Will solar power and windmills power these farms? Yeah right.

  5. A/t March 13 2021 at 1:45 pm
    I like to get the application for 3bedrooms unit and apply for this opportunity

  6. A/t March 13 at 1:50 pm
    I would like to get an application for 3bedrooms unit for my family and my husband

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