Indoor Farming With Jackie Roberts Of Appharvest


Okay. So we've all seen greenhouses interviewed domino olen for example who runs the greenhouse at george mason university in virginia about how her facilities providing food and even spices to the university's food service and see greenhouses with just flowers like it were states and other properties and now we see cannabis plants being grown in greenhouses. But what about greenhouses on a commercial scale and ones that recycle water do not use toxic. Fertilizers or get more out of the acreage than tenting and outdoor farm would right. Well that's what my guest today says there novel. Indoor farm will actually do so. Let's find out how it works. I'd like you to meet jackie. Roberts chief sustainability officer at ap harvest. Jackie has been in the sustainability spaces. I said for probably twenty five years including in the same role chief sustainability officer at the carlisle group which is investment company and as senior director of the environmental defense fund. Or where. I first met her probably about ten years ago. I think it was right. She earned all her degrees from yale. Smart cookie that she is including a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering and to help them manage degrees one from the yale. School of management and the other from the school of the environment without further ado welcomed green captions radio jackie. And thank you for joining us. I'm so excited. Thank you down. It's great to be here. Oh you're welcome. you're welcome. Congratulations on your new role at app harvest. Give us an overview of the indoor farms. How does app harvest actually work. Where they you know. where is it located. I chance in appalachia but give us a little more details. You know kind of what you're growing give us give us the proverbial thirty thousand foot view app harvest. I think is a really unique company in that are core product which is healthy vegetables is combined with a very sustainable climate. Resilient way of growing those vegetables and we're doing it in appalachia where the opportunity for job growth and economic development is really appreciate The the core product is a chemical pesticide free In in our first large greenhouse which you can see a picture of in my background but at sixty acres for those who can't see it Is a growing tomatoes and chemical pesticide free. Gmo free because the way we can grow in a closed system enables us to use biological pest approaches to control pests and disease and also a lot of trained workers and other interventions that can prevent outbreak. So we you know as a mother with three children knowing that what's coming out of our greenhouses is zero. Residue is a real attribute that i value. But how we grow it in your introduction spoke to it is we are very climate resilient in their storms that the that recently hit we had some employees that had trouble getting to work other people had to pitch in. We had one employee show up on their tractor to make sure they could get to work But you know we really did incredibly well in terms of being resilient. We had all the things we needed. We were harvesting on time stuff was getting out to the markets and it was a real testament to this strategy as an important part of the mix of different types of agriculture and When when we're growing We are able to use one hundred percent rainwater. We have a system of irrigation. That is set up where the rainwater is captured on the top of our sixty roofs it stored in a retention pond. And then we bring it into the greenhouse with a little bit of filtration through sand and you'd be late and that water re circulates. We don't ever a released anything into the atmosphere. The nutrients are put into the water and stay in the water until we need to add more. We can measure very precisely. It's a space where a has really enabled us to do very precise measurements and the plants. Exactly what they need. We do Nanotechnology with the water. Because bringing more oxygen into the water enables the plans to absorb the nutrients even better but all of that is is a closed system. And you know when when. I started in chemical engineering. The reason i went into chemical engineering is a wonderful professor. Who said if you care about environmental problems you should study chemical engineering because you learn how system works and where all the pollution comes from and how it's released to the environment

Coming up next