WASHINGTON — BrightFarms, New York, announced that it is building a 100,000-square-foot hydroponic greenhouse in Ward 8 here that will grow enough crops to meet the fresh vegetable consumption needs of up to 5,000 residents in what is considered a “food desert” area lacking close access to fresh foods.

The greenhouse will grow up to 1 million pounds of local produce per year, including tomatoes, lettuces, and herbs for an area retailer, said Kate Siskel, marketing and media relations manager, BrightFarms. It will be built in partnership with the D.C. Department of General Services (DGS), acting on behalf of Mayor Vincent C. Gray and supporting the mayor’s Sustainable D.C. program, which seeks to dramatically expand food production and healthy food access within the city.  

“This greenhouse farm project is consistent with our Sustainable DC Food goals,” said Mayor Gray, in a statement. “This project not only adds 2-1/2 acres of food cultivating land within the District, but it helps the city on the path to ensuring universal access to secure, nutritious, and affordable food supplies.”

“Ward 8 has been a food desert for far too long,” said Councilmember Marion Barry. “This farm will not only provide a healthy food option for our constituents, but the greenhouse will also provide jobs, economic stimulus, and greater access to fresh produce for residents citywide.”

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