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AppHarvest Scheduled To Open Greenhouse Operation This Week

Stu Johnson

  The official opening of what’s billed as the largest greenhouse in the United States is planned for this week near Morehead.  A preview came last week during the annual Governor’s Conference on Energy and the Environment.

AppHarvest Chief Sustainability Officer Jackie Roberts virtually described the Dutch designed operation philosophy as growing more produce with less resources.  Roberts said the 60 acre greenhouse will go on display Wednesday. “And plants are already being bought in and crop specialists are already being hired.  We’ll have over 300 crop specialists just in this location when we are fully up and running,” said Roberts.

Roberts noted the above ground farming will allow for growing 30 times more produce than one acre of open field.  The operation, with biological pest control, will use rainwater drained off the roof and stored in a pond.  She said the greenhouse’s flat roof allows for extensive natural sunlight with less need for supplemental lighting.  “A greenhouse is not susceptible to wind shears that can hurt crops.  If there’s massive rainfalls that are coming down that flood out crops, it not an issue for us cause we have a roof that we can open and close depending on the weather.  We also are not susceptible to drought,” explained Roberts.

Roberts told conference attendees the central Kentucky location is less than a day’s drive to 70% of the U.S. population.

Stu Johnson is a reporter/producer at WEKU in Lexington, Kentucky.
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