The Future of Food
The U.S. consumes $17 billion of fresh fruits and vegetables every year. A shortage of locally grown food exists, especially during the winter season. Demand is growing rapidly driven by an increasing desire to eat safe, local and healthy foods.
Fresh Air Farms, Inc. is a start-up company based in Portland, Oregon that will grow delicious, fresh, safe, and nutritious local produce year-round in sustainable, high-technology greenhouses. At this stage, we have built our team, finalized our business plan, established an on-call team of industry experts, begun customer relationships, and have begun the site selection process. Fresh Air Farms plans to begin growing and shipping produce in 2014.
Our vision is to become recognized as the preferred source of local produce and one of the world’s best run companies. We will utilize leading-edge management systems and the latest technologies to provide the highest quality products and customer service while striving to create a company that improves the environment and strengthens the local economy.
Fresh Air Farms will build the first site consisting of two million square feet of greenhouse space producing over 20 tons of fresh fruits and vegetables daily while creating over 275 new jobs and adding $40 million in sales per year to the local economy.
Fresh Air Farms will spend the first five years developing the first site in Portland and then will build a duplicate site near other cities every two years thereafter. Full time employment is projected to be over 2,000 jobs at nine sites with total sales of $275 million by year 20.
Commercial-Scale Local Greenhouses
Fresh Air Farms will provide a local, commercial-scale supply of select fruits and vegetables grown in environmentally controlled greenhouses. Locally grown greenhouse produce provides the advantages of fresh, vine-ripened taste and high nutrition year-round: there is no off-season. Greenhouse fruits and vegetables can be grown without pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, or ripening chemicals. Salmonella, listeria, and e-coli contamination will be eliminated in a sterile environment that will be controlled by strict food safety procedures and certifications. Fresh Air Farms will not grow genetically modified (GMO) foods. In addition, local greenhouse growing reduces costs associated with transportation, tractors and implements, packaging, storage, and water, along with eliminating the costs of chemicals. Another major benefit of local, year-round greenhouse growing is the reduction of the existing 50% disposal rate of our food crops due to droughts, floods, spoilage, plant disease, and small or undeveloped produce.
High-Technology Growing in a Controlled Environment
High-technology, environmentally controlled greenhouses produce up to 100 times the yearly output of traditional agriculture by growing plants in an optimally controlled environment. The plants will be grown without soil in a process designed by NASA with the roots suspended in a misted air box. Supplemental heating, cooling, CO2, and lighting will be provided as needed while the temperature, humidity, air mixture, and lighting are tightly controlled by computer. The greenhouses will recycle their water and generate their own energy from solar and plant waste energy generation. Plants will be planted, harvested, and delivered every day of the year.
Developing a Sought After Brand
Fresh Air Farms plans to develop a sought after brand as a commercial-scale grower large enough to fill 30% of the need for safe, local food to grocery stores in the community. Smaller chains specializing in healthy food are the first target markets and then expanded to grocery store chains. Our produce is targeted to be competitively priced, comparable to non-organic produce.
The Future - Beyond Organic
Fresh Air Farms produce goes beyond the concept of organic, a designation that does not always guarantee the quality of produce. Since organic farms are open field and plants are grown in soil, they are subject to chemical drift and contamination from nearby non-organic farms. Such plants are subject to insects, unfavorable weather, long transportation distances, and plant borne illnesses such as e-coli, listeria, and salmonella. Fresh Air Farms plants are grown in ideal conditions, producing the highest level of taste, uniformity, and nutrition without any chemicals.
 Whittaker Corp Agri-System, Somis, CA
 NASA Spinoff 2006