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Wilmington Is Future Site Of "Most Sustainable Farm In Ohio"

In the BrightFarms greenhouse, salad greens grow on floating boards. Their roots extend into the water where they get nutrients.

BrightFarms, one of the "Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Food," has announced plans to build and operate a massive greenhouse in Wilmington, Ohio that it says will be a model for scalable, sustainable and local farming.

It is billed as "The Most Sustainable Farm in Ohio."

Credit provided
The Wilmington greenhouse will serve stores in Cincinnati, Dayton and Columbus.

The company, with other greenhouses outside Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and Chicago, says the planned 160,000 square foot greenhouse in Wilmington will "use far less energy, land and water than conventional agriculture." The idea is to build just outside big cities and then be able to ship locally-grown fresh produce to them quickly.

CEO Paul Lightfoot explained his case for greenhouses to NPR's Dan Charles in 2015.

BrightFarms grows a handful of vegetables including salad greens, basil and tomatoes at the greenhouses now but that could expand to include cucumbers, peppers and strawberries.

In this video Lightfoot and his staff demonstrate the concept.


At a Wilmington College news conference Wednesday Lightfoot plans to detail how the Clinton County greenhouse will serve the Cincinnati, Dayton and Columbus area. A release says the greenhouse will create more than 30 permanent "green collar" jobs.

Lightfoot anticipates the greenhouse will be finished late this year. It will be built near 1850 David's Drive in Wilmington.

With more than 30 years of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market, Ann Thompson brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting. She has reported for WKRC, WCKY, WHIO-TV, Metro Networks and CBS/ABC Radio. Her work has been recognized by the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2019 and 2011 A-P named her “Best Reporter” for large market radio in Ohio. She has won awards from the Association of Women in Communications and the Alliance for Women in Media. Ann reports regularly on science and technology in Focus on Technology.