by Carly Everett
At an elevation of 6,237 ft. above sea level and with winters that can last until May, Jackson isn’t the ideal spot for farming. And it’s not an easy place for food trucks to deliver fresh produce in the heart of winter. So, Vertical Harvest co-founders Penny McBride and Nona Yehia decided to remedy the situation. It took eight years to flesh out their dream of creating one of the world’s first vertical greenhouses, but their hard work paid off when they officially opened in March of 2016.
With neon pink lights illuminating its entrance and rotating conveyer belts filled with fresh produce, the Vertical Garden Greenhouse in Jackson, Wyo., is one of the first of its kind. Taking up only 13,500 sq. ft., it stands three stories tall and can grow an annual amount of produce equivalent to five acres of traditional agriculture. It’s allowing restaurants, grocery stores and consumers to locally source their produce at an affordable rate year round. Additionally, it’s created jobs for adults with developmental disabilities. Located in the heart of this tiny outpost at the foot of Grand Teton National Park, it’s quite a spectacle.