Henderson will soon get its first indoor farm for food production.
The City Council passed a resolution last month outlining the city’s intent to sell an acre of land in the Pittman area to Green Sense Farms, a Portage, Indiana-based company that specializes in indoor agriculture. The city expects to complete the sale in April.
Green Sense founding farmer Robert Colangelo said the company was approached by a Strip property about 18 months ago for an exclusive agreement to supply it with fresh greens.
“It was hard for us to find agricultural-priced land in an urban setting,” Colangelo said.
After working with Henderson city officials, Green Sense landed on a site on the northwest corner of Sunset Road and Moser Drive, east of Boulder Highway.
“We focused a lot as a department on this area because it’s older, the health outcomes are disparate and there’s a higher food insecurity rate,” said Lisa Corrado, assistant director of community development and services in Henderson.
Green Sense grows lettuce, herbs and baby greens in a highly controlled environment with LED lights, purified water and purified air.
“We give the plants precisely what they need, each day, 365 days a year,” Colangelo said. “So we’re not impacted by the weather and we can grow year round. So we’ve taken a lot of the risk out of farming.”
It’s a departure from traditional farming that Colangelo said creates a better local product with less waste.
Green Sense uses about 400 gallons of water a day at individual farms, he said. What does not evaporate or go into plants gets recycled, according to Colangelo. It’s all part of the company’s sustainability efforts.
“We really believe in being able to do more with less,” Colangelo said.
The farm will feature a tour corridor for education. At the end of the tour, greens will be available for the public to buy, Colangelo said. According to the city, at least 5 percent of the crop will go back to the community at prices that are 30 to 50 percent lower than retail prices.
Green Sense will accept food stamps and provide between 500 and 1,000 seedlings to community gardens in Henderson each year, city records show. The effort will give Henderson’s oldest neighborhood easier access to fresher, healthier food.
The addition of Green Sense continues a trend of private companies growing crops indoors in Nevada.
“Bringing the production of the food to the source of demand is an international trend that I think we’re going to continue to see,” Corrado said.
Green Sense Farms is getting a sizable discount on the 1-acre parcel in Pittman. Two independent appraisers valued the land at $260,000 to $440,000. The company will pay $175,000 for the land.