Urban Farming and the Local Food Movement in Wide-Open Wyoming

Nate Storey, CEO of Bright Agrotech, attaches a plastic growing tower inside the company’s greenhouse in west Laramie, Wyo.

Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media

Nate Storey, CEO of Bright Agrotech, attaches a plastic growing tower inside the company’s greenhouse in west Laramie, Wyo.

Wyoming’s farms and ranches are the largest in the country. It has the fewest number of vegetable farms of any state. There are more acres of vegetables growing in Alaska than in Wyoming.

But there’s an unexpected push to create hyper-dense, super-efficient farms in the land famous for its wide-open spaces. Vertical gardens are popping up to feed Wyoming’s desire for local produce, creeping into one of the last frontiers for the local food movement.

Nate Storey’s set-up is an urban farmer’s dream: the waste from fish tanks fertilizes the crops through plastic tubing that drips water onto the vertical garden. The greenhouse is small, but produces a lot of food.

“You can grow anything. People have grown some crazy stuff with the towers,” Storey says. “We’ve grown tomatoes and very large statured crops, watermelons. It works until they’re about 20 pounds apiece and then things start falling.”

An urban farmer’s dream in a decidedly not urban place. Read the entire story here.

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