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$20 million invested in Pure Green Farms

Published: Aug. 13, 2020 at 5:50 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - More than $20 million is being invested in a plant—that will manufacture plants.

A large building has quietly popped up on a 65 acre cornfield off Calvert Street on South Bend’s south west side.

From a distance it may look like a factory, but it’s not.

“For the longest time the legacy supply chain for lettuce has come from field grown out west primarily California and Arizona,” said Joe McGuire with Pure Green Farms. “And we don’t use any chemicals, there’s no pesticides, no herbicides, we don’t have to use any of that.”

In a couple of months the building in South Bend will house an indoor hydroponic lettuce farm where the temperature will always be 70 degrees and there will no need to battle weeds or insects.

“As you probably know over the last few years there’s been a lot of problems with leafy greens coming from the west coast and we’re going to be able to provide lettuce that we can control that with clean water that we filter and we know exactly what is going into the nutrition and hydration of these plants,” said McGuire.

The plant will produce about two million pounds of lettuce a year.

The growing will be fully automated.

The lettuce won’t be touched by human hands from seeding to packaging.

“I just see this as the next phase, the next evolution of the lettuce category,” said McGuire. “And it’s not just in lettuces. It’s already happened in tomatoes. It’s happening in peppers and cucumbers, starting to happen now, this indoor growing.”

McGuire expects to hire up to 40 employees.

This is the first of four planned agricultural plants on the South Bend site.

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