A portion of the former Bethlehem Steel Mill in Sparrows Point, Md., has sprouted as a hydroponic greenhouse. The 100,000-square-foot facility is located just outside of Baltimore, Md., and is Gotham Greens’ seventh facility of its kind nationwide.
Like the other Gotham Greens facilities, this greenhouse uses hydroponic systems and is 100 percent powered by renewable energy. The company claims that it uses 95 percent less water and 97 percent less land than conventional farming. In addition, the new greenhouse is served by proprietary data-driven tools that enable the producer to run one of the highest-yielding, most energy-efficient indoor farming system available on the market.
The greenhouse will be the first to provide a year-round supply of fresh lettuce to retail, restaurant and food service customers across 10 states in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions. The current project opens 60 full-time green jobs in Baltimore. The firm has partnered with the Baltimore County Department of Economic and Workforce Development and the Center for Urban Families to find the best candidates for the positions.
Bethlehem Steel Mill has its origins in the 1880s and was acquired by Bethlehem Steel in 1916 when Sparrows Point became the world’s largest steel-producing center, where girders for the Golden Gate, George Washington and Bay bridges, as well as steel for shipbuilding during the World Wars, was produced. The facility gradually deteriorated until its bankruptcy in 2012.