Details about the District’s greenhouse are still hazy. BrightFarms hopes to announce its grocery partner by the end of this month and open the greenhouse in early 2014. Once it is in full production, the facility’s 1 million pounds of produce will be sold in city and suburban stores, and possibly to chefs and local residents as well. The project is expected to create 25 full-time jobs and 100 construction jobs, which is good news for more than just food lovers. This effort, says Stan Jackson, the president and chief executive of the Anacostia Economic Development Corp., “allows us to start building job opportunities in the area of agriculture that could lead to living-wage experiences for residents that have been victims of long-term and chronic unemployment.”
Why the District? When BrightFarms last fall approached 20 cities with plans to build urban greenhouses, the Department of General Services responded enthusiastically and quickly identified a vacant 10-acre lot in Ward 8 that could accommodate one.