The Plant’s leaders hope to install a renewable energy system that will eventually divert more than 10,000 tons of food waste from landfills each year to meet all of its heat and power needs.
Davis said The Plant envisions supplying produce picked in the morning to local restaurants who will serve it with the noon meal.
“It’s hard to get much fresher than that,” he said.
What’s more, he said there are 70,000 vacant lots in Chicago that could be turned into food-making facilities.
“I think the need for and the interest in urban agriculture is very hot,” he said. “Our job is to turn that interest into figuring out how to make businesses that make money,” he said.
The Plant has public tours several times a week, and Davis said they often receive visitors from Detroit, Cleveland and other cities with urban agriculture potential.
“If we can create a model that works economically as well as technically, I believe there are a lot of people who would apply it in their own cities,” he said.