Indoor Urban Agriculture
John Edel, a Chicago entrepreneur, has transformed an 87-year-old abandoned meatpacking facility into the nation’s first vertical farm. His goal is to bring large-scale, net-zero-waste food production right into the middle of the city.
Edel is the owner and developer of the Chicago Sustainable Manufacturing Center, a green business incubator in the Stockyards Industrial Corridor. He took the facility from a burnt-out shell to 100% occupancy while using a mixture of waste-stream recycled materials, barter, and leading-edge technology. In previous careers, Edel designed sets for broadcast television, was an art director for video games, and worked as a chef on private railroad cars. His current project, The Plant, ups the ante as the nation’s first vertical farm.