I live in the south-central portion of Appalachia, actually on the fringes of the region, in northeastern Kentucky. We are excited about the future here due to Appharvest making its home in the county in which I live.
Appharvest is a startup company that has opened the largest greenhouse in the U.S. in Rowan County, KY. The goal of the company is to produce the majority of tomatoes used in the U.S., taking that market share away from our traditional supplier of tomatoes, Mexico.
Appharvest is a greenhouse that covers 60 acres and employs almost 300 people. Jonathan Webb is the founder of the company. He is a Kentucky resident and a graduate of the University of Kentucky. Appharvest is within a day’s drive of 70% of American consumers. It is a facility, patterned after greenhouses in The Netherlands, that uses sustainable crop production techniques. It uses recycled rainwater for irrigation and a combination of solar energy and LED lighting in order to grow the tomatoes. At a later time, Appharvest will expand beyond tomatoes.
Immediately upon the opening of the Rowan County, Kentucky facility, ground was broken for a second Appharvest greenhouse in Madison County, Kentucky. Appharvest is set to be a great asset to this region of Appalachia, providing jobs and national exposure.