Farming Sprouts Urban Opportunities

Posted: Updated:
The operation is located in the 200 block of South Rural Street in Indianapolis. The operation is located in the 200 block of South Rural Street in Indianapolis.

Sustainable Local Foods of Indiana has its sights set on growing its urban warehouse farming footprint in central Indiana. The Farm 365 business model involves sophisticated, indoor growing operations located in economically-challenged areas. Project Director Jim Bloom says the for-profit business has a social entrepreneurship mission. "The primary focus of Farm 365 is creating jobs, assisting in the economic recovery in urban neighborhoods and growing healthy foods, specifically in neighborhoods identified as food deserts," he said in the latest edition of the INPower quarterly e-newsletter.

Bloom says the operation on the city's near-east side that opened late last year is already growing 15 different crops. Eventually, plans call for solar panels in the building's saw-tooth-shaped roof to power the LED grow lighting and an even bigger target of "water harvesting" by collecting moisture from the air, filtering it, then using it to water the plants.

Farm 365 is working to have its crops fully-planted by October to fill two contracts with a school system and hospital as times when local farm production typically drops off.

Bloom says other goals include having a work force made up of 75-percent employees from the surrounding area and developing a net-zero energy environment, while pumping out produce year-round.

Farm 365 Project Director Jim Bloom explained some of the high-tech plans for the current farming facility on the city's near-east side.
  • Perspectives

    • (photo courtesy of Conexus)

      Getting the Word Out About Manufacturing & Logistics

      As the epicenter of the nation’s advanced manufacturing and logistics industries, Indiana has a compelling story to tell about how Hoosier companies make and move the goods people depend on every day. Our goal is to ensure everyone hears these stories – many of which share a common theme focused on cutting-edge technologies that are transforming the way products are made and moved around the world and the people who use them. Conexus Indiana launched an...



  • Most Popular Stories

    • (photo courtesy of The Times of Northwest Indiana)

      Historic Hospital to be Torn Down in Gary

      A building that once represented the racial divide in the city of Gary, but long provided health care to the African American community, will soon fall to a wrecking ball. The city says it intends to raze the long-abandoned St. John’s Hospital. 

    • Parkview Heart Institute is part of the Parkview Health System

      Most Wired Hospitals in Indiana Ranked

      A national association of healthcare information executives has once again honored Fort Wayne-based Parkview Health for its commitment to using advanced technologies in their clinical and business operations. The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives says Parkview is ranked in the 97th percentile of organizations surveyed for the program, earning a “Most Wired” distinction. 

    • (photo courtesy of The Times of Northwest Indiana)

      Valpo Approves Plan to Level Mansion, Build New Homes

      The property where an aged, Victorian-era, mansion in Valparaiso currently stands will become the site of 15 new homes, described as “upscale.” The Valparaiso Board of Zoning Appeals approved the variances needed for Downtown Valparaiso Partners LLC to proceed with the project, according to our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana. 

    • The Honda Greensburg plant opened in 2008.

      Honda to Invest $4M, Add Jobs at Greensburg Plant

      The American Honda Motor Co. continues to invest in its Greensburg, Indiana plant as it has announced the factory will be producing the company’s first electrified sport utility vehicle in the U.S. The company says it will invest more than $4 million and add 34 new jobs in the plant to support production of the CR-V Hybrid.  

    • Eleven Fifty was previously headquartered at Launch Fishers.

      Eleven Fifty to Cut Ribbon on New Location

      Eleven Fifty Academy will cut the ribbon on its new downtown location September 23. The nonprofit coding academy says it will host a grand opening ceremony November 6.