Wyoming is known for its wide open spaces. Beef and a few other crops are produced here, but the state imports much of its food. That’s changing, as urban farming takes root in greenhouses, diversifying the crops produced and providing a small boost to local economies.
Nate Storey’s greenhouse is in Laramie. He produces vegetables and raises fish. The waste from the fish tanks is used as fertilizer for vertical gardens. He’s grown bok choy, butter lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, and even watermelons. All in a state with a short growing season.
The community has been supportive, not because they’re necessarily engaged by the idea of urban farming, but because the business generates jobs. Storey started out with four people; now he’s got 16 employees.
Harvest Public Media reports:
“Because we are a rural state, we don’t have, or did not historically have a lot of our own production,” Panter said. “Virtually everything other than beef or a few other crops have been brought in from other states or abroad.”
But now there’s more interest in growing food in Wyoming. The number of greenhouses here tripled from 2007 to 2012.