Cobre Valley Indoor Farms celebrated its grand opening and ribbon cutting on Saturday, Jan. 5.
Located off of Miami Avenue in Miami, the indoor farming facility will eventually have a variety of home-grown fresh fruits, vegetable and spices ready for purchase.
With two customers already anxious to purchase product — Bloom Restaurant and Jumbo’s Chinese Restaurant — the future of indoor farming looks bright for owner Elvin Fant.
His vision for something new for the Globe-Miami community began several years ago when the Safeway store closed. The supervisor responsible for closing Safeway and Albertson stores around the state told Fant the building would remain empty due to the low population in the area.
Fant purchased the shelving from the closed Safeway, and that is when the wheels began to turn for an indoor farming facility. Fant had read about indoor farming in other places and began investigating the idea. An acquaintance told him the idea sounded feasible but suggested starting small. So, Fant and his wife began growing strawberries, not in a garden, not outside, but in a cup.
The Arizona Silver Belt did a story on Fant and his hydroponic strawberries, which then led to him being a speaker at the Arizona Department of Agriculture at the Gila County Fairgrounds. Connections at this event introduced him to Camden McGregor, who was excited about Fant’s passion for indoor farming and set up an internship program for the project.
Camden is now the VP Director of Operations for Cobre Valley Indoor Farms and is equally passionate about helping to grow and revitalize the community through sustainable agriculture.
Currently, there are 62 volunteers who help with this project, and there is room for more. “This is a non-profit community effort,” Fant said. “If we have the support.”
There is still more work to be done, and Fant’s goal is to eventually have a vertical hydroponic system that produces a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables that can be purchased for very low prices.
Chef John Wong, owner of Bloom, expressed how happy he was to “be part of this movement” as the grass roots effort continues to grow.
Anyone interested in being a volunteer for Cobre Valley Farms or would like to donate to the non-profit organization may contact Fant at 928-310-7110 or via email at [email protected]
Caption: Elvin Fant (center) cuts the ribbon held by Bloom Restaurant owner John Wong (left) and Camden McGregor VP director of operations for Cobre Valley Indoor Farms at a Jan. 5 ribbon cutting for his new facility.