Compton California Is Known For A Lot Of Things Music, But That’s About To Change

The Lempert Report
April 26, 2021

A vertical farm in Compton

When I say Compton you say N.W.A. or the movie Straight out of Compton which traces the path of the group – you think about Ice Cube, Dr. Dre and of course Eazy E. What you don’t think about is farming. Here’s a food history lesson. Compton was settled by Reverend Griffith Dickenson Compton who led around 30 settlers to cultivate the land in the late 1860s. In 1888, Compton donated his land and the area was incorporated by Los Angeles County as the City of Compton. The reverend made the donation with a guarantee from the county that a portion of the city would be zoned for agriculture which today still exists and is known as Richland Farms. Fast forward to 2021 and Plenty, the organic produce company, has farms in the Bay Area, Washington, and Wyoming is currently building a massive, vertical hydroponic farm in a 95,000-square-foot warehouse in the city. The warehouse will feature massive vertical farms with rows and rows of crops, including bok choy, fennel, arugula, and kale which will be the first crops grown at the farm which looks to produce its first harvest in 2022 with futuristic LED lighting, and the food will be harvested by robots. "Just pure food like nature intended," the company told Upworthy. "From day one, it's perfectly controlled...We don't use pesticides, there's no birds flying over our field pooping on the produce, there's nothing to wash off, it's usually not touched by human hands ever, and so we have a safe, clean product that is ready to eat right out of the package," Dr. Nate Storey, the chief science officer and co-founder of the vertical farming company told ABC news.

Compton mayor Aja Brown believes the farm's goals are perfectly aligned with those of the city. He says, "To have a vertical farm that has the ability to produce organic fresh fruits and vegetables with little space and a little bit of water is just incredible, and I believe their mission to combat food insecurities is right in line with our vision that we have for Compton.”

Plenty hopes to deliver fresh produce to local restaurants and get more fresh produce to consumers in the area. It already has over 400 Southern California grocery stores signed up to receive deliveries from the Compton based farms.