Vertical farming company Plenty has brought the world’s largest and most technologically advanced indoor vertical farm to the streets of Compton, growing more than 250 field acres worth of produce within one block of 90220. 

The massive facility expects to produce about 4.5 million pounds of leafy greens annually with a fraction of the land and water used by traditional farms.The farm has more than 80 full time employees, staffing with more than 30% local hires. The farm’s spinach, arugula, baby kale and crispy lettuce will be available at local retailers and throughout California at Walmart, Whole Foods and Bristol Farms. 


Seedlings at Plenty in Compton (Michele Stueven)

“Having Plenty in this city means a lot to this community and its residents,” Compton Mayor Emma Sharif told L.A. Weekly at the farm’s grand opening last week. “The city of Compton is evolving and we’re doing innovative things with a whole new technology system here and want to keep moving forward.”

Agriculture is nothing new in Compton. It started as far back as 1880 with the Omri J. Bullis farm on Alameda Street north of El Segundo Boulevard that produced sugar beets with large-scale barn construction in full swing by the 1890s. 

More recently, community activists have taken over vacant lots to create urban gardens to help bring organic food to the South L.A. soil and address ecological and social inequalities. One of the most popular, the Compton Community Garden, is under threat of closure. In April, gardeners were greeted by a huge “For Sale” sign on the green space.

“We were devastated; after making some calls, we realized how very real this was,” reads the message on a GoFundMe account hoping to raise funds for the community to buy the property. “Our beloved garden – a free and truly communal urban garden feeding free food to the people of Compton for over a decade – was for sale, without warning or consideration to the humans serving this nor the communities, ecosystems and lives this would impact right here in Compton/North Long Beach.”


Vertical spinach (Michele Stueven)

“The gardeners who have been there are entitled to continue doing what they’ve been doing there for years,” Compton Vegan’s Lemel Durham  said at the opening, where he served breakfast sandwiches with Plenty spinach and baby kale, and sweet potato hash with corn muffins. 

“It’s revolutionary to grow your own food and provide nourishment to your community,” he said. “People who start community gardens are just taking things back to the beginning of civilization on the banks of the Nile.”


“Having Plenty in this city means a lot to this community and its residents,” says Compton Mayor Emma Sharif (Michele Stueven)

Plenty has been welcomed by the community and is carrying on the city’s agricultural history with robots and AI. Plenty is the only vertical farming company to actually grow vertically in the 100,000-square-foot facility. Rather than growing on flat, stacked planes, the company, which also has a farm in San Francisco and one coming to West Virginia, has designed a farming architecture to grow in 3D, growing fresh produce on vertical towers nearly two stories high, which allows for a greater yield. Because the environment is sterile, no pesticides are necessary and each leaf on the planes is perfect and unblemished.

“It’s a shift in the paradigm of what farming looks like,” Plenty CEO Arama Kukutai, who comes from generations of farmers, told us on a tour of the farm. “It’s a new generation of sustainable, localized farming. Compton is great for us from the standpoint of distribution throughout California, but mostly because they welcomed Plenty. Investment goes where it’s needed and stays where it’s appreciated. And we’re really appreciated here.

To see how the farm works, check out the @glodegoodvibes video above.


Compton Vegan Lemel Durrah at the Plenty Grand Opening (Michele Stueven)


Plenty greens (Michele Stueven)








































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