Middle Georgia is known for peaches and pecans, but Peach County is soon to be home to a high-tech, hydroponic greenhouse growing tomatoes and cucumbers year-round.
Canada’s Pure Hothouse Foods Inc. is to invest $105 million to build a 75-acre greenhouse in three phases on a 130-acre site including a distribution center covering a sales territory spanning from Texas to Florida and back up to Missouri. The project is set to create more than 200 jobs.
Pure Flavor, as the company’s main brand is known, is putting the complex on State Route 96 in Fort Valley, Ga., just three miles off Interstate 75.
The high-tech greenhouse offers a controlled environment where plants are laid out on a grid pattern. Monitored temperatures, fertilizers and water levels help standardize the production process, yielding vegetables of largely uniform size and flavor profile, according to videos on the company’s website. Wastewater is reused, and “good” insects like lady bugs and bees are introduced to help keep the plants healthy. Lights are installed in the greenhouses.
Pure Flavor is based in Leamington, Ontario, where it operates other company-owned greenhouses. Its distribution centers are located in Taylor, Mich., and in San Antonio, Texas.
A groundbreaking for the Georgia site will be held in September, with the first 25-acre phase set to be completed by next summer.
B.J. Walker, executive director of the Development Authority of Peach County, said the investment is a stamp of foreign-investment approval on the largely agrarian county.
“It is confirmation that we possess all of the necessary qualities and assets that are ideal for a business to succeed and grow,” Mr. Walker said in a statement.
The Macon Telegraph has more about the deal here.