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The Plant
Vegetables growing at the Plant. Photo courtesy of Plant Chicago, NFP/Rachel Swenie.

A building on the South Side is out to change the way you think about farming. The Plant is a former meat-processing facility in the Back of the Yards neighborhood that’s been transformed into a sustainable-food-and-drink incubator--and this style of “vertical” indoor farming is on the rise.

The Plant will eventually operate off the grid, powered entirely via by-products from the systems it will house, including a tilapia fish farm, a kombucha-tea brewery, a hydroponic vegetable farm, a beer brewery and a commercial kitchen. Waste from one becomes raw material for another, and an anaerobic digester will use organic material to help power the entire building, waste-free.

Thrive Kombucha is now open, and the building’s first bakery, Peerless Bread and Jam, is slated to debut this month. Two more artisan bakeries are on the Plant’s tenant roster, including an established favorite we promised we’d keep mum about for now. Six businesses are expected to occupy the building by year’s end.

Meanwhile, you can get a sneak peek of the operation: Tours are offered on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays at 2 p.m., and an open house is scheduled for June 9 from noon to 5 p.m.

We’re excited to watch this plant grow.

The Plant, 1400 W. 46th St.;

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