Pete duPont Reinventing Delaware Competition Winner Announced

Last night 100 individuals came together in DuPont Country Club with one goal in mind: to sell an idea that will support the people of Delaware. The Pete DuPont Freedom Foundation Reinventing Delaware competition was last night. Individuals with various ideas came together to pitch different economic development solutions for the First State. There was no shortage of ideas to help Delawarians ranging from STEM education to comprehensive medical care for underserved communities. Even with the abundance of ideas, one, in particular, stood out: Creating vertical farms in opportunity zones that will employ citizens returning from prison.


A Second Chance

Second Chances Farm is a concept by Ajit Mathew George.  According to the company’s website, “Second Chances Farm, LLC was created to establish a series of indoor, vertical farms in Opportunity Zones throughout the United States. Each farm would hire almost exclusively men and women returning from prison to give them entrepreneurial opportunities through growing produce on a commercial scale.”


Currently, the first site for this idea will be in Wilmington. This will reduce the food miles, or how far food needs to travel before getting to the consumer- ensuring longer shelf life and fresher food. This exciting opportunity will help bring more opportunities for people who may traditionally be overlooked for a job.


Innovative Farming Methods

Vertical Farming is an older practice and concept. First mention of it was in an issue of Life Magazine from 1909. The idea was that food-producing plants would grow on buildings. Since then it has taken on a different form, with the modern idea of Vertical Farming coming to fruition in 2001. In a small space, you vertically stack plants and create a top-down watering system to keep plants healthy. This model allows for more food to be produced in a smaller area, like in cities and building rooftops.


Along with using this model, the farm plans on using hydroponic farming. This method has plants living in just enough dirt with a trench for water runoff. A pump will ensure the water is reused.


Learn more about this concept by going to their website, www.secondchancesfarm.org.  Join us in congratulating the winner of Reinventing Delaware.

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