Though Teton Tomatoes taste tangy and sweet even on a subzero January day, figuring out how to produce the perfect hydroponic plant has not been easy.
Before Vertical Harvest, the hydroponic urban greenhouse built on a slender 1/10-acre plot next to the town parking garage, became a household name in Jackson, its founders and team spent years perfecting the growing process for tomatoes and a range of other agricultural products, microgreens and lettuce included.
Few aside from those directly involved remember the stressful reality of launching an agricultural startup in Wyoming, especially one focused on providing meaningful employment to all people, including those with disabilities. For some, like Vertical Harvest CEO Nona Yehia, seeing that story told on the big screen isn’t always easy.
“It’s hard for me to watch it because it was such an excruciating first few months,” Yehia said.
Anyone who hasn’t heard the story of those stressful few months will have the opportunity this weekend to see them play out. “Hearts of Glass,” a Jennifer Tennican documentary that relives the first 15 months of Vertical Harvest’s operations, will make its Jackson debut Saturday at the Center for the Arts.
The screening, which starts at 7 p.m., will be preceded by a dinner packed with veggies produced in the three-story farm. That’s a testament to the progress Vertical Harvest has made since it started in 2012.
“Looking back at it, we see how far we’ve come,” Yehia said. “I almost wish the documentary was about the most recent months at Vertical Harvest because of how far we’ve come.”
Read more about Vertical Harvest's journey in this week's Scene section.