Zeponic Farms

Zeponic Farms

By: Hamza Elghoul, Journalist

Zeponic Farms is a vertical farm located in northern Virginia that provides greens and microgreens to restaurants, local colleges, and local individuals. All of the fresh produce that is grown is grown by adults with special needs and autism. According to their website, about 90 percent of the autism population are unemployed or work in an isolated environment. Part of Zeponic Farms’ mission is to change how people with autism are discriminated against. 

Zach Zepf (Founder of Zeponic farms) started Zeponic Farms by wanting to help the special needs population and wanting a job in agriculture. Zeponic Farms uses hydroponic technology which uses 95% less water than regular farms. Zeponic Farm was named “Outstanding Green Business”  in the 2016 Score Awards.

Zeponic Farms gets help from George Mason University’s Learning Into Future Environments which is a class for young adults that have disabilities that teaches sustainability. Zeponic Farms sells some of its products to Sodexo which is the company that runs George Mason’s dining hall. Zeponic Farms won George Mason’s 2018 Jack Wood Awards for Town-Gown Relations.

After lots of research Zach Zepf saw that the trailer aspect of farming was very useful he purchased one and made sure it was well suited for growing plants. About 3,250 plants are grown in a cold environment inside the trailer. The lettuce from Zeponic Farms is very popular in GMU and students eat about 400 heads of lettuce a week.