Kappa Farms, Richmond, Va., announced plans to open an aquaponics operation in Sterling, Va. The $865,000 facility will create 21 new jobs.

The closed-loop, nutrient-cycle aquaponics facility will produce certified-organic baby lettuces and arugula using water and nutrients derived from fish waste. The company will produce over $7 million of Virginia-grown lettuces over the next three years, which it will then sell to customers and restaurants in the Washington D.C. metro area.

“Kappa Farms is investing in Sterling, Va., to retrofit a warehouse to operate year-round as an organic indoor farm,” says Schuyler Milton, co-founder. “Kappa Farms will locally grow and supply organic salad greens, herbs and microgreens to Northern Virginia. It is an incredibly exciting time to be involved in agricultural technology. Environmental challenges, changes in economics and advances in materials and technology have all come to a point at which supplying locally grown and organic produce is both more vital and more feasible than ever before. We’re very privileged to have been born and raised in Virginia, and we’re very happy to be able to help bring this new industry to Virginia, in no small part thanks to Governor McAuliffe and Loudoun County.”