What Does Microsoft Have Planned for a Midwestern Pumpkin Farm?

Fewer gourds, more data

Microsoft logo
No, Microsoft isn't getting into the decorative gourd business.
Silas Stein/picture alliance via Getty Images

When technology giant Microsoft makes a purchase, it’s generally something else in the technology space. The Bill Gates-founded company’s acquisitions of the likes of LinkedIn and Skype have felt of a piece with its core business, for instance. And its investment in OpenAI also echoes the way that numerous large tech companies are making forays into AI.

There’s still the matter of the pumpkin farm, though.

As Amrita Khalid reports at The Verge, Microsoft recently purchased a sizable tract of land in Wisconsin which includes — yes — a pumpkin farm. The 407-acre purchase does not reflect Microsoft’s ambition to expand into the world of decorative gourds or to launch a Minecraft-inspired foray into raising large vegetables. Instead, as Khalid writes, the tech company will be using the land for another now-ubiquitous technological purpose: a data center.

The land in question, owned by the Creuziger family, was the subject of multiple bids over the years. The Milwaukee Business Journal reports that they received $76 million for 420 acres.

How Did Microsoft’s Clippy Become a Cult Favorite?
The cartoon paperclip comeback you never expected

Microsoft plans to add these 420 acres to land it’s already purchased from the town to build a data center. A pumpkin farm and corn maze are currently situated there. As The Verge reports, this will bring to an end a lengthy saga related to the future of the site in question, which was originally slated to be home to a similar facility run by Foxconn.

The InsideHook Newsletter.

News, advice and insights for the most interesting person in the room.