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Sustainable Ag + Food News: Seedstock’s Weekly Roundup

December 10, 2015 |


seedstock1 AeroFarms raises $20 million for high-tech urban agriculture [The Wall Street Journal]

Excerpt: AeroFarms Inc. has raised $20 million in a Series B round of venture funding to build more of its “aeroponic vertical farms.” The high-tech indoor farms use 95% less water than conventional, commercial field farms, according to founder and Chief Executive David Rosenberg.           

2 County looks into urban agricultural zones and viability in unincorporated areas [Village News]

Excerpt: The San Diego County Board of Supervisors planted a seed Wednesday, Nov. 18, that could one day help turn empty lots throughout the region into small farms – by directing county staff to look into creating urban agriculture incentive zones.                            

3 Sacramento urban farmer to start food academy after visit to Milan [Comstock’s Magazine]

Excerpt: South Sacramento urban farmer, Chanowk Yisrael, wants to see local food systems improve. Eight years ago, he started growing organic food for his family and eventually launched the Yisrael Family Urban Farm in Sacramento’s historic Oak Park neighborhood.                        

Urban Farms: The new frontier for female farmers [Modern Farmer]

Excerpt: Vanessa Hanel is a twenty-nine year old female farmer living in the heart of grain-and-cattle country in Calgary, Alberta. Hanel didn’t grow up on a farm, but developed a passion for agriculture in her early twenties. After sowing her first handful of seeds in a community garden plot, she grew hooked on growing food and, eventually, farming.                                 

USDA Blog » High tunnel addition helps urban farmer feed Portland [USDA]

Excerpt: Portland has become one of the top cities in the nation for its food scene—from trendy neighborhood food carts to fine dining to farm-to-table restaurants. It’s also a place where people embrace eating locally-grown food.                            

How to build a sustainable city [New York Times]

Excerpt: Global warming, drought, migration and population growth have put our cities under heavy strain. What does the future hold for them – and all of us – in this scenario?                                     

Hillel Academy’s gardening program grows food, awareness [Tampa Bay Times]

Excerpt: Arielle Solomon, 12, would love to have a garden in her back yard. But it’s a dream that, for now, goes unfulfilled as long as the seventh-grader lives in what she describes as a “very concrete-filled home.”                      

Local food system an emerging part of Lexington’s economic, social well-being, new research shows []

Excerpt: People involved in a wide variety of food venues in Lexington are enthusiastic about the increasing demand for local food, a University of Kentucky study found. Researchers behind the Fayette County Local Food Demand Assessment estimate that Lexington businesses in 2014 spent approximately $14 million on Kentucky food products—money that went directly to farmers—with growth likely to continue to $20 million to $24 million in sales by 2020.                                   

Students to study Aquaponics in school’s new greenhouse []

Excerpt: The construction of the junior high’s new greenhouse started in mid October and should be done around mid December. The greenhouse had to be rebuilt because last winter it collapsed from all the snow. The Sanford High students from Mr. Hathaway’s morning Building Trades class and Mr. Fecteau’s morning Residential Wiring class are both helping to make the greenhouse.           

10 Hope for survival in Bayview-Hunters Point grows with aquaponics [San Francisco Chronicle]

Excerpt: For more than 16 years, the first job for many of the youth living in San Francisco’s Alice Griffith housing development was in the Double Rock gardens. An entire generation of kids grew up with their hands in the soil, learning the meaning of hard work and seeing firsthand how the fruits of their labor could nourish their community. In a neighborhood too often known for its violence, these sorts of lessons went a long way, longtime residents said.              

11 UCF student volunteers build aquaponics system for Bithlo ‘food desert’ [University of Central Florida]

Excerpt: A group of UCF students have spent 18 months building an aquaponics system for the Bithlo community. Student volunteers from the UCF club Engineers Without Borders designed and are building the elaborate system that will benefit the students at Orange County Academy, a private school serving at-risk youth in the east Orange County community.      

12 Representative Pingree takes on food waste [National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition]

Excerpt: On Monday, December 7, Representative Chellie Pingree (D-ME-1) introduced the Food Recovery Act (H.R. 4184) to curb food waste across the entire food system. She publicly announced the bill earlier the same day at the Portland Food Co-op in Portland, Maine.                               

13 Why North America’s youth must rescue farming [The Atlantic]

Excerpt: Family farms are integral to the history of North America, but disinterested youth have placed the industry under threat. In this visually-striking short film, we meet a group of idealistic young farmers who are fighting to return the industry to its former strength.             

14 In The Trenches: High-tech hydroponics could revolutionize retail produce merchandising [The Produce News]

Excerpt: Imagine entering a supermarket produce department and seeing a colossal glass enclosed structure with tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and lettuce growing in a liquid solution. The produce manager opens the side doors on the unit, picks some tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and lettuce and places them on display.                                   

15 A secret weapon to fight climate change: Dirt [The Washington Post]

Excerpt: When Will Allen is asked to name the most beautiful part of his Vermont farm, he doesn’t talk about the verdant, rolling hills or easy access to the Connecticut River. Though the space is a picturesque postcard of the agrarian idyll, Allen points down, to the dirt.                   

16 Aquaponics, not robotics, for our future kitchens [PSFK]

Excerpt: For Electrolux Design Lab, a product designer proposes a future kitchen that will not only grow its own salad and raise fish for protein, but will also teach future generations about healthy meals from the ground (or water) up.              

17 The big idea: Hydroponic and vertical farming [Fox 5 NY]

Excerpt: Inside a 300,000-square-foot greenhouse in Riverhead, Long Island, a farming revolution is flourishing. It’s not what’s being grown, but how it’s being grown, and when. When most traditional farmers on the East Coast wrap up their growing seasons in late fall, Carl Gabrielsen is just getting started.                         

18 Metropolis Farms wants to bring back the artisan farmer []

Excerpt: With booming populations to feed and less arable land to grow food on, food scarcity, something Thomas Robert Malthus predicted in 1798 and our children will feel the effects of in their lifetime, is one of the driving concerns behind the growing popularity of vertical farming, a modern agricultural concept where food is grown in stacks inside urban buildings using artificial lighting, climate control and other high-tech systems.

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