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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture

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Aquaponics

Weekly Stories of Food Systems Innovation from Around the Country

January 5, 2017 |

To Grow Community and Jobs of the Future, Suburbanite Launches Vertical Farming Enterprise in Detroit

BY TRISH POPOVITCH

After spending time with street children in Brazil as part of a missionary trip, Jeff Adams, founder of Detroit, … Read More

Small Farmers: Saviors of the Modern Food System

December 27, 2016 |

This advertorial is brought to you by Bright Agrotech, Inc

Our food system is broken and only the small farmer can save us.

The first green revolution lowered food costs by increasing production efficiency, but did so at the cost of quality, freshness, and the connection between those who grow the food and those who eat it.

Over time, loss of quality and connection has disintegrated the trust between consumers and producers. While consumers moved into cities, our farms morphed into industrial food factories that exchanged stewardship and sustainability for yields.

Now people are calling for change. Read More

Seedstock ‘Future of Food: Urban Ag Field Trip’ to Explore Urban Farming Operations in L.A. County

December 13, 2016 |

Urban agriculture ventures of all different stripes – from commercial hydroponic enterprises and rooftop aeroponic farms to community gardens planted atop formerly vacant lots – are not only disrupting the food system, but also generating community and economic capital.

To give you an up close and personal look at a series of innovative urban farming operations that have emerged to tackle challenges to food access, meet marketplace demand for local food, and increase food security, Seedstock has put together the ‘Future of Food – Urban Ag Field Trip’.

future-of-food-urban-farm-field-trip-los-angeles

Slated for Friday, January 27, 2017, the field trip will look at the community and economic development potential of urban farming. Tour stops include the USC Teaching Garden, Local Roots Farms, and The Growing Experience.

Scheduled for Friday, January 27, 2017, the field trip will look at the impact of urban farming in Los Angeles County, the most populous county in the United States, and include lectures on such topics as the past, present, and future of urban agriculture, vertical farming, and sourcing local food from urban farms. Read More

Arizona Urban Farming Startup Embraces Aquaponics to Increase Access to Healthy Food

December 6, 2016 |
(From left to right) Chaz Shelton and Bill Shriver, co-founders of Tucson, AZ-based Merchant's Garden, an urban farming enterprise utilizing hydroponics and aquaponics to increase access to healthy food in cities. Photo Courtesy of Merchant's Garden.

(From left to right) Chaz Shelton and Bill Shriver, co-founders of Tucson, AZ-based Merchant’s Garden, an urban farming enterprise utilizing hydroponics and aquaponics to increase access to healthy food in cities. Photo Courtesy of Merchant’s Garden.

Farmers need to be good at a little bit of everything—from growing and marketing to strategic planning. Chaz Shelton of Merchant’s Garden in Tucson, Arizona, approaches farming from a slightly different angle. He earned his MBA at Indiana University-Bloomington and is using that broad business knowledge to manage his hydroponic and aquaponics operation with co-founder Bill Shriver.

Shelton’s interest in farming began more out of an interest in public health. While working with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health in Pennsylvania several years ago, he often saw how poor eating led to adverse health outcomes. He solidified his idea that instead of shipping food from faraway farms into urban environments, he could bring farming into the city.

That led two years ago to the formation of Merchant’s Garden, an urban farming enterprise whose mission, according to the company website, is to “make fresh food accessible and affordable to everyone using the science of aquaponics and hydroponics.” The farm was started with the help of investors and the business accelerator organization Startup Tucson. It launched just as Shelton was finishing up his MBA. Read More

Community College Hort Professor Prepares Students to Work in Indoor Greenhouses of the Future

October 17, 2016 |
Students in Professor Valerie Loew's Horticulture class at Fullerton College in Orange County, CA. Photo courtesy of Fullerton College.

Students in Professor Valerie Loew’s Horticulture class at Fullerton College in Orange County, CA. Photo courtesy of Fullerton College.

When it comes to Controlled Environment Agriculture [CEA], Valerie Loew wants the U.S. to catch up with Europe and China before it’s too late.

“The rest of the world is so far ahead of us, because they are so limited with their own resources,” says Loew, who is professor and horticulture department head at Fullerton College in Southern California. “They are taking advantage of this technology way before us because we have sunshine and we have water; but we really don’t. Between Europe and China, the amount of greenhouses they have is just off the charts. We need to start catching up.” Read More