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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture

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Indiana Hydroponic Farm Grows People and Produce

November 17, 2015 |
A group of clients is pictured inside the Growing Opportunities greenhouse. Through working in the hydroponic greenhouse over the course of 20 weeks, the low-income and/or disabled clients gain skills and confidence to enter the work world. (photo courtesy Nicole Wooten/Growing Opportunities)

A group of clients is pictured inside the Growing Opportunities greenhouse. Through working in the hydroponic greenhouse over the course of 20 weeks, the low-income and/or disabled clients gain skills and confidence to enter the work world. (Photo courtesy Nicole Wooten/Growing Opportunities)

Growing Opportunities, an urban farm in Bloomington, Indiana, puts disabled, low-income and unemployed/underemployed adults to work in its hydroponic greenhouse. As a result, it’s producing bumper crops of people with newfound confidence and skills.

A project of Bloomington’s South Central Community Action Program, Growing Opportunities works with clients who need help by teaching them both hard and soft vocational skills via the pathway of growing food. Its greenhouse is located at Stone Belt, an organization with 50 years of experience providing resources for those with disabilities. Read More

From Orchids to Organic Hydroponic Produce – A Q&A with Sundial Farms’ Tarek Hijazi

October 4, 2015 |
HIjazi at work with his dog. Courtesy of Sundial Farms

Hijazi at work with his dog. Courtesy of Sundial Farms

California water regulations prompted San Diego-based Sundial Farms to switch from growing orchids to producing organic hydroponic produce in 2012. The farm is also pioneering the use of liquid organics fertilizers. Seedstock last wrote about them here in December 2013.

Seedstock caught up with Tarek Hijazi, manager of finance and hydroponic systems for Sundial Farms, to get his take on the challenge of growing produce amid California’s drought.  Hijazi will be a panel speaker at the 4th Annual Seedstock Sustainable Agriculture Conference on November 3-4 in San Diego. HIs panel will discuss indoor growing and the pursuit of market demand. Read More

Seedstock Names Go Green Agriculture Founder and CEO as 2015 Sustainable Agriculture Conference Keynote

July 6, 2015 |

Pierre SleimanSAN DIEGO, CA (PRWEB) – July 06, 2015 – Seedstock today announced Pierre Sleiman, founder and CEO of Go Green Agriculture, will deliver the keynote address at the 4th Annual Seedstock Sustainable Agriculture Conference – “Innovation and the Small Farmer” – to be held Nov. 3-4 San Diego.

This year’s conference, held at the University of California-San Diego, will explore solutions and methodologies that small farmers and entrepreneurs are developing to improve access to fresh and healthy food and generate new jobs against the dueling backdrop of a lingering drought and burgeoning local food marketplace.

The first day of the event offers a field trip where a limited number of participants will have the opportunity to tour a diversity of small farms in the San Diego-area from indoor hydroponic operations to sustainable field farms and urban agriculture endeavors. Sleiman’s hydroponic operations, as featured in a Seedstock article, are considered a model for the country to bring local food production closer to urban centers. Read More

Hawaiian Resort Serves Fresh Fare through Hydroponics

May 3, 2015 |
Photo credit: Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa

Photo credit: Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa

The Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa in Hawaii has all the amenities you would expect at a Hawaiian resort: a golf course, a pool, scenic ocean views. But there is also one amenity you wouldn’t expect— a hydroponic garden.

The garden, which was started through a collaboration between the resort and the University of Hawaii’s College of Tropical Agriculture, is located on a 4,000 square foot space that used to be the resort’s tennis court. It is comprised of two garden rows that grow seven different types of lettuce which are served at the resort’s restaurants and events. Read More

5 Farms Pushing the Boundaries of Indoor Agriculture

October 23, 2014 |
Bright Farms Courtesy of Bright Farms

Bright Farms
Courtesy of Bright Farms

Indoor farms are the new and innovative way to grow greens. Modern indoor farms are quite large and filled with state-of-the-art technologies – they aren’t the tiny greenhouses of yesteryear.

We’ve rounded up five, indoor farms to give you a taste of what some of the most innovative growing organizations are producing.

1. Bright Farms 

Bright Farms has built its state-of-the-art farming facilities in seven cities. Bright Farms specializes in creating farms that conserve land and water. The Farms also are designed to “eliminate agricultural runoff” and to “reduce greenhouse gas emission from transportation.” Bright Farms has partnered with CropKing (specialists in controlled environment agriculture), Hort Americas (provides products to greenhouse growers), NetSuite (software company), and Nexus Greenhouse Systems (produces affordable greenhouse structures) to ensure it produces top-notch facilities Read More

Cityblooms’ Automated Hydroponic Micro-farm Grows Nutritious Produce on Plantronics Company Campus

September 30, 2014 |

CITYBLOOMS conference seedstockSANTA CRUZ, Calif., Sept. 30, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Plantronics Inc. (NYSE: PLT) is pioneering the use of on-site food production to boost employee nutrition as part of the company’s global commitment to sustainability.  Through a joint project with Santa Cruz-based Cityblooms, a prototype computer-automated farm has been installed at the Plantronics headquarters and is being powered by the company’s existing solar energy system.

The hydroponic micro-farm produces bi-weekly harvests of premium leafy greens and vegetables for the on-site cafe operated by Bon Appetit Management Company, a national leader in socially and environmentally responsible food service. “By locating these micro-farms close to the point of consumption, we measure farm-to-fork distances in yards, rather than miles,” said Nick Halmos, Cityblooms founder. “We eliminate the financial and environmental costs associated with food waste and food transportation.” Read More

Take the Seedstock Hydroponic Growers Survey Now!

September 18, 2014 |

hydroponic survey pictureAre you an indoor grower utilizing a hydroponic, aquaponic or aeroponic growing system?

If so, you should really take our survey. It will take you about 5 MINUTES and for your efforts we will provide you with a with a complimentary summary of the aggregated results. The information that you submit will be anonymized. 

Survey Link:

Seedstock is in the process of conducting a survey to obtain information and data from existing growers about the Indoor Agriculture sector inclusive of hydroponic, aquaponic, aeroponic growing operations and more.
Read More

Seedstock 3rd Annual Sustainable Ag Innovation Conference Packs Punch with Stellar Slate of Expert Speakers

September 16, 2014 |
speakers seedstock conference

Top Row (left to right): Clare Fox, Los Angeles Food Policy Council; A.G. Kawamura, former Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture; Nurit Katz, UCLA Sustainability. Bottom row (left to right): Michel Algazi, Freshology and Food Centricity; Sasha Kanno, Long Beach Local and Farm Lot 59; Rickey Smith, Urban Green.

Local food policy, urban agriculture strategy, and business model innovation are just a sample of the informative fare to be served up at the 3rd Annual Seedstock Sustainable Agriculture Innovation Conference – “Reintegrating Ag: Local Food Systems and the Future of Cities.”

The comprehensive, expert-rich program, to be held Tuesday and Wednesday, November 11-12, at the UCLA Anderson School of Management, will focus on the economic, environmental and community benefits that result from the development of a robust local food infrastructure. Participants from local food policy experts and urban agriculture entrepreneurs to investors and thought leaders in the sustainable agriculture industry will explore new approaches to strengthen the marketplace for local food and foster the revitalization of urban areas by embracing innovation in sustainable agriculture. Read More