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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture
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Aquaponics Grower, Solutions Farms, Added to Seedstock Conference’s Future Farm Field Trip in San Diego

September 18, 2015 |

Seedstock today announced that San Diego-based Solutions Farms, one of the largest aquaponics farms in the West, will be added to the “Future Farm Field Trip”. The “Future Farm Field Trip” on Day 1 (Nov. 3) of the 4th Annual Seedstock Sustainable Agriculture Conference: Innovation and the Rise of Local Food offers an excursion into the diversity of urban and state-of-the-art indoor agriculture operations in Southern California. Tour participants will be treated to lectures and sessions from pioneering farmers and social entrepreneurs who are embracing innovative business models and growing systems to both increase food security and take advantage of the escalating demand for local food.

Click here for more details on the field trip:

Solutions Farms is a soilless, or aquaponics farm, where nutrient-rich water from fish culture is used to nourish produce, which in turn purifies the water so it can be returned to the fish. The farm provides a source of locally-raised, certified organic produce that is being used by North County restaurants, juice bars and eager farmers market buyers. The farm is also a laboratory for teaching important work values and preparing people for re-entry into the workforce toward the end of accomplishing a worthwhile social purpose while also being a functioning business. Read More

Q&A: Daron Joffe, Director of Agricultural Innovation and Development for the Leichtag Foundation

September 14, 2015 |
Daron Joffe. Credit: Joshua Sherman

Daron Joffe. Credit: Joshua Sherman

This November’s Seedstock Conference keynote speaker is Daron Joffe.  As director of Agricultural Innovation and Development for the Leichtag Foundation in Encinitas, CA,  founder of Farmer D Organics and author of “Citizen Farmers,” he has lots to say about innovation in the community and local food sector.

In advance of the fall conference, Seedstock spoke with Joffe about his work at the Leichtag Foundation and his plan to develop community farms.

Seedstock: What is the most important thing you want Seedstock readers to know about Daron Joffe?

Joffe: I’m involved in a community farming initiative with a focus on social justice, social entrepreneurship and education from youth to farmers, and it’s a 20-year passion. I’m humbled and inspired by the amount of positive stuff going on in the movement. I’m especially excited about the role that a new nonprofit farm I’m helping to incubate here in Encinitas, CA has to play in the movement as a new thought partner and innovator in this broader context of community farming. What I’ve discovered is the power of farming to build community. Read More

New Hydroponic Organic Gardening Kit Seeks ‘Paradigm Shift for Produce’

January 13, 2014 |

Photo courtesy of Mobile Farming

From garden towers to upside-down tomato hangers, the concept of a ‘grow your own’ kit is nothing new.

But the folks at Mobile Farming think they may finally have created a hydroponic gardening system that’s affordable, realistic and accessible to everyone with Garden Stand. The unit is American-made, MIT-patented and grows enough organic vegetables and herbs to feed a family of four. And according to its creators, we can expect to see it on the retail market as soon as summer 2014. Read More

Water Regulations Prompt SoCal Orchid Farm’s Foray into Hydroponic Vegetable Growing

December 3, 2013 |
Source: Sundial Farm

Source: Sundial Farm

Not many hydroponic farms are established in the middle of an orchid nursery, but for South Coast Orchids’ owner Dennis Keany and his family, hydroponic vegetables were the answer to the question: what do you grow when you can’t use much water?

The family’s 4.5-acre orchid nursery located just North of San Diego now shares greenhouse real estate with butter lettuce, kale, and bok choy that is sold under the brand name Sundial Farm.

In Southern California, water is a precious, highly regulated resource. According to Sundial Farm manager Sean Keany, state regulations began changing about ten years ago to conserve the area’s aqueduct-fed water source. Water conservation and access to fresh, clean produce are Keany family values and when the state advised going hydroponic, the decades-old orchid farmers were ready to move forward. Read More

Archi’s Acres and the World of Living Basil

May 30, 2013 |

“We wanted something that was sustainable, but was a really good deal for the customer. We call it bioponic. That means we use all organic practices. We have a definite crop production and we are always sold out.” – Karen Archipley

Karen and Colin Archipley of Archi's Acres. Photo Credit: Archi's Acres.

Karen and Colin Archipley of Archi’s Acres. Photo Credit: Archi’s Acres.

While deployed in Iraq, Colin Archipley used his down time to work on the avocado farm he and his wife Karen bought back in 2006. “His whole mission was to save our farm,” remembers Karen. The farm was purchased between Colin’s second and third assignment in Iraq. When he wasn’t out battling the tension in Haditha, Colin was on the phone figuring out how to make his farm successful. The desire to make a positive lasting difference in the world was hampered by outrageous San Diego water rates. They had to find a way to reduce their $845 water bill and make their farm efficient and sustainable. A switch to bio hydroponic agriculture, a change of main product and the luck of partnering with some big names in the world of organic food and Archi’s Acres was well on its way. Read More