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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture
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sustainable agriculture investment

With Focus on Innovation and Profit, California Farmer Grows Unique Berries for Every Season

January 21, 2013 |

Photo Credit: Pudwill Farms.

It’s 10:30 AM at the Saturday Santa Monica farmer’s market and the 600 plus baskets of Pudwill Farms blackberries and raspberries are already sold out. A few flats of plump, crisp looking blueberries are left but they’re going fast, too. One customer asks when those “incredible alpine strawberries” will be back. “Soon,” promises Roy Soto, the vender, with a knowing wink. It’s the middle of winter and this is why the public and the finest California restaurants revere Pudwill – for producing a varied selection of flavor-boisterous berries year round.

“We’ve got at least 12 varieties of blueberries, 10 or more of red raspberries, six of blackberries, three of golden berries, three of black raspberries, five or six different varieties of currents, and black and white mulberries” says Randy Pudwill, who runs the farm now, his voice brimming with pride. Read More

Video: Keynote Address on Importance of Embracing Sustainable Ag from Colin Archipley of Archi’s Acres

January 10, 2013 |

At the Seedstock Sustainable Agriculture Innovation Conference at UCLA Anderson School of Management this past October, we had the pleasure of having Colin Archipley deliver the keynote address. In his presentation, Colin, a decorated marine sergeant and founder, along with his wife Karen, of Archi’s Acres and the Veterans Sustainable Agriculture Training (VSAT) program, discusses the importance of embracing sustainable agriculture and its essential role in feeding a growing world population.

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A Head of Lettuce from 1,000 Miles Away, or a Sack of Greens from the Vertical Urban Farm Across Town?

January 2, 2013 |

Photo: FarmedHere

In a perfect world of competitive business, twenty-first century startups have some high hurdles to overcome: the ideal is to offer a product that is beneficial for the consumer, leaves a negligible carbon footprint, has a sustainable operating model and contributes socially and economically to the community at large.

FarmedHere might be the poster boy for such a business.

The two-year-old startup grows salad greens, herbs and fish in a multi-stack, vertical agriculture setup, using aquaponic and aeroponic cultivation methods in an abandoned industrial warehouse about seven miles from downtown Chicago. Read More

Nearly 250 Gather at UCLA to Discuss Economic Opportunity In Sustainable Agriculture

October 28, 2012 |

If ever there was doubt about the interest, desire and motivation to develop economically viable and sustainable farming solutions to repair a broken food system, it was allayed at the Seedstock Sustainable Agriculture Innovation Conference that took place at the UCLA Anderson School of Management on October 24. A diverse array of nearly 250 investors, farmers, entrepreneurs, distributors and researchers were on hand to hear from some of the most innovative thinkers, agripreneurs and practitioners in the growing sustainable ag marketplace. Read More

Burgeoning Growth of Startup Accelerators a Boon to Sustainable Agriculture Entrepreneurs

October 19, 2012 |

When the Silicon Valley startup accelerator 500 Startups spawned farm production software company Farmeron late last year, sustainable agriculture officially joined the accelerator boom.  Accelerators typically take an equity stake in your startup in return for which you get a little bit of funding and, more importantly, to participate in an intensive three to six month mentoring program at the end of which you should ideally have a fundable business. They’re often confused with the now-less-hip incubators, which generally offer physical office space in addition to mentoring over a prolonged period.  Read More