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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture

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Sustainable Agriculture Startup Profiles

A 2-acre Farm in a Box: Kits Deliver Off-grid Farming Components in Shipping Containers

May 1, 2016 |
Netafim’s Typhoon thinwall dripline in the field. Courtesy Netafim.

Netafim’s Typhoon thinwall dripline in the field. Courtesy Netafim.

San Francisco-based Farm From a Box supplies all the components needed to create a two-acre off-grid farm,  packed in a shipping container that will then serve as a farm building. It recently announced a new partnership with Netafim, an Israel-based irrigation firm with offices in 120 countries, to supply the irrigation components. 

Farm From a Box is the brainchild of partners Scott Thompson and Brandi DiCarli. Their kits include renewable power systems, internet connectivity, basic farm tools, micro-drip irrigation systems and water pumps that can be adapted to fit either a ground well or municipal water supply. 
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Riverside Food Systems Alliance Aims to Get Results from Local Food and Agriculture Policy

April 15, 2015 |
ers of the Riverside Food Systems Alliance meet regularly. On April 16, the Alliance will present an action plan regarding the promotion of local food and agriculture to the Riverside City Council for formal adoption. (photo courtesy of Diana Ruiz)

Members of the Riverside Food Systems Alliance meet regularly. On April 16, the Alliance will present an action plan regarding the promotion of local food and agriculture to the Riverside City Council for formal adoption. (photo courtesy of Diana Ruiz)

When consultant Richard Conlin attended the inaugural GrowRIVERSIDE conference in 2014, he talked to people about the many ideas involving Riverside’s Greenbelt that never materialized. Conlin, who has a history of helping members of a community and stakeholders hammer out policies, offered to help make some of these ideas a reality. They accepted his proposal, which resulted in the Riverside Food Systems Alliance (RFSA).

The RFSA started meeting last September, and on April 16, it will present its action plan to the Riverside City Council for formal adoption. Read More

Los Angeles Startup Worms its Way into Local Demand for Organic Compost

January 6, 2014 |
Photo credit: Christy Wilhelmi  gardenerd.com

Photo credit: Christy Wilhelmi
gardenerd.com

“We have a lot of employees,” says Bryan Spangle, co-owner of Organic Solution. Not many businesses only in their third year could make such a boast, but in this case his claim is justified. Organic Solution has millions of employees, all working around the clock to create the product. Those employees just happen to be worms.

Organic Solution came to life when Spangle and George Keossaian went through what Spangle calls a “mid-life crisis thing” and decided to transition from their current careers into “something else that was good.” Read More

New York Distributor Brings the Farmers’ Market to the Supermarket; Increases Local Food Access

January 3, 2014 |
Dan Horan, President & CEO of Five Acre Farms Image Credit: Five Acre Farms

Dan Horan, President & CEO of Five Acre Farms
Image Credit: Five Acre Farms

Dan Horan had a notion back in 1989 that started with a college essay and turned into a business plan: enlist the cooperative efforts of various small farms in the region to supply supermarkets with locally produced foods. The idea of bringing the farmers’ market to the local supermarket was planted, he says.

“Fast-forward to 2010,” says Horan. “I sold the company I was involved with and hired my first employee.”

The name for Horan’s new venture, Five Acre Farms, came from the principle of small, local agriculture serving its local communities, according to Horan.

“Our focus was on the mainstream customer,” says Horan, “improving their access to local food where most of the shopping is happening—in the supermarkets. Less than 10 percent of people can support the farmers’ market. We wanted to be in the mainstream shopping centers.” Read More

Urban Farming Startup Sees Opportunity in Aeroponic Tower to Increase Local Food Production in New Orleans

December 16, 2013 |
Image Credit: VertiFarms

Image Credit: VertiFarms

Fresh produce in New Orleans usually arrives from places like California or Florida. One company wants to change that.

Vertifarms began providing aeroponic farms for New Orleans food businesses in 2011, when company co-founders Doug Jacobs and Kevin Morgan-Rothschild began partnering with Florida-based FutureGrowing to bring aeroponic tower systems to restaurants, markets, grocery stores, and non-profit organizations that want to grow their own local crops.

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