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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture

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vertical farming

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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Hawaii-based Vertical Farmer Sees Opportunity to Grow Upward with Rising Local Food Demand

March 28, 2016 |
Courtesy MetroGrow

Courtesy MetroGrow

In Hawaii, demand for locally grown food is pushing farmer Kerry Kakazu to grow upward. In 2013, Kakazu seeking to provide sustainable hydroponically grown food to a growing marketplace, launched his vertical farm, MetroGrow in Kakaako, Honolulu.

Initially skeptical of the economic feasibility of vertical farming, the stars eventually aligned and Kakazu determined that it was the right time to launch his operation.

“[…] I didn’t think a vertical farm could be economically feasible because of the energy cost of lighting at the time,” says Kakazu. “The events that triggered the start of the farm were the rising interest in local food production, the introduction of LEDs to lower the energy cost of lighting, and wanting to be involved with the local restaurant industry.” Read More

On the Plane Where Buffalo Roam, Vertical Growing Towers Rise to Propel Local Agriculture

January 19, 2016 |
American Pavilion at 2015 World’s Fair. Courtesy Amy Storey.

American Pavilion at 2015 World’s Fair. Courtesy Amy Storey.

By focusing on building a quality product, encouraging community and supporting their farmer customers, Laramie, Wyoming-based Bright Agrotech looks to have a bright and busy future ahead of it.

The company has continued to grow since Seedstock first profiled them here in 2012, something CEO and founder Dr. Nate Storey attributes to the broad appeal of the company’s mission.

“No matter if you’re like the uber liberal kind of person on the left side of things, or a super conservative person on the right side of things, everyone can get on board with the idea that local production is better,” says Storey. “Everyone can get on board with the idea that when we spend money in our communities, that money stays in our communities.” Read More

New Indiana Vertical Farm Would Offer Hands-on Education to College Students

December 8, 2015 |
An artist’s conceptual rendering shows what a new indoor vertical farm in South Bend, Indiana would like. If approved, it will be a collaborative educational effort between Green Sense Farms and Ivy Tech Community College. (image courtesy Robert Colangelo/Green Sense Farms)

An artist’s conceptual rendering shows how a new indoor vertical farm in South Bend, Indiana would look. If approved, it will be a collaborative educational effort between Green Sense Farms and Ivy Tech Community College. (image courtesy Robert Colangelo/Green Sense Farms)

Deep in the corn belt, South Bend, Indiana may become home to a new indoor farming facility that would not only produce food but also educate community college students about indoor agriculture.

The proposed 20,000-square foot vertical farming operation would be constructed and operated by Green Sense Farms, headquartered in northwest Indiana.

A panel discussion, during which the proposal was put forth for the indoor farm and farm-college partnership, took place in October at South Bend’s Ivy Tech Community College. If the college’s Board of Trustees grants approval, Green Sense Farms is set to spend $3 million to construct the facility on land leased from Ivy Tech. Read More

New Urban Farm Helps to Revitalize Detroit Neighborhood

June 1, 2015 |

postartesianThanks to a new urban agriculture enterprise, the future is brighter for Detroit’s Brightmoor neighborhood—an area on the west side of the city that has seen so much economic devastation that it was nicknamed “Blight More.”

Jeff Adams, a Brightmoor resident for the past 12 years, founded Artesian Farms, an indoor vertical farming operation that saw its first harvested crop in spring 2015. And there will be quite a bit of harvests to come, as they are scheduled to take place 17 times a year. Read More

Five Vertical Farms that Capture the Imagination and Profit

May 17, 2015 |
"Harvesters Alejandra Martinez (front), Steve Rodriguez, and Marquita Twidell cut basil at the FarmedHere facilities. Image courtesy of FarmedHere."

Harvesters Alejandra Martinez (front), Steve Rodriguez, and Marquita Twidell cut basil grown in an aquaponic system at FarmedHere, a vertical farming operation based in Bedford Park, Illinois. Image courtesy of FarmedHere.

Vertical farms: the idea captures our imagination. We envision their upward-twisting frames nestled between the steel and chrome skyscrapers of the big city. Each floor overflows with fruits and vegetables brought to life by hydroponic or aquaponic growing systems, bringing local food and a breath of fresh air to cities with a footprint smaller than any “horizontal” farm.

While setup and electrical costs remain expensive, a wave of vertical farmers around the world has been finding new ways to cut costs and streamline systems to make vertical farming a reality. They may not be ‘farmscrapers’, but these five vertical farms achieve production rates up to 100 times more efficient per square foot than traditional farming while bringing year-round local produce to their communities. Read More

Singapore Urban Farm Design Looks to Engage Active Seniors

April 5, 2015 |
Courtesy of SPARK Home Farm

Courtesy of SPARK Home Farm

by Christa Avampato

A new paradigm for senior living is rising in famously lavish Singapore—one in which baby boomers can age in a comfortable environment that aids their mental and physical wellbeing through growing their own food.

Imagine a senior living environment based on the hanging gardens of Babylon — a place rich with lush vegetation and beauty of mythic proportions, but in a way that doesn’t place any additional strain on a city’s budget. In fact, it could be crafted as a way to grow the local economy. Read More

Singapore Strives to Promote Food Security in Face of Land Scarcity

June 21, 2013 |

The island city-state of Singapore is known as one of the most rapidly developing countries in the world. With 5.3 million people living on 275 square miles of land, Singapore is also one of the most densely populated countries in … Read More