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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture

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vertical farming

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

Vertical Farming Venture Achieves Sustainability and Success in New Buffalo, Michigan

June 10, 2013 |
Basil and Lettuce, neighbors in different vertical growing systems at Green Spirit Farms. Photo credit: Green Spirit Farms.

Basil and Lettuce, neighbors in different vertical growing systems at Green Spirit Farms. Photo credit: Green Spirit Farms.

According to Green Spirit Farms‘ Research and Development Manager Daniel Kluko, the future of farming is heading in one clear direction: vertical. “If we want to feed hungry people this is how we need to farm,” said Kluko.

Kluko believes that vertical farming offers a very important benefit in today’s world of scarce land and resources— the potential for unparalleled plant density. After all, how else can a farmer grow 27 heads of lettuce in one square foot of growing space?

Green Spirit Farms was started by Daniel’s father Milan Kluko under his engineering company Fountainhead Engineering LTD. The idea for the farm emerged while the company was evaluating indoor, urban farm models in North America for a non-profit client—a process which piqued Milan Kluko’s interest about the viability of a vertical farming operation. Read More

Detroit Urban Farming Enterprise, RecoveryPark, Poised to Revitalize East Side and Create 18,000

May 9, 2013 |

recoveryparklogoThe east side of Detroit, like much of the rest of the city, is in dire need of recovery.

The land is dotted with vacant and abandoned homes. The economy is in tatters. Unemployment, infant mortality, poverty, crime, and drug abuse are major challenges facing the dwindling population.

This is the land capitalism left behind.

A new enterprise combining urban farming, substance abuse rehabilitation, and an alternative economic model is attempting to provide that recovery on the many fronts in which it is needed. Read More

Vertical Farming Visionary Dr. Dickson Despommier Talks Challenges and Opportunities

April 3, 2013 |

despommier article image“Vertical farming isn’t futuristic; it’s already here,” says vertical farming visionary, Dr. Dickson Despommier. “In 2004 we put the idea on the internet and only got three hits on Google.” Eight years later that same search query on Google now yields 29,800,000 hits.

Although recently retired from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, Dr. Despommier shows no signs of slowing down. He continues to spread awareness to universities, municipalities, architects and agricultural specialists on the importance of ecological principles in vertical farming design and introduce his sustainable vision for our future cities.

I recently sat down with Dr. Despommier to discuss his vision for vertical farms, whether certain locales are better suited for farms of this type, his studies on the correlation between unsustainable cultivation and rapid deforestation, and more. Read More

Vertical Farming Operation Takes on Challenge of Providing Local Food to Urban Communities

January 17, 2013 |
Photo Credit: Local Garden.

In a world where climate change continues to wreak more and more havoc on growing seasons and arable land becomes increasingly scarce and expensive, viable farming alternatives are the Holy Grail of sustainable agriculturists.

Local Garden of Vancouver, BC, a subsidiary of the vertical farming technology company Alterrus, is the latest challenger to the intractable problem of providing local fresh produce for future urban communities.

The company (they only launched production three months ago) is using the VertiCrop™ growing system created by Alterrus to raise baby greens, arugula, basil, spinach, kales and bok choy in a system that cultivates 10 times the amount of crops as traditional agriculture in the same amount of space, but uses 90 percent less water and terrain. And it does so on top of a parking garage in the middle of downtown Vancouver. Read More

With 90% of its Crop Pre-sold and a Land Lease Rate of $1 Per Year, a Vertical Farm Rises in Wyoming

January 16, 2013 |

If you’ve ever ventured west into the beautiful rolling hills and breathtaking rock formations of windy Wyoming you may note an absence of green fields. Home of wandering elk herds, wild mustangs and ubiquitous antelope, Wyoming boasts the freshest air and streams in the nation. Fertile soil is another thing entirely. That’s why the ‘outside of the box’ thinking of the folks at Vertical Harvest, a three story vertical hydroponic greenhouse operation that will be located in the town of Jackson, means so much to the equality state. Read More

Video: Scaling Sustainable Agriculture Solutions

January 11, 2013 |

At the Seedstock Sustainable Agriculture Innovation conference this past fall, we held a panel discussion that examined the potential for sustainable farming solutions and technologies to feed a growing population. The panel featured the following panelists: Thaddeus Barsotti … Read More

To Power Hydroponic Operations on the Cheap, Ag Startup Seeks to Turn Wind into Water

November 12, 2012 |

Scarcity of clean water poses an enormous threat to food security around the world. Both in the developing world, including China and India, and even here in the United States, farmers increasingly face the arduous challenge of obtaining sufficient clean water to grow crops. Faced with this daunting challenge, the team behind the GreenTop platform developed an innovative system that uses wind power to capture atmospheric water moisture, which in turn is used to grow fruits and vegetables hydroponically. By creating an affordable, scalable technology that relies solely on renewable energy, the GreenTop platform enables farmers to boost food production, particularly in developing countries where the climate is arid, arable land scarce and access to clean water limited. Read More