City of Atlanta to Host Inaugural ‘Aglanta Conference: Where Growing Opportunity Meets Thriving Community’December 9, 2016 | seedstock
ATLANTA – The Aglanta Conference is a gathering to showcase urban and controlled environment agriculture (CEA) innovation in the City of Atlanta. The City of Atlanta has partnered with Blue Planet Consulting to bring together restaurateurs, grocers, architects, entrepreneurs, technologists, business owners, and urban farmers for this premium networking and knowledge sharing opportunity. Our goal is to foster Atlanta’s growth as a central hub in the nation’s $9 billion a year indoor farming industry.
The Aglanta Conference will be an intimate and invaluable environment for participants to engage with a local, national, and international audience. Through workshops, lectures, and networking sessions, the conference will cover issues across the spectrum of urban agriculture business models and technologies, with a particular focus on the emerging field of vertical/indoor farming. We will spotlight local champions already doing incredible work growing food as means of ecological restoration, social cohesion, cultural preservation, economic development, and biopharmaceutical development.
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.
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.”
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.”
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.