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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture

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Take the Seedstock Hydroponic Growers Survey Now!

September 18, 2014 |

hydroponic survey pictureAre you an indoor grower utilizing a hydroponic, aquaponic or aeroponic growing system?

If so, you should really take our survey. It will take you about 5 MINUTES and for your efforts we will provide you with a with a complimentary summary of the aggregated results. The information that you submit will be anonymized. 

Survey Link: http://bit.ly/1rg7IEZ

Seedstock is in the process of conducting a survey to obtain information and data from existing growers about the Indoor Agriculture sector inclusive of hydroponic, aquaponic, aeroponic growing operations and more.
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Urban Farming Co Takes Aquaponic Farming to Europe’s Rooftops

September 18, 2014 |
Concept of future rooftop aquaponic farm in The Hague. Image courtesy of UrbanFarmers

Concept of future rooftop aquaponic farm in The Hague. Image courtesy of UrbanFarmers

UrbanFarmers is on a mission to bring commercial-grade urban farming to consumers hungry for fresh locally-grown produce, and it’s doing so from the rooftops.

Based in Zürich, Switzerland, the company offers a brand of rooftop-based and modular growing systems to client businesses. It does so using aquaponics, a technology that combines plants and aquatic life forms into a harmonious recirculating habitat.

“At present, UF operates the only commercial aquaponic food production system in the EU,” Urban Farmers’ Director of Business Development Tom Zöllner tells Seedstock. “Although there are numerous initiatives and projects in almost every city, almost all of them are socially driven community-based, small-scale projects. We are not aware of anyone else that has been able to implement a large-scale, high-tech aquaponic system that sells year round into a major retailer.” Read More

A Lexicon of Sustainability: Q & A with Food Information Artist Douglas Gayeton

September 17, 2014 |
Image Courtesy of Rumple Farm

Image Courtesy of Douglas Gayeton

Douglas Gayeton is an award-winning multimedia artist, author and filmmaker. His most recent book, Lexicon of Sustainability, can also be viewed in short video segments on PBS.

Seedstock spoke with Gayeton about why we need a lexicon for sustainability, who should read this book, defining sustainability, and why Gayeton believes should you give this book away.

Seedstock: Why did you decide to do a book when you have all of this great multimedia content? Why did the medium of actually having a physical book seem important?

Gayeton: Well, that’s a funny question. The challenge is that people always say, “Who reads books anymore?” Reality is that people do read books. I have a bookshelf of books, as I’m sure you do, that you’ve probably bought in the last year. So it’s not like books are not relevant. The problem with a book, though, is that it fixes like a fly in amber ideas. Sustainability is really a dynamic conversation. So these words and ideas are evolving, and even being defined as we speak. On one level, it doesn’t make sense to make a book. But from another standpoint, I think that the core ideas and principles that define sustainable food systems and how to build local food systems, those core ideas have never really been gathered in a book in such a comprehensive way, looking at every aspect of our food system. We really felt that this could be a valuable tool.  Read More

Seedstock 3rd Annual Sustainable Ag Innovation Conference Packs Punch with Stellar Slate of Expert Speakers

September 16, 2014 |
speakers seedstock conference

Top Row (left to right): Clare Fox, Los Angeles Food Policy Council; A.G. Kawamura, former Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture; Nurit Katz, UCLA Sustainability. Bottom row (left to right): Michel Algazi, Freshology and Food Centricity; Sasha Kanno, Long Beach Local and Farm Lot 59; Rickey Smith, Urban Green.

Local food policy, urban agriculture strategy, and business model innovation are just a sample of the informative fare to be served up at the 3rd Annual Seedstock Sustainable Agriculture Innovation Conference – “Reintegrating Ag: Local Food Systems and the Future of Cities.”

The comprehensive, expert-rich program, to be held Tuesday and Wednesday, November 11-12, at the UCLA Anderson School of Management, will focus on the economic, environmental and community benefits that result from the development of a robust local food infrastructure. Participants from local food policy experts and urban agriculture entrepreneurs to investors and thought leaders in the sustainable agriculture industry will explore new approaches to strengthen the marketplace for local food and foster the revitalization of urban areas by embracing innovation in sustainable agriculture. Read More

Women in Food: Natasha Lantz Helps Build Food Co-op in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

September 16, 2014 |
Natasha Lantz. Photo courtesy of Natasha Lantz.

Natasha Lantz. Photo courtesy of Natasha Lantz.

This article is part of a Seedstock series profiling women who are leading change in sustainable agriculture and local food. Read more here.  

In 2003, Natasha Lantz became a member and started volunteering at the Marquette Food Co-op, a store that sells locally-produced food in Marquette, Michigan, in the state’s Upper Peninsula. Now, she serves as the organization’s outreach director. 

As a volunteer, Lantz found herself unloading trucks, pricing merchandise and stocking shelves. She enjoyed her work, but noticed that not much outreach to the community was taking place. She asked management if she could start a bulletin board—this was approved. She later successfully ran for a position on the Co-op’s board of directors, and kept volunteering. Read More

City of Lexington, Kentucky Hires First Local Food Coordinator

September 15, 2014 |

Ashton Potter Wright

The City of Lexington, Kentucky has initiated a new local foods program as part of its economic development efforts.

Tapped to manage this new initiative is Lexington native Ashton Potter Wright, who has served as local food coordinator for Mayor Jim Gray’s office since the first week of June.

Wright previously served as operations manager of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Child Care campaign, where she was able to network with people from around the country. She holds a doctorate in public health from the University of Kentucky and worked at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She also serves as president of the board for Lexington-based Tweens Nutrition and Fitness Coalition.

“The position was in the works for three years or so,” says Wright. “It’s modeled after a similar position in Louisville, Kentucky.”  Her territory includes not only Lexington, but also Lexington’s county, Fayette County.  Read More

Sustainable Ag News: Seedstock’s Weekly Roundup

September 13, 2014 |

seedstockLong-Awaited New Series ‘Food Forward’ Makes Its Debut on PBS  

Excerpt: “A 13-episode series examining our food system called Food Forward, premiering on PBS stations across the country and streaming on PBS.org beginning this week.”

Source: Civil Eats

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Colorado Couple Pioneers Local Food District in Denver Suburb

September 11, 2014 |
Photo courtesy of Everitt Farms

Photo courtesy of Everitt Farms

Situated on the last few acres of a 140-year old family homestead, Everitt Farms hopes to serve as a platform for a local food district, returning a new Denver suburb to its old agricultural roots. 

Located in Lakewood, Colorado, the farm is an urban agricultural experiment initiated by husband-and-wife team Derek and Kamise Mullen.

“We both have really wanted to do something like this for honestly, a good portion of our lives,” says Kamise Mullen. “It really wasn’t until we got married about four years ago that we actually started really growing food and trying to farm at all.” Read More

Radicle Farm’s Aggregated Network of Hydroponic Greenhouses Offer Living Salads to Locavores

September 10, 2014 |
postradicleCU

Photo courtesy of Radicle Farm

Named after the first root to appear from a seed, Radicle Farm Company of New Jersey is rethinking the sustainable leafy greens concept. Through an aggregated network of local hydroponic farms, Radicle offers its living salad products to the wholesale and retail market.

“We want to be large,” says Christopher Washington, Managing Director of the company that started in 2013. “All the research that we’ve done has indicated that the consumer wants to support local product; it’s not really groundbreaking. What is groundbreaking is that companies that get the most traction are private brands in agriculture.”  Read More

Women in Food: Journalist Jane Black Looks for ‘Solutions’

September 9, 2014 |

This piece is the part of a Seedstock series profiling women who are leading change in sustainable agriculture and local food. Read more profiles here.

Photo courtesy of Jane Black

Photo courtesy of Jane Black

As writer of the Smarter Food column for the Washington Post, among many other outlets, Jane Black has been a prolific journalist on topics of food, food politics, and sustainable agriculture. She has made it her career to broaden the discussion around the creation of a more sustainable food system, by taking culture and scale into consideration. Seedstock recently had the opportunity to speak with Jane to discuss her career so far, the path she took to get there, and what’s next in the pipeline for her career. 

“The idea for the Smarter Food column really came from my reporting,” Jane explains, “I wanted to look at what was not getting a lot of coverage; the nitty gritty stuff that needs to happen to make real change.”  Read More