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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture
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Posts By Melinda Clark

Hudson, NY-Based Local Ocean Poised to Profit from World’s First Zero-Discharge Aquaculture System

March 12, 2012 |

Efraim Bason, founder and Chairman of the Board of Local Ocean, a sustainable aquaculture company that has built and operates the world’s first commercial zero-discharge 100% recirculating aquaculture system, is no stranger to business. He owns a diverse portfolio of businesses ranging from a health and beauty products distributor to a real estate company. Now the self-described fisherman with a deep passion for the ocean is adding aquaculture to his repertoire.

Bason first learned that it was possible to farm saltwater fish in an aquaculture system about five years ago, when he moved back to Israel after living in the U.S. He was fascinated by two small aquaculture tanks at the University of Israel. Says Bason, “It was amazing, and I said if this could work, it could change the world. It can change the industry, it can save the ocean, and it can help people, with new jobs, green jobs.” Read More

Built ‘From the Light Up’, Hydroponic Technology Startup Seeks to Revolutionize Urban Farming

March 1, 2012 |

At first glance, Omega Garden’s product list might be a little confusing, with its Volksgarden® and Farmdominium™. But the Canadian-based hydroponics company isn’t selling bio-fuel vehicles or green housing complexes; rather, they’ve created a hydroponics system that may revolutionize not only urban agriculture, but agriculture in general. And 2012 is shaping up to be a big year for Omega Garden – so stay tuned.

The Volksgarden® is a rotary hydroponics system in which plants are installed in a circular unit, growing toward a light source at the center. It has approximately 20 square feet of growing area, and holds up to 80 plants. Its most successful crops include a variety of herbs, leafy lettuces, chards, peppers, strawberries, eggplants, tomatoes, cucumbers and some flower varieties. Read More

To Improve Quality of Life and Access to Fresh Food Urban Farming Co. Blankets NYC with Edible Green Rooftops

February 28, 2012 |

Photo: Anastasia Cole Plakias -

While ‘city farming’ may seem more like an oxymoron than a practical career goal, Brooklyn Grange aims to make it a stable profession – and bring tasty, sustainable produce to New York at the same time.

Brooklyn Grange is a 40,000 square-foot rooftop farm in Queens, New York. Though the company’s name might lead one to believe that it’s located in Brooklyn, the company actually built its flagship farm on Northern Blvd in Queens after the original farm site in Brooklyn fell through. It’s currently in the process of adding a second farm in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, doubling its acreage – and bringing it that much closer to achieving its goal of blanketing New York City with edible green rooftops. Read More

Vertical Greenhouse Co. Seeks to Bring Fresh, Affordable, Low Carbon-footprint Produce to Urban Areas

February 15, 2012 |

Rendering of a Plantagon Greenhouse

Plantagon is a Stockholm-based urban agriculture company that strives to balance commercial and values-based forces to simultaneously achieve profitability and ‘do good.’ To do this, it has introduced the Plantagon Greenhouse, a vertical greenhouse designed to bring fresh, affordable, low-carbon-footprint produce to urban areas. According to the company, the greenhouses’ efficiency and high productivity make them economically viable – it’s possible to finance each greenhouse from its own sales. Read More

By Maximizing Local Availability of Organic Produce, Three Brothers Hope to Influence the Future of Agriculture

January 25, 2012 |

Though the core values have remained the same, the conventions of organic farming have shifted and changed over time. The same can be said of Capay Organic, a second-generation organic farm located in the Capay Valley (northeast of San Francisco), with an offshoot in the Imperial Valley in southern California. It, and the brothers who took over running the operation for their parents, have stayed true to the values of sustainable growing, while also evolving and adapting to keep up with the changing times. With the farm and its modern, highly customizable CSA, Farm Fresh To You – which attempts to make supporting local agriculture as easy and tasty as possible – the Barsotti brothers hope to change the future of agriculture.

Capay Organic was founded in 1976 by Kathleen Barsotti and Martin Barnes. Two non-farmers, they met at UC Riverside, and found that they shared a distrust of the heavy-chemical-input agriculture that was popular at the time. Read More