The 150 gardens that Los Angeles, CA-based urban farming startup, Farmscape, LLC has installed at residences, senior centers, schools and in communities since 2009 do more than provide yearlong bounty to customers – collectively, the small gardens represent a movement to bring food production back to the city.
“We were inspired by the number of people who were excited about growing food themselves but don’t have the time or knowledge to do so successfully,” said Rachel Bailin, Marketing Manager at Farmscape. “They were looking for someone who could guide them through the growing process, circumventing years of learning through trial-and-error frustration.”
In 2008, Josh Fraundor and Jim Godsil co-founded Sweet Water Organics, a for-profit organic fish and vegetable farm built inside a former crane manufacturing building. Located in the Bay View area of Milwaukee, this urban agriculture business uses a sustainable aquaponics system to raise approximately 35,000 Perch and 20,000 Tilapia, and produce a variety of leafy greens. Along with its aquaponics system, Sweet Water has integrated an outdoor greenhouse operation to provide additional organic produce to the local market.
For the past 30 years, the Rodale Institute has been conducting the Farming Systems Trial (FST)®, a “rigorous” side-by-side comparison of organic and conventional farming practices. The long-term study takes into account such factors as overall productivity, soil quality, energy usage and emissions, and the economics of farming.
The continued growth of the organic meat industry is generating more demand for organically produced grains to feed these animals. Demand, combined with the current high prices for conventionally grown grains, is generating a premium price for growers willing to convert part of their acreage to organic production.
Though finding organic grain is difficult across the board, it has been especially difficult for small livestock markets, like egg producers to find organic grain to feed poultry layers that produce organic eggs.
For years immaculately manicured golf courses have passed for ‘green settings’ advertised in brochures selling cookie cutter homes in suburban neighborhoods throughout the United States. But now, according to a recent Wall Street Journal Article many developers are now creating neighborhoods centered around a new kind of ‘green setting’ – organic farms, grazing pastures for cattle and grape vineyards.