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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture
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Sustainable Ag Startup

Startup Seeks to Shape Future of Urban Agriculture with Fish, Automation and Well Designed Hardware

January 17, 2013 |

Photo Credit: Future Tech Farm.

Two young mechanical engineers, Brian Falther, 24, a 2010 graduate of Kettering University (Flint, Mich.) and Austin Lawrence, 21, a senior at Kettering University, have teamed up to bring small aquaponic grow systems into people’s homes, with each system being connected to an online farm community. Their concept is at once a virtual world with online interaction and connectivity and an authentic reality where real, clean, healthy food grows in a large collection of personal micro-aquaponic systems in homes throughout the world. They call their idea Future Tech Farm.

“The way we have been describing our home grow system is as a ‘node’ of the farm. The sum of all the nodes equals the farm. In essence, the Future Tech Farm is a singular decentralized and distributed farm—what we are calling a farming platform with a physical and virtual representation,” says Falther. 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

In Wake of Recession, Two Food Evangelists in Search of Sustainable Business Launch Aquaponic Farm

January 8, 2013 |

Photo Credit: Green Acre Aquaponics

When Gina Cavaliero and Tonya Penick watched their contracting firm collapse, they had a personal and professional epiphany that would change the course of their lives and work. “It was just awful. We were laying off a lot of people. I was spending sleepless nights trying to find a recession-proof business,” says Cavaliero. In 2008, as their business was failing, the two business partners were introduced to aquaponics by Morning Star Fisherman, a non-profit organization with a mission to use aquaponics as a means to relieve world hunger. “We were amazed and enthralled by it,” she says.

At the same time, the healthy food movement was gaining more momentum, and the business partners were eager to jump on board. “It all culminated at the same time,” she explains. Read More

D.C. Startup Makes Urban Composting as Easy as Taking Out the Trash; Lush Soil Benefits Urban Farm Projects

December 20, 2012 |

Tis the season for turkey, ham, stuffing, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, hors d’oeuvres, a lot of desserts and cookies! In keeping with seasonal tradition, Americans are preparing to ‘wow’ their guests with all sorts of tasty delights. While food spreads at holiday parties can be very impressive, they can also be quite wasteful. How many of us have chucked a bunch of leftover goodies, because they sat out all day or because they didn’t get eaten? Read More