New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
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Category — Aeroponics

University of Liverpool educates young people in futuristic farming with VydroFarm and FishPlant

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Farm Urban’s Dr Paul Myers with the University of Liverpool’s new VydroFarm.

This system can transform small, underused urban spaces into the farms of the future.

By Nikki Lee
Press Office
HydroGarden
Aug 5, 2015

As part of an exciting ‘Aquaponics in Schools’ initiative, school children in Liverpool are being educated about the issues behind sustainable global food production and food security, through a series of engagement projects sponsored by Farm Urban, The University of Liverpool and Coventry-based hydroponics specialists HydroGarden.

The University and Farm Urban, selected two of HydroGarden’s innovations for the future of farming to display. The first, a new vertical farming system, VydroFarm, was part of its exhibition stand at three of Liverpool’s biggest cultural and educational events in July, namely the ‘Eat the Atlantic’ Food Festival (4th – 5th July) on Liverpool’s waterfront, Big Bang North West science fair (8th July) for 11-18 year olds and Alder Hey Week (6th – 12th July). This last event was aimed at involving staff, patients and the local community in the exciting build up to the children’s hospital’s move to its brand new facility – ‘Alder Hey in the Park’.

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August 15, 2015   Comments Off on University of Liverpool educates young people in futuristic farming with VydroFarm and FishPlant

The world’s most beautiful greenhouses are underwater, and growing strawberries off Noli, Italy

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June 27, 2015 Fontanesi checks on the immersed biospheres. The underwater greenhouses take advantage of the high carbon dioxide levels, allowing the plants inside to grow at accelerated rates. Photo by Olivier Morin.

The company plans to roll out a much smaller aquarium version of the biospheres that people can experiment with in their own homes

By Robert Gebelhoff
Washingtonn Post
June 30, 2015

Excerpt:

But this is no ordinary greenhouse: It’s 20 feet under water, anchored to the floor of the sea just off the coast of Noli, Italy.

This is Nemo’s Garden, an experimental project in its fourth year, operated as part of the family-run Ocean Reef Group.

The balloon-like biospheres take advantage of the sea’s natural properties to grow plants. The underwater temperatures are constant, and the shape of the greenhouses allows for water to constantly evaporate and replenish the plants.

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July 6, 2015   Comments Off on The world’s most beautiful greenhouses are underwater, and growing strawberries off Noli, Italy

HydroGarden assists The University of Nottingham in new food and energy research

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The VydroFarm system at The University of Nottingham’s Creative Energy Homes Project (left to right) Stephen Fry, commercial sales manager, HydroGarden; PhD student Matthew Woodward; Professor Mark Gillott, The University of Nottingham.

Two of HydroGarden’s vertical hydroponic systems have been installed in the University’s ‘Creative Energy Homes Project’.

By Sarah Jelly at HydroGarden
May 2015

The University of Nottingham is embarking on an exciting new hydroponics research project with the help of Coventry-based hydroponics experts, HydroGarden, as part of its investigations into new concepts for energy efficient food secure future living.

The project will be supervised by Professor Mark Gillott and undertaken by Matthew Woodward, an undergraduate student on the B.Eng Hons Architecture Environment Engineering Programme at The University of Nottingham’s Department of Architecture and Built Environment.

It will investigate the differences in the energy used by a hydroponic system with only LED lighting, and one that utilises a mixture of natural and artificial lighting sources. The work will consider the impact of these different growing environments on the growth and production of the plants.

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May 13, 2015   Comments Off on HydroGarden assists The University of Nottingham in new food and energy research

FAO publication: Small-scale aquaponic food production

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Integrated fish and plant farming

By Christopher Somerville, Moti Cohen, Edoardo Pantanella, Austin Stankus, Alessandro Lovatelli
Fisheries And Aquaculture Technical Paper 589
Food And Agriculture Organization Of The United Nations
Rome, 2014, 261 pages
(Must read. Mike)

Abstract
This technical paper begins by introducing the concept of aquaponics, including a brief history of its development and its place within the larger category of soil-less culture and modern agriculture. It discusses the main theoretical concepts of aquaponics, including the nitrogen cycle and the nitrification process, the role of bacteria, and the concept of balancing an aquaponic unit. It then moves on to cover important considerations of water quality parameters, water testing, and water sourcing for aquaponics, as well as methods and theories of unit design, including the three main methods of aquaponic systems: media beds, nutrient film technique, and deep water culture.

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February 10, 2015   Comments Off on FAO publication: Small-scale aquaponic food production

Aquaponics turn suburban industrial park into farmland in Toronto

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Craig Petten and Pablo Alvarez, winners of Humber’s Launch Pad Competition, have started Aqua Greens, an aquaponics farming operation in the heart of Mississauga.Photo by Randy Risling.

Ancient techniques of growing greens with fish and water are well ahead of Toronto bylaws

By Christopher Hume
The Star
Jan 25 2015

Excerpt:

No surprise then that when Alvarez and Petten approached the city about setting up their operation, they were denied permission. Though Toronto officials were willing to allow them into small areas of South Etobicoke, there aren’t any usable spaces in those locations. Toronto aquaponics is considered agriculture and, therefore, illegal.

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February 4, 2015   Comments Off on Aquaponics turn suburban industrial park into farmland in Toronto

Peggy’s story – Urban aquaponic farmer

basilBasil.

For lighting, when using LEDs (a combination of white, red and blue) they run about 17 hours a day 5-7″ above the plants.

We are back with the second installment of our new series interviewing urban aquaponic farmers. Today’s interview is with Peggy Berk, who have an aquaponic garden in her Manhattan apartment and advises clients on how to do the same in her professional life as an interior designer. As always, these interviews are brought to you in collaboration with Sylvia Bernstein and The Aquaponic Source in Longmont, Colorado. You can click here to learn more about aquaponics on their website. Enjoy!

Name: Peggy Berk

Where are you from? Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m a native New Yorker, whom, after years of roaming the world, returned to Manhattan where I’ve lived for the past 39 years. I’m the owner and principal designer of Area Aesthetics Interior Design, a full service interior design and decorating company, and also Chair the Education Committee of the Sustainable Furnishings Council. Formerly I owned a PR and Marketing company, and before that was a journalist here in New York City and in the mideast.

How did you get interested in aquaponics?
Growing up, Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” was a frequent topic of conversation (maybe, more accurately, “debate”) around our dinner table and my father passed on to us his love of the outdoors and, particularly, the oceans and marine life. Conservation and sustainability were not distant global concerns for us; it was definitely personal.

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December 31, 2014   Comments Off on Peggy’s story – Urban aquaponic farmer

Aquaponic urban farmers tell their stories

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As far as fish, me and my next door neighbor go to the Myacca River state park and cast net.

The below interview is the first in our new series profiling aquaponic urban farmers around the world – people using the combined principles of hydroponics and aquaculture, to both grow fresh produce and raise fish in their homes. The interviews were put together in collaboration with Sylvia Bernstein and The Aquaponic Source in Longmont, Colorado. You can also click here to learn more about aquaponics on their website. Enjoy!

Name: Richard DeCormis

Where are you from? Tell us a bit about yourself.
Bradenton Florida. 56 Disabled Artist Fabricator.

How did you get interested in aquaponics?
I got interested in Aquaponics because I was looking for something on the path toward self sufficiency.
I wanted something that was Vegetable and protein oriented and not a real physical workout too.

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December 19, 2014   Comments Off on Aquaponic urban farmers tell their stories

Montreal cubic farmer aims to grow 500 heads of lettuce a year in a single square foot

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Richard Groome, president and CEO of Les Aliments Urban Barns Inc., shows his Cubic Farming facility in Mirabel, Quebec. Photo by Christinne Muschi for National Post.

Where ‘Star Trek meets farming’

Excerpt:

Urban Barns, opened this past June, is home to the first realized cubic farm from which, it is expected, as many as 500 heads of lettuce will grow each year from a single square foot of industrial space. It takes less than 30 days to grow a head of greens here, where conditions are always optimum. The produce is organic, and pesticide, herbicide and fungicide-free and if the playbook is followed, they will be picked and, within hours, be on a shelf at a nearby IGA.

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November 21, 2014   Comments Off on Montreal cubic farmer aims to grow 500 heads of lettuce a year in a single square foot

Forget Chicken Coops—Fish Ponds Could Be the Future of Urban Farming

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Aquaponics systems allow you to raise both vegetables and fish in tight spaces.

By Sarah McColl
Take Part
November 13, 2014

Excerpt:

In a 950-square-foot second-floor walk-up in Manhattan, Jonathan Kadish grows rainbow chard, bok choy, and lettuce in a four-foot-square nook near his desk. It’s a two-story system: A soilless bed sits atop a fish tank in which two $3 pet-store goldfish swim. Kadish’s tiny garden is intended as a supplemental food source only, but it’s a small, urban-scale model of sustainable agriculture that has a growing number of people excited. “I get people from all over the world who ask to come visit and check it out,” he says.

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November 21, 2014   Comments Off on Forget Chicken Coops—Fish Ponds Could Be the Future of Urban Farming

Enzo Pinga co-founds urban agriculture company in Philippines

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BK Organics specializes in aquaponic systems, which combine aquaculture – raising freshwater fish, with hydroponics – cultivating plants in water

By Frank Arbogast
News at Gettysburg
Oct 13, 2014

Excerpt:

Aquaponics is a relatively new technology, and BKO is on the forefront of implementing it. In order to create successful prototypes, Enzo conducted research with the Filipino Department of Agriculture and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources. Enzo has taken this knowledge to work in the Metro Manila area educating communities on urban agriculture, and is actively presenting his work with urban agriculture at sustainability conventions.

“Our mission is to spread the technology as far and wide as we can, building farms in places that need it most, for people that do not have regular access to healthy food,” said Enzo.

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October 23, 2014   Comments Off on Enzo Pinga co-founds urban agriculture company in Philippines

At MIT, A Farm Grows That Is Built For A City

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CityFarm is a soil-free system for urban farming that actually might work

Fast Coexist
Oct 1, 2014

CityFarm started as a 60-square-foot module inside MIT’s Media Lab, where Harper grew lettuce, herbs, and tomatoes in a windowless room bathed in blue and red artificial light–the part of the sun’s spectrum that plants can actually absorb. The system had no soil. Some plants were grown hydroponically and others aeroponically in a simple mist. Both methods require far less water–as much as 90% less–compared to a conventional farm. More recently, Harper began experimenting with an even bigger system in the building, which is also meant to test whether sunlight exposure helps or hurts the crops.

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October 9, 2014   Comments Off on At MIT, A Farm Grows That Is Built For A City

Atlanta-based PodPonics grows greens in shipping containers

CBS46 News

Lettuce Buy Local currently includes three product varieties of delicate local greens:

Green Mix – green romaine and green lollo
Encore Mix – green romaine, green lollo and red lollo
Dragon Mix – baby mustard, red kale, purple kohlrabi, mizuna, red cabbage (in stores summer 2014)
Jurassic Mix – baby kale (available in stores fall 2014)
Rocket Mix – arugula (available in stores fall 2014)

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October 9, 2014   Comments Off on Atlanta-based PodPonics grows greens in shipping containers

City Farm at MIT – Open source food

One MIT scientist hopes to farm without soil for city life

By Mona Lalwani
The Verge
August 27, 2014
(Must see. Mike)
Excerpt:

At MIT Media Lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Caleb Harper’s CityFARM demonstrates the future of food production. He grows plants through aeroponics, a system that produces plants without soil. Plants are hooked up to servers and misting mechanisms. LEDs fill in for the sun and ladybugs (purchased on Amazon) occasionally make an appearance. Plants are periodically sprayed with a nutrient-rich mist that provides optimal pH balance. Light and temperatures are closely monitored. The environment nurtures plants that have twice the nutrient density of their conventional counterparts. Lettuce, bok choy, and tomatoes have already fed the scientists in the lab.

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August 31, 2014   Comments Off on City Farm at MIT – Open source food

Panasonic ventures into farming in Singapore, a land-scarce city-state

panaClick on image for larger file.

It aims to contribute five per cent to local supply by March 2017.

By Medilyn Manibo
Eco-business
Aug 8, 2014

Excerpt:

The vegetables, produced within a 248 square metre indoor facility in Tuas, includes green lettuce, white radish, rocket lettuce, basil, mint herb, wild parsley, baby spinach.

Both leafy vegetables and root crops are currently cultivated within 35 days in soil-based environment and sustained with artificial lighting using LED lights. Panasonic said it is continuing its research and development to shorten the lead time to 28 days.

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August 8, 2014   Comments Off on Panasonic ventures into farming in Singapore, a land-scarce city-state

Tech entrepreneurs set their sights on urban farming

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Growing indoors uses 98% less water and 70% less fertilizer than traditional methods, and has a higher yield. Photo: Rex Features.

As emerging lighting and automation technology plant the seeds for urban farming, a growing number of entrepreneurs are getting green thumbs

By Martin LaMonica
theguardian.com
5 July 2014

Excerpt:

So far, indoor farms still contribute little to the global food system because production costs are higher than conventional growing methods. And they tend to use more electricity. But businesses are starting take advantage of new technologies, including energy-efficient LED lighting and automated systems, to bring down costs. As these technologies become standardized, indoor farming will make sense in more locations, says Chad Sykes, CEO of Indoor Harvest, which builds custom indoor farms for professional growers.

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July 23, 2014   Comments Off on Tech entrepreneurs set their sights on urban farming