New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
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Category — Entrepreneurs

A new urban-farming startup wants to grow mushrooms in restaurants, for all the diners to see.

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Mission’s executive chef, Angela Dimayuga, cooks with varieties of oyster mushrooms grown in the Minifarm. Photographer: Adrienne Grunwald for Bloomberg

A small Minifarm starts at $2,000, measures 4-feet wide by 2-feet deep, stands 6-feet tall and can produce up to 2,300 pounds of mushrooms a year.

By Deena Shanker
Bloomberg
October 11, 2017

Excerpt:

On Wednesday, the restaurant adds its newest piece of kitsch. Nestled between the entrance and the bar, above an interior window, sits a rectangular box emanating blue light. It’s filled with extraterrestrial looking life forms: mushrooms.

Designed and built by Smallhold, a Brooklyn-based, certified-organic, “distributed farming” startup, the “Minifarm” has been in the works for months. If all goes according to plan, blue, yellow and pink oysters, king and pioppino mushrooms will replace varieties such as beech, button and enoki in Dimayuga’s beef jerky fried rice. Dimayuga beamed with excitement. “A just-picked mushroom tastes the best.”

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October 16, 2017   No Comments

Hexagro – The Living Farming Tree

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A modular, scalable and automated indoor garden that allows you to grow healthy food at your house or business, without being an experienced farmer.

From crowdfunding page

Thanks to LED lights, an automatic irrigation system and scalable kits you will decide how much produce to grow based on your own needs. Easy to unpack at home, you can choose to start with the basic 4-modules kit and scale up later on. But if you already can’t wait to invite your friends for dinner, the fully equipped 11-modules configuration is the one for you!

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October 10, 2017   No Comments

Urban farming startup raises $1.5m to curb Singapore’s reliance on imported food

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L to R: Praise Phuan, head of sales and marketing at Packet Greens, Melvyn Yeo, director of Trirec. Image credit: Trirec.

Packet Greens tells Tech in Asia that its revenue is forecasted to exceed US$74,000 this year, triple of 2016.

By Terence Lee
Tech In Asia
Sept 25, 2017

Excerpt:

It currently grows 51 types of crops in a 167 square-meter farm – slightly larger than the roomiest three-bedroom apartments in Singapore. It claims to be able to grow five times the crops on the same amount of land compared to traditional farms, and in half the time.

It is aiming to further lower its costs. “Down the road, Packet Greens’ ambitions is to ultimately be able to sell its produce at a price that can be competitive to the wholesale price,” says Trirec co-founder Melvyn Yeo. “Packet Green’s pricing strategy is currently pegged at retail-minus.”

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October 3, 2017   Comments Off on Urban farming startup raises $1.5m to curb Singapore’s reliance on imported food

LOKAL is a prototype of a salad bar whose ingredients are grown indoors, locally and vertically, using a hydroponic farming system

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Click image to see larger file.

SPACE10—IKEA’s external future-living lab—popped up in Shoreditch during last week’s London Design Festival.

By Simon Caspersen
SPACE 10
Director of Communications
Photographer: Rory Gardiner and Nicklas Ingemann
Sept 2017
(Must see. Mike)

We used the occasion to test a new food concept, we’ve been working on, called LOKAL. It is not fully ready to be implemented in the IKEA business of today, but was received so positively by local Londoners, that we are exploring further.

LOKAL is a prototype of a salad bar whose ingredients are grown indoors, locally and vertically, using a hydroponic farming system, which was on public display throughout the week.

Two thousand salads
The purpose of the prototype was to test how Londoners felt about food grown hydroponically and, more importantly, whether they liked the taste of the microgreens.

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September 30, 2017   Comments Off on LOKAL is a prototype of a salad bar whose ingredients are grown indoors, locally and vertically, using a hydroponic farming system

Global data collection and the future of indoor urban farming

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Credit: MIT Media Lab, Open Agriculture Initiative

The more Food Computers we all build, the more data we all have to play with, and the more we can radically alter the future of food!

By Francis Lam
The Splendid Table
Sept 8, 2017

Excerpt:

The urban farming movement takes many forms, both indoors and outdoors: school gardens, community vegetable patches, fish farms in tanks. Scientist Caleb Harper believes that indoor urban farming specifically can create the best tasting, most nutritious, and least energy intensive crops anywhere in the world. Harper is director of the Open Agriculture Initiative (OpenAg) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab. He and a global collection of “nerd farmers” are working on a Food Computer, which closely detects – and allows you to adjust – the growing conditions of any plant in the room.

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September 20, 2017   Comments Off on Global data collection and the future of indoor urban farming

Denmark: ‘Noma’, The Most Famous Restaurant in The World, Will Open Its Mystery ‘Urban Farm’ Location in January!

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A Very Short Film About the Past, Present and Future of Noma from Rene Redzepi on Vimeo.

Founder Rene Redzepi says: “The new restaurant will be nestled in our own urban farm…. We will grow a significant amount of our produce. … A new place were we can build a farm right in the city.”

By Jeremy Repanich
Robb Report
September 15, 2017
(Must see. Mike)

Excerpt:

Restaurant delay due to ancient stone wall discovered during construction.

Bloomberg’s chief food critic, Richard Vines, was the first to tip people off to the delay, tweeting that the much-anticipated reopening of one of the world’s top restaurants wouldn’t happen until mid-January.

But this delay isn’t happening because of problems with personnel, new menu development, or construction workers going on strike; it was a much more peculiar reason. Noma has now released a statement to explain what exactly happened:

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September 16, 2017   Comments Off on Denmark: ‘Noma’, The Most Famous Restaurant in The World, Will Open Its Mystery ‘Urban Farm’ Location in January!

Durham’s allotment cutting garden is heaven on earth

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Head gardener Geoff MacCallum in Durham Cathedral’s cutting garden Credit: Chris Watt For The Telegraph. Click image to see larger file.

The garden’s survival is something of a miracle. The high brick walls, potting shed and glasshouse date it to the Victorian era, but it’s been a flower garden since at least the Fifties.

By Caroline Beck
The Telegraph
2 Sept. 2017

Excerpt:

The team of volunteers is run by Helena Johnson, a former civil servant and the regional chair of the National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies (Nafas). At just 5ft tall, the floral arrangements in the Crossing of the Cathedral always tower above her by at least 3ft. She’s been doing the flowers since 1997, a weekly task throughout the year, using foliage cut by the gardeners and, during the summer, their flowers. “It’s so handy having the garden here, knowing they’ve just been cut the day before and are really fresh.”

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September 8, 2017   Comments Off on Durham’s allotment cutting garden is heaven on earth

Gotham Greens: Four High-Tech Vegetable Farms in New York City, Chicago

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Video Story

Bloomberg
Aug 22, 2017

The challenge of providing fresh produce to consumers and restaurants in big cities has been an opportunity for Gotham Greens. Co-founder and CEO Viraj Puri explains how his commercial-scale urban farming company has expanded from its startup roots.

August 31, 2017   Comments Off on Gotham Greens: Four High-Tech Vegetable Farms in New York City, Chicago

A Look Inside Colorado’s First And Only Edible Insect ‘Ranch’

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Crickets are just an ingredient in the empanadas — they’re not over selling it,” McGill said. “And Daniel Asher’s Kentucky Fried Crickets at River & Woods always sell out. He brines them for hours like you would fried chicken.”

By Alexandra Palmerton
303 Magazine
August 9, 2017

Excerpt:

RMMR is already growing quickly as word spreads. McGill spoke at Slow Food Nations, and this week she’s in New Mexico pitching to investors at New Mexico State University’s Ag Sprint Accelerator. She will also be on a panel at Denver’s Start-Up Week discussing Urban Agriculture with other farmers and chefs in the area.

Coming soon, RMMR is partnering with The Butterfly Pavillion to develop a co-branded line of snacks for its stores and other museum shops. The team is also organizing a bug dinner at Ophelia’s for the Entomology Society of America conference in November.

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August 17, 2017   Comments Off on A Look Inside Colorado’s First And Only Edible Insect ‘Ranch’

This solar powered weeding robot mimics robot vacuum cleaner

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Tertill whacks weeds using a spinning string trimmer, which cuts the weed off near the ground.

From their Kickstarter Website
Estimated delivery 2018

Excerpt:

How does it know what’s a weed and what’s a plant?

Tertill has a very simple method: weeds are short, plants are tall. A plant tall enough to touch the front of Tertill’s shell activates a sensor that makes the robot turn away. A plant short enough to pass under Tertill’s shell, though, activates a different sensor that turns on the weed cutter.

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July 24, 2017   Comments Off on This solar powered weeding robot mimics robot vacuum cleaner

Fresh cut flower farms spring up around Detroit

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Sarah Pappas started Fresh Cut Flower Farm on the edge of Woodbridge in 2013. Her flowers now decorate local shops.

“An acre of cut flowers will make more money than an acre of almost anything else,” said Dowling, naming corn, tomatoes and cucumbers as crops that have lower price tags.

By Stephanie Steinberg
Detroit News
July 14, 2017

Excerpt:

Sarah Pappas talks about the white snapdragons, purple-pink dianthuses or yellow rudbeckias that sprout on her flower farm and get bundled in bouquets like people in her life with strict needs and wants.

“They want it to be cool, dim and still. And they want you you to change the water and cut the stems at least once in a week,” said Pappas, sitting under a shaded tree at her Fresh Cut Flower Farm. The “they” she was referring to were vibrant bouquets for sale last week.

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July 21, 2017   Comments Off on Fresh cut flower farms spring up around Detroit

Gordon Ramsay launches a garden-themed pop up in London

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The Greenhouse is a private dining room for two.

Inside diners sit among pots of fresh herbs, below hanging baskets of strawberries, and alongside overflowing wheelbarrows of root vegetables.

Insider City Guides
Times of London
July 7, 2017

Excerpt:

Simply called The Allotment, the pop-up is on the top floor of Ramsay’s restaurant and hopes to encourage more people to grow their own produce. Entering from the ground floor bar, diners ascend two flights of stairs and arrive at the open plan dining area. At the far end of the room, by the sweeping bar and large television screen, is The Allotment.

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July 13, 2017   Comments Off on Gordon Ramsay launches a garden-themed pop up in London

French Students to Travel West Coast of North America by Bike to Discover Urban Agriculture

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2015 trip. L’agriculture urbaine a-t-elle les mêmes raisons d’être au Canada qu’aux USA? Phénomène de mode, manque de sécurité alimentaire, besoin d’un retour à la terre? Qu’est ce qui pousse les canadiens à manger leurs villes?

2018 Trip: We are beginning at San Diego and we finish at Vancouver.

By Audrey Michenaud-Rague
Second year student of AgroParisTech
Institute for Education and Research in Life Sciences, Agronomy, Food technology and Environment

Agrovelocity is an association led by three french students of AgroParisTech: Paris Institute of Technology for Life, Food and Environmental Sciences.

Their goal is to bike throw the West side of North America to investigate urban agriculture : from San Diego to Vancouver between april and august 2018.

The project has already been carried by two groups of boys; first, “Agrovelocités” in Europe (2014) and second “Agrovelocity” on the East side of North America (2015), but now girls start biking!

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July 12, 2017   Comments Off on French Students to Travel West Coast of North America by Bike to Discover Urban Agriculture

“When you used to say ‘farmer,’ you wouldn’t have me as the picture.”

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Chanowk Yisrael(Credit: Picasa)

Urban farming in Sacramento: Fighting back against the food desert one square-foot farming plot at a time, Chanowk Yisrael leads the way

By Aaron Carnes
Salon
July 2, 2017

Excerpt:

“Most gentrification efforts are led from the outside in. What we’re doing is we’re making change from the inside out. And people are seeing that. We’re transforming the ‘hood for good,” Yisrael tells me.

As we speak, he transfers young plants from the greenhouse to palettes outside so they can harden off before getting planted in the ground. Then he goes out to till the soil in one of his gardens (or as he calls it “dancing with the earth”), opting not for a rototiller, and instead using a broadfork. He jokes that interviewing a farmer is a “moving target.”

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July 9, 2017   Comments Off on “When you used to say ‘farmer,’ you wouldn’t have me as the picture.”

Farmers for hire turn backyards into vegetable patches

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This 2016 photo provided by The Organic Gardener shows a rooftop garden in Chicago, Ill. (The Organic Gardener via AP)

Urban farming services cater to both homes and businesses that want home-grown produce but not the work involved in growing it.

By Katherine Roth
Associated Press
Jun 28, 2017

Excerpt:

The Organic Gardener Ltd., the farmer-for-hire service she and her husband, Verd, started in the Chicago area in 2005, is one of many such services that have cropped up across the country. Some of these farmers have farming backgrounds, while others are landscapers who expanded their expertise, or entrepreneurs from a range of professional backgrounds who just love gardening and the outdoors.

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July 3, 2017   Comments Off on Farmers for hire turn backyards into vegetable patches