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Category — Entrepreneurs

Urban farming bug bites long-time garden store owners in Cleveland

A view inside Grace Brothers Urban Farm, Garden and Pet, located off W. 65th street in Cleveland, OH

“When I went to Ohio State for landscaping and horticulture, I never dreamed I’d be selling chickens and chicken feed one day,”

By Marcia Pledger,
The Plain Dealer
July 13, 2015


Until three years ago, Grace had never been around a live chicken. Now he finds himself doing things like clipping chickens wings, so they can’t get away. He’s made new relations with all sorts of vendors ranging from Northeast Ohio entrepreneurs who sell him fresh eggs, butter, cheese, bacon, and pickles to gourmet items like bloody Mary mix and soaps. He also works with about 20 farmers who participate in the store’s Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program.

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July 23, 2015   No Comments



We offer 41 varieties of 100% organic non-GMO seeds for the pinnacle of delicious and nutritious

Excerpt from press release:

The Seedsheet is an ideally designed, pre-fab garden including seeds and soil that’s embedded within a weed barrier sheet. With a simple unfurling, a customer can lay their Seedsheet atop soil and effectively start an entire garden, as easily as making their own bed, in less than a minute. It is truly “plug and plant.” No measuring, no seeding, and no weeding.

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July 23, 2015   No Comments

Chicago to start urban agriculture produce bus in food deserts

Angela Dejun, 33, shops for produce onboard the Fresh Moves bus parked outside the Lawndale Christian Health Center in 2012. Now the project is back. (Jose M. Osorio, Chicago Tribune)

Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Friday took another crack at launching a produce bus project that aims to bring fresh fruits and vegetables to parts of Chicago

By Bill Ruthhart
Chicago Tribune
July 10, 2015


Asked what’s different about the program this time around, Allen didn’t hesitate: “We grow our own food.”

Under Food Desert Action’s previous business model, the foundation purchased produce and turned around and sold it on the buses, operating on thin price margins. Allen argued she has far less overhead than that previous setup since her nonprofit Growing Power, which started and still operates farms in Milwaukee, provides much of the food the bus will sell.

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July 20, 2015   No Comments

A Walk on the Wild (Edibles) Side in Berkeley

Mark Bittman samples plants growing along the sidewalks of Oakland, Calif., with Philip Stark and Tom Carlson from the University of California, Berkeley.
Not only can wild edibles be sold at markets and to restaurants, they’re essential in maintaining soil health

By Mark Bittman
New York Times
Jul. 9, 2015
(Must see. Mike)


With Stark and Carlson, everything was different. We parked our car at a corner in West Oakland and within seconds these gents were pointing out sow thistle, mallow, dock, sourgrass, and nearly everything else you see here. Most of it was good enough to eat on the spot; some of it would’ve benefited from cooking. A portion … well, I’d ignore.

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July 10, 2015   Comments Off on A Walk on the Wild (Edibles) Side in Berkeley

Thesis: Business models in urban agriculture

wagroofPhoto by By Shuang Liu

Great diversity in their business operations was found among the 46 projects.

By Shuang Liu
Master thesis – Rural Sociology
for degree of the Master in Organic Agriculture at Wageningen University, The Netherlands
Via the blog of Han Wiskerke J.S.C. Wiskerke
Professor and Chair of Rural Sociology
Feb 2015


In this research, I took urban agriculture as a revenue generating and job creation activity by focusing on more market-oriented projects. I tried to describe individual urban agriculture business operations under the framework of the business model. An online questionnaire was distributed worldwide followed with statistical analysis. The questionnaire was designed using nine business building blocks from Business Model Canvas. Based on the reported business characteristics, a cluster analysis was performed in order to find patterns underlying the diversity of their businesses. In total 46 respondents from 18 countries across 6 continents completed the questionnaire and as sucht contributed to the results of my thesis.

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July 7, 2015   Comments Off on Thesis: Business models in urban agriculture

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

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


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

National Institute of Food and Agriculture Grant Aims to Assure Food Safety in Urban Gardens of Detroit

waynesUrban garden at Wayne State University. Photo by Julie O’Connor.

A team of researchers led by Wayne State University has recently launched an initiative to determine the prevalence of contaminants in urban agriculture soil in Detroit

Wayne State University Division of Research
June 24, 2015

Urban gardens are becoming more commonplace across Detroit and other major urban cities throughout the United States. These gardens offer a source of free or inexpensive healthy food for the public and educate community members about food production and rehabilitating the local ecosystem. The revolution of urban agriculture has the potential to address many economic, environmental and personal health issues.

With urban agriculture gaining popularity for improving local and sustainable food systems, the question of food safety has become a growing concern. To ensure the safety and sustainability of this food supply, there is a need for more information on physical, chemical and biological contamination in urban agricultural environments, particularly contaminants such as heavy metals, antibiotics, pesticides, foodborne bacteria and more.

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July 4, 2015   Comments Off on National Institute of Food and Agriculture Grant Aims to Assure Food Safety in Urban Gardens of Detroit

Oregonians can now add four cannabis plants to their backyard vegetable gardens

Should I grow marijuana indoors or outdoors? | ‘Growing Grass’ (Part 1) In the first video of our growing marijuana series, we met with cannabis farmers, Michelle and Tyson Haworth, who explain the pros and cons of indoor and outdoor growing.

“If you leave them out in weeks of rain,” he said, “you will just get rotten marijuana.”

By Noelle Crombie
The Oregonian/OregonLive
June 27, 2015


You’ve got to be 21 or older to possess and grow cannabis in Oregon and your yard should be a private place where neighbors and passersby can’t easily see your plants.

Oregon’s new marijuana law allows people not only to possess marijuana, but also to grow it at home. Every household may have up to four marijuana plants.

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June 29, 2015   Comments Off on Oregonians can now add four cannabis plants to their backyard vegetable gardens

Rooftop Reds Is Bringing Brooklyn’s First Rooftop Vineyard To The Brooklyn Navy Yard


The first harvest from the Navy Yard roof is due to be ready in October 2016 and bottled for release by Autumn of 2017, but the first bottles of Rooftop Red — made from grapes grown in the Finger Lakes area of upstate New York — are on sale now

By Heather Chin
Fort Green Focus
June 10, 2015


Brooklyn entrepreneur and oenophile Devin Shomaker is pioneering New York City’s first ever “commercially viable rooftop vineyard,” Rooftop Reds, which partners with Finger Lakes-based Point of the Bluff Vineyards for distribution of bottles produced on the roof of Building 275 inside the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Word has been circulating since early 2014, when Shoemaker and co-founders Chris Papalia, Evan Miles, and Thomas Shomaker launched their Kickstarter funding effort, which was successfully funded by 203 donors of $16,820 total.

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June 17, 2015   Comments Off on Rooftop Reds Is Bringing Brooklyn’s First Rooftop Vineyard To The Brooklyn Navy Yard

Butterfly farm takes flight in Louisville, Kentucky


She sells the butterflies for education and events, including weddings. Releasing butterflies at special events is better for the environment than releasing balloons, which litter and can harm wildlife, she said.

By James bruggers
Courier Journal
June 5, 2015


Blair Leano-Helvey is bringing a new twist to Louisville’s growing urban agriculture scene. She’s started a butterfly farm.

“It’s just like any other farm,” she said. “It’s just that we have very small livestock.”

And colorful, too.

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June 14, 2015   Comments Off on Butterfly farm takes flight in Louisville, Kentucky

Urban missionary brings faith, hope and food to troubled inner city, South Dallas

Bonton Farm-Works — an urban farm in the middle of a South Dallas food desert — exists to provide residents in the economically blighted area fresh produce, jobs and the possibility of life-transformation. (Photo by Ken Camp)

A former business exec turns his experience into an urban farming ministry aimed at providing physical and spiritual sustenance for those in need.

By Ken Camp
Baptist News
June 2, 2015


When he talked to neighbors about making healthier decisions regarding diet, he learned they had no choices, other than from which liquor store or convenience store to buy junk food. Anyone wanting to shop at a full-service grocery store using public transportation had to endure a three-hour round-trip by bus.

So, Babcock bought the empty lot next to his house and planted a garden. He offered its produce to anyone willing to help tend it.

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June 8, 2015   Comments Off on Urban missionary brings faith, hope and food to troubled inner city, South Dallas

California’s Pollinate Farm & Garden Shop in Oakland

At 9:00 in the morning, Yolanda Burrell opens the store.Click on image for larger file.

Pollinate Farm & Garden is getting national attention from Deluxe Corporation’s Small Business Revolution documentary project.

By Alex Gaterud
May 28, 2015


Birgitt Evans and Yolanda Burrell, dissatisfied with the growing gulf between people and the origins of their food, are on a mission to put the power of food back into consumers’ hands.

In 2013, they launched Pollinate Farm & Garden, a buzzing shop in Oakland featuring everything from a nursery to a chicken coop – and even a beehive in the backyard, from which the store produces and sells its own honey.

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June 3, 2015   Comments Off on California’s Pollinate Farm & Garden Shop in Oakland

The Kitchen Garden Goes High Tech

Graphic by Christopher Silas Neal.

Of course, people don’t need technology to grow their own food. Urban gardeners have used cheap plastic gardening plates, pots and even casserole dishes to grow herbs and other foods.

By Jennifer Jolly
New York Times
May 19, 2015


CounterCrop and Niwa, which retail for about $320 to $350, offer a wired step up from a window planter box — no dirt or green thumb needed. Each device lets you plant and grow a small crop of fresh vegetables.

CounterCrop is a self-contained, miniature garden with its own watering setup and advanced LED lights that mimic sunrise, sunset and seasonal shifts in nature. It’s nearly two feet long, one foot wide, and takes up the same amount of space as a medium-size microwave oven.

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May 19, 2015   Comments Off on The Kitchen Garden Goes High Tech

This urban farm is growing mushrooms for Cincinnati’s food scene

Probasco Urban Farm grows mushrooms from long bags that are suspended from the ceiling under fluorescent lights.

“My current focus is to produce mushroom species that grow quickly and need less initial investment.”

By Drew Baugh
May 7, 2015


Probasco Urban Farm is bringing gourmet mushrooms to restaurants, grocery stores and farmers markets across the city. The operation is running out of a facility on the edge of Camp Washington and Fairview at 2335 W. McMicken Avenue.

The business, owned by Alan Susarret, launched in spring 2013. Ater extended trials, Susarret said he has been able to keep a steady business since this past winter. Technically, though, his mushrooms have been on the market since fall 2012.

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May 17, 2015   Comments Off on This urban farm is growing mushrooms for Cincinnati’s food scene

Ori: Handmade tool from Slovenia to help you determine growing spaces between the plants

The holes and the legend on Ori will guide your sowing and planting experience.

By Seed Guardians Association; Origo Co-op


The main purpose in the use of Ori is to help you determine growing spaces between the plants on your gardening surface. It can be considered as a gardening ruler with a twist of design.

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May 16, 2015   Comments Off on Ori: Handmade tool from Slovenia to help you determine growing spaces between the plants