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Category — Entrepreneurs

Dublin farmer and the tubers for Mars

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Andrew Douglas, shown with Jayden Whelan, left, and Malena Behan, hopes his potatoes will feed explorers like in The Martian. Photo by Andres Poveda.

Andrew Douglas, a horticulturist who set up Dublin’s first rooftop farm, plans to supply potato pods to a Nasa mission on the slopes of a Hawaiian volcano, where the space agency is simulating life on Mars.

By Gabrielle Monaghan
The Sunday Times Ireland
January 15 2017
(Must see. Mike)

Excerpt:

A version of the Irish potato will boldly go where no spud has gone before — to a Mars simulation habitat run by Nasa.

Andrew Douglas, a horticulturist who set up Dublin’s first rooftop farm, plans to supply potato pods to a Nasa mission on the slopes of a Hawaiian volcano, where the space agency is simulating life on Mars. Nasa is hoping to send humans to the red planet by the 2030s.

In 2013, Douglas set up a kitchen garden on the roof of the Chocolate Factory building in Dublin before moving it to the top-floor science lab at Belvedere­ College. There are now 180 varieties of heritage and heirloom potatoes growing in upcycled water cooler bottles and artificial grass offcuts on the college’s rooftop. “Who better to help experiment with growing spuds on Mars than an Irishman?” said Douglas.

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January 15, 2017   No Comments

Urban Farmers Make Forbes’ – 30 under 30: Social Entrepreneurs

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Cofounders, Up Top Acres.

Across Washington D.C., Up Top Acres operates four rooftop farms totaling 1 acre in farmland. Growing a variety of produce, they sell their harvest to neighbors of the buildings they grow on and nearby restaurants. They’ve since harvested 60,000 pounds of food.

Forbes Magazine
2017

Excerpt from The University of Vermont:

If you’re looking for farmland in Metro Washington, D.C., try looking up. Way up.

In the nation’s capitol, Up Top Acres is transforming rooftops that would otherwise go unused into thriving organic farms. That work has landed Kristof Grina ’12, a Plant and Soil Science graduate in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, a coveted spot as one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneurs of 2017. Grina is featured on the list with Up Top Acres co-founders Kathleen O’Keefe and Jeff Prost-Greene.

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January 11, 2017   No Comments

Social Enterprise at Dig Deep Farms in Oakland, California

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Damien Cipio (left) and Pac Rucker tend the crops at East Bay enterprise Dig Deep Farms, which is partly funded by the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office.

There are almost too many food-justice programs to name. They include urban farming nonprofits such as Acta Non Verba, Phat Beets and City Slicker Farms, as well as social enterprises like Youth UpRising’s Corners Cafe and a startup called Town Kitchen, which trains young people from low-income communities and delivers box lunches to offices and conferences.

By Jonathan Kauffman
San Francisco Chronicle
December 27, 2016

Excerpt:

News of a Bay Area chef with a farm barely raises an eyebrow these days. But when Sarah Kirnon became the social-enterprise director of Dig Deep Farms four months ago, she wasn’t out to cultivate premium ingredients for her Oakland restaurant, Miss Ollie’s. She had a bigger mission in mind.

The 6-year-old farm, which has 8 acres in the hills above San Leandro, isn’t just a source for organic radishes, greens and carrots. It is funded in part by the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, and many of the farmers who tend its citrus trees and lush fields were once incarcerated.

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January 4, 2017   No Comments

CityFarm Malaysia ventures into indoor farming to inspire more urbanites to grow their own food

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(from left) Chew, Koay and Loo showing the City Window farm hydroponic starter pack. Pix by Owee Ah Chun

“I AM a city farmer,” read the words in black and striking green on the black T-shirt worn by the youth who greets me at the door of the second-floor office in Sri Kembangan, Selangor.

By Zuliantie Dzul
New Straits Times
17 December 2016

Excerpt:

The self-taught trio and two others behind the set-up are graduates of the Multimedia University in Cyberjaya. It was through clubs and student activities that they met as they were all on different programmes.

“It all started as a hobby about two years ago,” shares 28-year-old Chew, who’s a freelance software engineer. “I saw this urban farming concept on TV. It’s big in the US and Europe, and I was interested. So I bought a plant and put it in a small corner in Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre, where he worked. Soon after that, Koay decided to join as well.”

Discussions followed soon after and eventually, the idea became a reality and CityFarm Malaysia was born.

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December 26, 2016   Comments Off on CityFarm Malaysia ventures into indoor farming to inspire more urbanites to grow their own food

Singapore: Urban Farm’s Revenue is Expected to Hit More Than $1 Million in 2017

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See video here.

Okinawa Spinach: It’s something that can be substituted for other vegetables that are bought in the store.

By Sarah Toms and Aimran Supardi
BBC
Dec 8, 2016

Excerpt:

Singapore is a small, metropolitan island that imports more than 90% of its fruit and vegetables. Spare land is scarce, but urban farming – on rooftops, footpaths and vacant lots – is slowly taking root.

That’s because Bjorn Low, the co-founder of a business called Edible Garden City, has been sowing the seeds of change over the last four years by championing local produce that’s still being grown in places by older plot farmers.

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December 16, 2016   Comments Off on Singapore: Urban Farm’s Revenue is Expected to Hit More Than $1 Million in 2017

Paris startup plans to grow produce in shipping containers

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agrc

Fruits and vegetables in Europe travel, on average, 1500 km before reaching your table. They’re harvested too soon and they are expected to ripen during the transportation process.

Agricool
Press Release
Nov 23, 2016

Excerpt:

Agricool is a startup created in 2015 by Gonzague Gru and Guillaume Fourdinier, two sons of farmers who couldn’t find any high-quality fruits and vegetables in the city. The problem was obvious: fruits and vegetables sold in cities don’t have any taste and they’re full of pesticides. The reason was obvious, too: fruits and vegetables in Europe travel, on average, 1500 km before reaching your table. They’re harvested too soon and they are expected to ripen during the transportation process. What’s worse, they’re selected precisely for their ability to travel instead of for their taste. And why do they come from so far away? Because space is rare: in France, 25 square meters of agricultural land disappears each second. So if we want to eat high-quality fruits and vegetables, we need to find a way to grow them in cities.

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December 12, 2016   Comments Off on Paris startup plans to grow produce in shipping containers

Nigeria: Angel Adelaja, my life as a city farmer

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ajnig
Angel Oluwayimika Adelaja is the CEO of Fresh Direct Nigeria, a city farming initiative using stackable containers.

We hope to be able to onboard 10,000 youth in areas that cut across agriculture and urban farming, distribution, sales/marketing, ag-tech and automation and much more.

By Yetunde Oladeindeon
The Nation
December 04, 2016

Excerpt:

Fresh Direct Nigeria is city farming using stackable container farms! We bring fresh premium organic produce closer to market with our Container Farm Technology. Using hydroponics and vertical farming within a shipping container, our Container Farms are able to grow directly in urban areas. This means that production is brought closer to market or at market with ease.

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December 10, 2016   Comments Off on Nigeria: Angel Adelaja, my life as a city farmer

Urbanfarmerz ECommerce for Backyard Farmers

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ecom

URBANFARMERZ is a Canadian social enterprise with global ambitions whose mission is to empower backyard farmers and urban growers around the world to GROW – FEED – SHARE of their bounty through our mobile eCommerce marketplace.

Indiegogo
Dec 2, 2016

Excerpt:

While municipalities have begun to actively promote urban agriculture, millions of current & aspiring backyard farmers have limited access to tools to help commercialize local market opportunities.

Our solution to these problems is The URBANFARMERZ eCommerce Marketplace, an Urban-Agro Community platform bringing buyers & sellers together for the fair, direct exchange of fresh local produce while disrupting traditional supply chain models.

The platform consists of (2) key components;

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December 8, 2016   Comments Off on Urbanfarmerz ECommerce for Backyard Farmers

‘Munch’ project enlivens city street life in Coquitlam, BC

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Erin Davidson of the Austin Heights Business Improvement Association and Peter Meegan of Mary Ann Meegan Insurance Ltd. with one of 38 planters filled with edible produce and herbs that was installed earlier this year for Coquitlam Munch, a city of Coquitlam Community in Bloom project.

38 self-watering planters, created by a garden designer Rachel Elves, are planted with food by the adopting businesses.

By Diane Strandberg
Tri City News
June 23, 2016

Excerpt:

“I thought it was a good community thing,” said Meegan, who had to plant the herbs and veggies as part of the planter “adoption” process, and was surprised at how fun it was.

“It’s in the blood,” he joked, noting that members of his Irish family are good gardeners.

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November 30, 2016   Comments Off on ‘Munch’ project enlivens city street life in Coquitlam, BC

Speedibin: Metal Compost Bin That Keeps Rodents Out

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speed Joyce McMenamon, second generation developer of the Speedibin.

Indiegogo Campaign – Speedibins were first designed by Fred and Peg Francis in 1989

By Joyce McMenamon
Courtenay BC, Canada
Nov. 2016

It is all metal so animals can’t chew through.

A metal mesh screen on the bottom allows worms, microbes and water to transfer but prevents animals from tunneling in.

The large lid comes right off for easy access.

The front door slides out for easy removal of finished compost.

A latching handle keeps out raccoons, dogs and wind.

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November 26, 2016   Comments Off on Speedibin: Metal Compost Bin That Keeps Rodents Out

Official China news agency features ‘urban agriculture’ photo in US-China pledge to promote agricultural cooperation

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newchina

Lead photo caption: AeroFarms is a mission-driven company setting a new standard for controlled urban agriculture to address the global food crisis by building and operating indoor farms in cities. (Xinhua/Wang Lei)

Xinhua
Nov. 22

Excerpt:

WASHINGTON, Nov. 22 (Xinhua) — Officials from China and United States on Tuesday hailed the two countries’ agriculture cooperation and pledged to strengthen the partnership.

Agriculture is one of the earliest, most productive and potential areas for Sino-U.S. cooperation, said Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang at the China-U.S. Agriculture and Food Seminar held during the 27th Session of the China-U.S. Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT).

“In the past 15 years since China joined the World Trade Organization, bilateral agricultural trade volume witnessed an average annual growth of 17 percent, reaching 32.1 billion US dollars last year,” said Wang.

The agricultural cooperation between China and the United States has made fruitful achievements in trade and investment, technology exchange and personnel training, and has made important contributions to the development of Sino-U.S. relationship, he said.

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November 23, 2016   Comments Off on Official China news agency features ‘urban agriculture’ photo in US-China pledge to promote agricultural cooperation

The Smart Garden – on Kickstarter

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The Smart Garden 9 is a meticulously designed, self-growing garden that revolutionizes how fresh food is grown.

From Kickstarter site.
Nov 17, 2016

Excerpts:

From crisp kale and spicy chilli to sweet strawberry and calming mint, this self-growing garden helps all plants thrive, automatically making sure they have the right amounts of water, light, oxygen, and nutrients. With healthy foods grown right on your windowsill, you can enjoy a higher quality of life 24/7.

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November 17, 2016   Comments Off on The Smart Garden – on Kickstarter

Singapore: Two Beauty Products Made from Ingredients Harvested from the Rooftop of Raffles City

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beuty
The distilling process to derive essence from herbs and plants to make Farm to Beauty’s products.

The group and Edible Garden City essentially distil the essence of these plants, then work with a Singapore-based laboratory to create the products over a six-to-nine-month period.

Malay Mail Online
Nov 11, 2016

Excerpt:

Well, this is is already happening with Spa Esprit Group’s new venture. Called Farm To Beauty, the brand launched two products last week — A Cool Aloe Cooling Gel and Om, Calendula! Calming Cream — with its main ingredients harvested from the rooftop of Raffles City.

Farm to Beauty actually took root (literally) when Spa Esprit Group’s chief executive Cynthia Chua met Edible Garden City’s founder Bjorn Low, and was amazed to find that urban farming is possible in Singapore.

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November 17, 2016   Comments Off on Singapore: Two Beauty Products Made from Ingredients Harvested from the Rooftop of Raffles City

‘Stardew Valley’ game puts you on the farm

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You’ve inherited your grandfather’s old farm plot in Stardew Valley. Armed with hand-me-down tools and a few coins, you set out to begin your new life.

From their website
Oct 16, 2016

Can you learn to live off the land and turn these overgrown fields into a thriving home? It won’t be easy. Ever since Joja Corporation came to town, the old ways of life have all but disappeared. The community center, once the town’s most vibrant hub of activity, now lies in shambles. But the valley seems full of opportunity. With a little dedication, you might just be the one to restore Stardew Valley to greatness!

Features

Turn your overgrown field into a lively farm! Raise animals, grow crops, start an orchard, craft useful machines, and more! You’ll have plenty of space to create the farm of your dreams.

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November 13, 2016   Comments Off on ‘Stardew Valley’ game puts you on the farm

‘Urban Agriculture Kit’ Featured in Oprah’s 2016 Gift Guide as Product of the Year

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Urban Agriculture Company. Link to product.

Urban Agriculture grow kits come with one pack of organic seeds, one portioned bag of organic soil, and a stylish urban grow container for your plant.

Chad Corzine, Founder
Urban Agriculture Co.
www.urban-agriculture.net

Excerpt:

That was when I founded the Urban Agriculture Company. I wanted to create something that made growing and maintaining a garden simple with little to no mess. The result: the urban agriculture organic grow kit. All of our grow kits come with one pack of organic seeds, one portioned bag of OMRI (Organic Materials Review Institute) certified organic soil, and one container in which to grow your plant. Our grow kits come with a container made from 100% recycled tea bags allowing for perfectly drained and aerated soil, not to mention a very cool urban look. Simplifying and combining everything needed for a perfect growing experience, plus direct sun and proper watering- we had designed what I had been looking for all along.

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November 11, 2016   Comments Off on ‘Urban Agriculture Kit’ Featured in Oprah’s 2016 Gift Guide as Product of the Year