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Category — Entrepreneurs

USDA Unveils New ‘Urban Agriculture Toolkit’ for Urban Farmers and Agri-business Entrepreneurs

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Online Resource Draws on USDA’s and Partners’ Experience with Launching and Sustaining Urban Agriculture Operations Points Producers to Helpful Financial and Technical Resources

USDA
April 29, 2016

WASHINGTON, April 29, 2016 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today unveiled the USDA Urban Agriculture Toolkit, a new resource created by USDA’s Know Your Farmer team to help entrepreneurs and community leaders successfully create jobs and increase access to healthy food through urban agriculture. From neighborhood gardens grown on repurposed lots, to innovative mobile markets and intensive hydroponic and aquaculture operations, urban food production is rapidly growing into a mature business sector in cities across the country.

“Urban agriculture helps strengthen the health and social fabric of communities while creating economic opportunities for farmers and neighborhoods,” Vilsack said. “USDA’s Urban Agriculture Toolkit compiles guidance from our Know Your Farmer team and many private partners into one comprehensive resource to help small-scale producers manage all aspects of their business. From protecting soil health to marketing to schools and grocery store chains, USDA has tools to meet the needs of this new breed of innovative urban farmer and small business owner.”

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April 29, 2016   No Comments

An Urban Grower’s Guide: Selling the Food You Grow in Pittsburgh

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The goal of the guide is to encourage city residents to grow and sell produce by providing resources that explain the relevant rules and regulations.

By Grow Pittsburgh, Penn State Extension, and Pittsburgh Food Policy Council
April 2016

Excerpt:

Writing a Business Plan

Writing a business plan can be a long process, but these resources will help you out:

Penn State Extension provides many resources from an agriculture perspective. Visit the Creating a Business Plan page, or Start Farming, which is a comprehensive resource hub that covers the entire scope of production, business and state/federal regulations for those new to growing for profit.

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April 26, 2016   No Comments

Bronx urban farmer receives Earth Day award for her years of work, advocacy

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Karen Washington now doesn’t just concentrate on growing food at her farm in the Bronx and upstate New York, but also examines the food system as a whole.

By Angy Altamirano
Metro USA
Apr 18, 2016

Excerpt:

Now — along with running the Rise & Root Farm in Chester, NY with her friends since 2015 and continuing to care for her garden in the Bronx — Washington said she doesn’t just concentrate on growing food, but also looks at the food system as a whole and examines who is being treated fairly and who isn’t.

“In a country that we have so much wealth, we have hunger and poverty,” she said. “I continue to speak out against the injustices.”

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April 23, 2016   No Comments

How a passionate young Colombian is helping redraw urban farming in U.S.

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columbAlejandro Velez.

Back to Roots products are currently offered in over 14,000 stores worldwide, including Whole Foods, Target, Costco, Kroger, Nordstrom, Petco and Cost Plus World Market.

By Mar Yvette
Fox News Latino
April 04, 2016

Excerpt:

“I was in a business ethics class. The professor was giving a 50-minute lecture called ‘19 Ways in Which Industries Can Become More Sustainable.’ One of the slides he was showing had a picture of mushrooms, a Starbucks logo and trees being cut down. All he said was, ‘I read in a book that you could potentially grow mushrooms on coffee waste, but nobody has ever done it.’ Then he moved on to the next slide.”

It was at that moment the light switch went off in Velez’s head.

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April 10, 2016   Comments Off on How a passionate young Colombian is helping redraw urban farming in U.S.

India: Man Held for Rooftop Ganja Farming

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The ganja plants found on Nissar’s rooftop; (Inset) Nissan.

The ‘City Shadow Police’ nabbed grower

By New India Express News Service
28th March 2016

Excerpt:

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A 31-year-old man who gave a shady twist to rooftop farming by growing ganja plants on the terrace of his house has been nabbed by the City Shadow police.

The Pettah police identified the man as Nissar, s/o Ali Akbar, Pulikkal Puthenveetil, Anayara. Nissar was trapped by the police during raids conducted as part of ganja raids in the city. The police also recovered a country-made rifle and country bombs from his residence. According to the police, the ganja plants were hidden among wild balsams on the rooftop.

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April 3, 2016   Comments Off on India: Man Held for Rooftop Ganja Farming

This Billboard In London Doubles As A Vegetable Garden

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billbClick on image for larger file.

Sitting on a street corner in the central London neighborhood of Lambeth, the new billboard has a community garden built into the base.

By Adele Peters
Fast Co-Exist
03.18.16

Excerpt:

Clear Channel Outdoor, which owned the billboard, realized that a new design could help and turned to Wildstone, urban space designers, to make a plan. “Our design team came up with the idea of actually trying to green the site,” says Philip Allard, chief operating officer of Wildstone.

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March 19, 2016   Comments Off on This Billboard In London Doubles As A Vegetable Garden

France-based “myfood” is releasing thirty beta-versions of their turnkey Smart greenhouses

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These combine vertical aquaponics and permaculture to create all-year-round food production solutions.

By Kevin Morgan-Rothschild
Supply Chain Manager
myfood
March 17, 2016

The purpose is to empower citizens to achieve independence from industrial agriculture. The solutions allow users to grow fish, leafy greens, herbs, as well as fruiting vegetables.

The ingenious solution grows up to 500 lbs of fresh vegetables annually as well as 1 to 2 lbs of fish a week through the employment Bright Agrotech’s space saving and productive Zipgrow towers.

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March 17, 2016   Comments Off on France-based “myfood” is releasing thirty beta-versions of their turnkey Smart greenhouses

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Unveils Food Computers

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TED Talk: What if we could grow delicious, nutrient-dense food, indoors anywhere in the world? Caleb Harper, director of the Open Agriculture Initiative at the MIT Media Lab, wants to change the food system by connecting growers with technology.

Build a PFC, Climate Recipes, User Interface, Open Source, School Programs, The Future of Food

The Open Agriculture Initiative (OpenAG) is on a mission to create more farmers for the future of food production. We are developing the open source hardware and software platforms for sensor-controlled hydroponic and aeroponic agriculture systems.

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March 16, 2016   Comments Off on Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Unveils Food Computers

Bethesda, Maryland rooftop farm to yield about 10,000 pounds of produce in 2016, up from 7,000 pounds last year

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Hyper-local produce from our unique rooftop farm is now enjoyed downstairs at Jose Andres’ Jaleo Bethesda restaurant. Jaleo’s Culinary Director, Chef Ramon Martinez discusses the delicious, sustainable difference of #RooftoTableDining while preparing a tasty entree with super-fresh produce from our rooftop farm at Bethesda Row. (Must See. Mike)

Produce grown atop Equinox Fitness can be enjoyed downstairs at Jose Andres’ Jaleo restaurant location in Bethesda, Maryland.

By Sarah Borchersen-Keto
REIT
3/9/2016

Excerpt:

As the weather begins to warm, thoughts at Federal Realty Investment Trust’s (NYSE: FRT) Bethesda Row turn toward the development’s roof, where 7,000 square feet of growing space stand ready to cultivate a new crop of salad greens, carrots, herbs and a variety of other produce.

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March 10, 2016   Comments Off on Bethesda, Maryland rooftop farm to yield about 10,000 pounds of produce in 2016, up from 7,000 pounds last year

Istanbul’s Komsuköy allows you to run an organic farm from your city computer

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Would you like to run a farm and harvest organic produce while sitting on a computer? Komsuköy is the meeting point for urban farmers in Istanbul’s Beykoz district, allowing them to grow their own natural products through an online platform that delivers organic products right to your door.

By Izlem Arsiya
Daily Sabah
Mar 2, 2016

Excerpt:

The platform allows you to purchase a section of a plantation field where you can grow all natural products with no hormones or GMOs. You can take care of your crops and plants online through the platform which gives you a 24-hour live stream of your plantation where you can monitor your crops every day until they are ready to be harvested and delivered to your table. Here is a closer look into how the system works.

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March 9, 2016   Comments Off on Istanbul’s Komsuköy allows you to run an organic farm from your city computer

Bios Urn, a biodegradable urn designed to convert you into a tree after you die.

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The Bios Incube has been designed for city dwellers with limited access to natural land, those seeking an alternative to traditional burials, and for people who want to meaningfully connect with their loved ones who have passed away.

From Kickstarter:

After several years of working on the Bios Urn – a biodegradable urn designed to turn you into a tree after you die, – our team has designed a new product that will help us bring the Bios Urn to more people, creating a meaningful experience for us, and the environment.

Bios Incube is the first system that lets you plant your Bios Urn close to you, and combines the insights of tree growth with data from its environment. Depending on the type of tree, the Bios Incube will water it accordingly.

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March 8, 2016   Comments Off on Bios Urn, a biodegradable urn designed to convert you into a tree after you die.

Urban Farm Pod’s brilliant plug-in ecology could revolutionize urban farming

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Described as a “living cabin,” this inhabitable capsule follows the principle of Agronomy to allow urban nuclear families to grow their own food, while simultaneously producing energy.

By Lucy Wan
Inhabit
Mar 1, 2016

Excerpt:

Like much of Terreform ONE’s work, the Urban Farm Pod explores the concept of living architecture by using active biological processes to build furniture. Built in the shape of a rotegrity sphere, the robotically milled pod was constructed from reclaimed flat-packed materials folded into parametrically designed flower-like shapes. Each pod panel contains two types of planters: the central gravity-fed planter that grows more traditional plants, like wheat grass and tomatoes; and the three secondary planters that surround the central pot and are used to grow cell culture or micropropagation.

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March 8, 2016   Comments Off on Urban Farm Pod’s brilliant plug-in ecology could revolutionize urban farming

Groundfridge – the ultimate root cellar

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gorf

The company claims the storage capacity is comparable to that of 20 standard refrigerators, meaning it can hold up to 500 kilograms of food.

Designed by Floris Schoonderbeek
Award winner 2015
(Must see. Mike)

Excerpts:

Before fridges and electricity existed, digging a hole in the ground was just one of the many ways people went about preserving their perishables. Despite taking its cues from this old method, the Ground Fridge still feels like a fresh idea.

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March 7, 2016   Comments Off on Groundfridge – the ultimate root cellar

GrowHop: Urban Cricket Farm & FoodLab

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Ottawa business is going to make you love eating bugs!

From Indiegogo:

Bugs are delicious. Wait, what?

We know, the idea can seem surprising at first. But the insects as food movement is gaining steam. The United Nations believes it has major potential to address the food security issues resulting from climate change and dwindling resources. The market has also responded. More and more companies are developing cricket brownies, crackers, and energy bars!

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February 26, 2016   Comments Off on GrowHop: Urban Cricket Farm & FoodLab

Software estimates the total harvest generated and provides other statistics about garden performance

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Eden Patch software. Click on image for larger file.

Many community gardens told us that one of the key issues they deal with is to quantify the impact they are having in the community.

By Venky Rao
Eden Patch

This information would be invaluable for grants and planning.

EdenPatch provides a solution to this problem by estimating the total harvest generated and providing other statistics about garden performance. Apart from the ability to estimate total harvest, a few other features that are of interest to community gardens are:

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February 23, 2016   Comments Off on Software estimates the total harvest generated and provides other statistics about garden performance