New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
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Category — Entrepreneurs

I’m not sure connected planters will ever succeed

See the video show here.

Now, a company called Grow has announced its first product, the Grow Duo.

By Ashley Carman
The Werge
Apr 7, 2018

Excerpt:

It’s a large planter for outdoor use that comes with a companion iOS / Android app, a moisture sensor for the soil, temperature sensors for both the soil and outside air, and a light sensor for the sun. It hooks up to a user’s hose, so there’s no need to water the plants; its automated sprinklers take care of it.

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April 15, 2018   No Comments

Don’s Finest Living Foods delivers super-young sprouts and veggies to health-conscious customers

Don DeLillo: Putting his money where our mouths are in Huntington Station, NY.

$4,000, self-invested, to equip his first basement farm

By Amy Onorato
Innovateli
Apt 6, 2018

Excerpt:

And so, Don’s Finest Living Foods was born. DeLillo took roughly $4,000 he saved up from his job at Empire LED and poured it into equipment he would need to build an urban farm in the basement of his parents’ Huntington Station home.

Once his crops were flourishing, he used word-of-mouth networking and a website to build a local customer base, which places regular orders on a “subscription-like” basis, DeLillo said.

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April 12, 2018   No Comments

There’s an microgreens urban farm hiding in Brookline Village, Massachusetts named ‘Legitimate Farms’

Video by Multimedia Journalist Emma R. Murphy

Though just a two-man operation, the farm yields an impressive amount of food. With about 80 shelves of microgreens, the farm produces about 40 pounds of food a day, according to Becker.

By Emma R. Murphy
Wicked Local Brookline
Apr 3, 2018

Excerpt:

This is one of the beauties of microgreens, according to Becker. Rather than wait for the greens to mature to vegetables, the microgreens are ready for harvest in just days – 12 to 14 – and the flavor packs a bold punch.

“The flavor of the microgreen is the flavor of the whole plant concentrated in a tiny plant,” Becker said.

The pair also experiments with other plants and hopes to offer sunflower, which they described as “buttery, delicious and a complete protein.”

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April 9, 2018   No Comments

The world’s first desktop Hive™ for growing edible insects

Start a food revolution out of your kitchen with the Hive™ and grow healthy, delicious and sustainable mealworms in your home. Sold by Livin farms $699.00

Easter Egg Hunt Recipe: No Bake Energy Ball/Eggs using 1/2 cup ground mealworms

Recipes for No Bake Energy Ball/Eggs

Ingredients:
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup ground mealworms
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup honey
1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions
Combine oats, peanut butter, ground mealworms, chocolate chips, honey, chia seeds, and vanilla extract together in a bowl. Cover and chill dough in the refrigerator 30 minutes.
Remove dough from refrigerator; roll into balls, about 1 inch in diameter.

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April 5, 2018   Comments Off on The world’s first desktop Hive™ for growing edible insects

Canada: ‘Seed Voyage’ App Connects The Home Grower With The Urban Consumer

Seed Voyage Featured on CTV Toronto. Feb 2018

A grower could make about $500 on 100 square feet per summer

By Dushan Batrovic, Shawn Sowten
Seed Voyage Website
(Must see. Mike)

From their site:

Our platform is designed with one thing in mind – to connect growers and eaters so that they can buy and sell their locally grown produce. The home gardener signs up on seedvoyage.com and inputs two key things – their address and the foods they are growing. The local eater signs up and inputs their region of interest (for example, within 5 km of their house) and the foods they are interested in buying. When the produce is ripe and ready for harvest, the grower will send notification and any eaters with matching preferences will be alerted. They will confirm purchase and pick up the goods at the growers house. All transactions are electronic so need to make change at the door. There are no fees for signing up, only a small transaction fee when goods are sold. Simple as that.

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March 27, 2018   Comments Off on Canada: ‘Seed Voyage’ App Connects The Home Grower With The Urban Consumer

Canada: Grow your own clothes – East Vancouver group is fanatical about fabric

Rebecca Graham (right) processes the flax plants to make linen, while Sharon Kallis holds a linen blanket. Jennifer Gauthier / Vancouver Freelance

If you join this club and plant some flax seeds you could end up with a home-grown linen handkerchief

By Tessa Vikander
Metro
Mar 15 2018

Excerpt:

Even with the latest genetic modifications, jeans and T-shirts still don’t grow on trees as fully formed garments. And, for better or worse, cotton and linen is still grown in fields, and processed rigorously before it’s woven into fabric.

Despite these constraints, there’s an ambitious group of fabric fanatics in Vancouver who are growing their own clothes, and you too could join them in a course called the Linen Grower’s Club. That is, as long as you have access to a 4m x 4m plot of land to grow flax plants, and are okay with the fact that it might take a year before you have processed the plants and spun enough linen to weave a handkerchief.

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March 24, 2018   Comments Off on Canada: Grow your own clothes – East Vancouver group is fanatical about fabric

Woman launches eastside Erie urban farm

Carrie Sachse hopes to plant herbs, peppers and tomatoes on four vacant lots at East 22nd and French Streets. [File Photo Christopher Millette/Erie Times-News]

We know there is a lot of vacant land in Erie and there is going to be more if the comprehensive plan is implemented. There are a lot of blighted houses and things are going to be changing if we continue to implement the comprehensive plan.

By Lisa Thompson
Burlington County Times
Mar 18, 2018

Excerpt:

What were your first steps?

My best friend owns a food truck in Pittsburgh and I also knew I wanted to work for myself eventually. So we were kind of bouncing business ideas off each other and we both separately had the idea to do a city farm on individual lots versus trying to accumulate a lot of land to have a bigger farm. It was right after we started having that conversation that Scott Henry (former Erie Redevelopment Authority director) rolled out his adopt-a-lot program and that kind of felt like kismet.

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March 24, 2018   Comments Off on Woman launches eastside Erie urban farm

India: Profits mushroom for this urban farmer

Her quest now is to set up an unique hotel that is dedicated to mushroom dishes in her husband’s home town of Kushalanagar in Kodagu district.

Now I grow 50 to 60 kg of oyster mushrooms a month without engaging labour, and earn a profit of about ?30,000,” she says proudly.

By B. S. Kamar
The Hindu
Mar 16, 2018

Excerpt:

A small house can turn into an urban farm, yielding a tidy income. That is what it did for 40-year-old Kamala, who gave up her job as a garment worker in Bengaluru and turned her house in a 1,200 sq. ft. plot into a mushroom farm.

Two decades of back-breaking work in different garment factories in the city convinced the woman, who has a pre-university education, that it was time to try something less strenuous. “The continuous hard work does not even give you enough time to visit the washroom. It started making me feel as though I was in jail,” she recalls.

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March 21, 2018   Comments Off on India: Profits mushroom for this urban farmer

Behind the Rise and Fall of Growing Power

Growing Power’s Milwaukee farm. (Photo credit: Will Allen)

The urban farming powerhouse had a global reputation. Then, it collapsed last year under mounting debt, prompting big questions about what happened and what comes next.

By Stephen Satterfield
Civil Eats
03.13.18

Excerpt:

People close to the organization were saddened by the news of its dissolution, but many were not surprised. As far back as 2014, the Chicago chapter of Growing Power had begun to move toward independent accounting and funding strategies. Warning signs about Growing Power’s financial health were embedded in its mandatory annual filings and felt by its vendors.

And despite Allen’s passion and dedication, he may have suffered from a bit of founder’s syndrome. Fisher theorizes that Allen’s inability to empower and retain an operational management team was the main cause of the organization’s collapse.

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March 18, 2018   Comments Off on Behind the Rise and Fall of Growing Power

Local garden becomes family business venture in Houston, Texas

Amy Williams (bottom left) with husband and children standing by their backyard garden.

With a garden to upkeep, and business to run, Williams also homeschools. She says it’s never easy to find the perfect balance, especially with five kids, but gardening and the creation of Underhill has provided amazing learning opportunities for the kids.

By Zarah Parker
Leader News
Mar 8, 2018

Excerpt:

From backyard garden in our local community to a small business, Amy Williams is keeping the gardening tradition alive in the family with Underhill Urban Farm Co, a non-GMO, organically grown farm and garden that uses heirloom seeds, that are all locally grown.

Her father, an organic farmer, taught her the ins and outs of farming, while her mother taught her how to can different items, like pickles, jams, and jellies. Growing up with fruits and veggies in the backyard and on the table was something Williams was used to. So, it was natural that she’d have a garden of her own and use it to teach her children as well.

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March 15, 2018   Comments Off on Local garden becomes family business venture in Houston, Texas

San Francisco: Inside Fruitvale’s Urban Farm Emporium

Yolanda Burrell, founder of Pollinate Farm & Garden Supply. | Photo: Pollinate

The facility, which opened five years ago, offers weekly classes in subjects like composting, vegetable growing, beekeeping, cheese making, planting with the seasons, and preserving food.

By Hoodline
ABC7News
Feb 16

Excerpt:

More and more Oaklanders want to grow their own food, but many lack adequate access to gardening supplies and information. To fill this gap, Fruitvale’s Pollinate Farm & Garden Supply offers residents a place to learn more about setting up their own urban homesteads.

Pollinate has a demonstration orchard and garden, but the organization doesn’t supply visitors with fresh produce.

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February 23, 2018   Comments Off on San Francisco: Inside Fruitvale’s Urban Farm Emporium

Denmark: Noma – World’s Most Famous Restaurant Re-0pens as an Urban Farm

2,100 Square Feet Of Garden, Three Free-Standing Greenhouses

Wall Street Journal
Gourmet Traveller

Excerpt from Wall Street Journal
Feb 16, 2018

Noma’s new Bjarke Ingels-designed campus will encompass 11 buildings and 2,100 square feet of garden, to be designed in the spring by Piet Oudolf, who also collaborated on landscaping the High Line in New York City. Near the entrance to Noma’s property are three free-standing greenhouses constructed almost entirely of glass. “Each space utilizes as few materials as possible,” Ingels says. Two of the greenhouses will be used to grow ingredients like microgreens, herbs and edible flowers. The other will house the restaurant’s bakery and a test kitchen. “It’s been insane,” says Redzepi. “But there are just things you say yes to, even before you know how to totally plan.”

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February 18, 2018   Comments Off on Denmark: Noma – World’s Most Famous Restaurant Re-0pens as an Urban Farm

Canada: Is Personalized, Next-Day Delivery the Future of Urban Farming?

Part of Lufa’s delivery fleet. (Lufa Farms)

Lufa Farms: A rooftop-farming venture in Montreal has found success with a model that’s part CSA, part Amazon Prime.

By Sarah Treleaven
City Lab
Feb 9, 2018

Excerpt:

Whereas many urban farms sell to restaurants or grocery stores, or via farmer’s markets, Lufa has a key point of differentiation: its direct-to-consumer business model. On its website, shoppers can customize baskets of fresh food, which are then delivered to more than 300 pick-up points across the city, or to their homes for an added fee. It’s like community-supported agriculture (CSA) or a farm share merged with the personalization and convenience of Uber Eats or Amazon Prime. “We decided that we needed to give people the option to order what they wanted, and that we would figure out how to get those items to them,” Rathmell said.

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February 16, 2018   Comments Off on Canada: Is Personalized, Next-Day Delivery the Future of Urban Farming?

UK: WalthamGrow and Chef Supported Agriculture

WalthamGrow.

They partnered with Marmelo Kitchen, a London restaurant already buying their salad regularly.

By Mathilde Currid
2017

Mathilde Currid and Alok Shah began WalthamGrow as a grow-to-sell salad enterprise in Summer 2016 with the help of Organiclea’s Farm Start project. Learning from their experience as Salad Starter trainees at Organiclea’s Hawkwood Community Plant Nursery in London, UK, they took over the care and cultivation of a 120 m2 residential garden site when the opportunity presented itself in May of that year.

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February 15, 2018   Comments Off on UK: WalthamGrow and Chef Supported Agriculture

Urban farmers struggle to reap mass-market benefits

Brooklyn basil: the harvest at Gotham Greens.

“Technically,” he says, “there’s no reason why these countries shouldn’t be self-sufficient in produce and, indeed, be net exporters. They have all the right conditions — given the right technology.”

By Jonathan Margolis
Financial Times
Feb 1, 2018

The basil is ready to harvest. The warm, humid air is sweet with the aroma of herbs ready to give their lives to the glory of pesto, tomato sauces and salads.

Close your eyes and you could be in Umbria. Open them, and you are in a greenhouse in Brooklyn, New York. Outside it is minus 7 degrees and snowing. The workers tending the hydroponically-fed plants inside are farmers — but of an indoor, urban variety.

This is one of three New York salad vegetable farms run by Gotham Greens, a seven-year-old company (there is another farm in Chicago and four more will open this year). The greenhouses grow pesticide-free produce for hyper-local distribution.

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February 7, 2018   Comments Off on Urban farmers struggle to reap mass-market benefits