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Category — Hydroponics

The price of LEDs is falling so fast it’s profitable to farm in a New Jersey nightclub

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led

The Department of Energy says the price of LEDs has fallen 90% since 2010, and should keep falling in the years to come. At the same time, LED efficiency (light emitted per unit of energy) and lifetime (now up to about 36,000 hours) have nearly doubled.

By Michael J. Coren
QZ
June 17, 2016

Excerpt:

Although California supplies about 80% (pdf) of the United States’ lettuce and other produce, indoor farmers say they will soon be suppling tastier, fresher and, eventually, cheaper produce to many cities. They are even turning a profit doing it. “We make a healthy margin,” says Marc Oshima, chief marketing officer for AeroFarms. “There’s a reason that Goldman Sachs and Prudential have invested in our farms.”

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June 23, 2016   No Comments

How London’s new underground farms will revolutionise the way we source our food

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lundergTom Webster, co-founder of GrowUp Urban Farms, with farm manager Oscar Davidson.

Growing Underground, GrowUp Urban Farm and FARM:shop may just be the tip of the iceberg. ‘Planners are starting to plan growing into cities,’ says Dring

By Nick Curtis
Evening Standard
June 9, 2016

Excerpt:

But the biggest bar to the future of urban farms may be consumer squeamishness. When Steven Dring tells ordinary punters what he does, ‘they all think it’s about genetic modification, or Frankenfood’, unaware that most rural growers use industrial techniques far removed from traditional ideas of farming. Nevertheless, the urban farming movement appears to be catching on. ‘We get approached by developers and architects who love the idea of putting a growing space in their building for people to interact with,’ says Hofman, ‘which is a fantastic idea, but not how you get the scale of food production to feed people.’

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June 15, 2016   Comments Off on How London’s new underground farms will revolutionise the way we source our food

Ikea’s Clever Kit Makes Indoor Farming as Easy as It’ll Get

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ikeas
The Krydda/Växer line are the result of some dovetailing trends: (1) More people live in urban areas in small apartments and (2) more and more, people like to know where their food comes from.

60 percent of survey participants grew plants indoors, be they vegetables or flowers. Gardening was more common in Shanghai, where the number is 75 percent.

By Margaret Rhodes
Wired
05.20.16

Excerpt:

It’s no surprise, then, that Shanghai is where Ronnie Runesson, a senior product developer at Ikea, came up with the company’s new line of indoor gardening kits. Runesson, who is Swedish and has worked at Ikea for 33 years, recently spent three years in the company’s Shanghai office. While in Shanghai he visited with other product suppliers, and saw several small, indoor units where office workers grew their own lettuces and herbs.

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May 25, 2016   Comments Off on Ikea’s Clever Kit Makes Indoor Farming as Easy as It’ll Get

Skies of Lettuce: Rooftop Greenhouses Sprout in Big Cities

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Growing food in greenhouses on rooftops was not only feasible on a commercial scale, it was also an adaptive use of urban space that’s environmentally friendly, according to co-founder and CEO of Gotham Greens

By Elizabeth Arakelian
NBC New York
Apr 8, 2016

Excerpt:

One place greenhouses are also popping up is in schools. New York Sun Works, a nonprofit, is teaching urban agriculture and has installed two rooftop greenhouses on city schools.

“It really is a new way of teaching science through the lens of urban agriculture,” said Sidsel Robards, director of development and events for Sun Works. “If we all grow the food right here in the city, what would that do to traffic patterns, population, contamination?”

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April 13, 2016   Comments Off on Skies of Lettuce: Rooftop Greenhouses Sprout in Big Cities

IKEA will sell indoor hydroponics gardening kit

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Read over 100 comments about indoor hydroponics on Reddit

IKEA United Kingdom
No Price
April Release

This April, IKEA is introducing an indoor gardening series that lets you grow your own tasty lettuce and herbs in water. Developed in collaboration with agricultural scientists in Sweden, KRYDDA/VÄXER series includes everything you need to get sprouting and keep your garden growing – even in the winter! How it works? Just keep an eye on the water level. That’s all.

“The challenge was to make growing plants in a hydroponic system simple, so that anyone could succeed …”
Helena Karlén, Swedish university of agricultural sciences

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March 20, 2016   Comments Off on IKEA will sell indoor hydroponics gardening kit

75,000-square-foot rooftop greenhouse built atop soap factory in Chicago

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pests
An employee introduces beneficial predator insects into the greenhouse. These insects prevent harmful greenhouse pests from destroying the crops and take the place of dangerous chemical pesticides. (Evan Garcia)

The Chicago greenhouse has 40 employees, many from the community, who tackle everything from plant nutrition to pest management.

By Evan Garcia
Chicago Tonight
February 11, 2016

Excerpt:

There’s a cold-weather climate here,” said Puri. “It’s such a short growing season that there’s a dearth of access to healthy, local produce year-round.”

The Chicago greenhouse is expected to produce over 10 million heads of leafy greens, which the company will sell to local food retailers, restaurants and caterers. (They exclusively grows leaf vegetables, such as butterhead lettuce, basil and arugula.) A small portion will be donated to the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

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February 16, 2016   Comments Off on 75,000-square-foot rooftop greenhouse built atop soap factory in Chicago

Véritable – The Autonomous Indoor Garden

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Kickstarter success: €114,009 pledged of €50,000 goal

Excerpt:

The lighting system automatically stays on for 16hrs a day and follows a natural 8hr night cycle.

The LEDs have been selected specifically for their wavelengths, their efficiency (Lumens/W) and their durability. The blue and white spectrum of the LEDs mimics natural daylight and ensures an optimal growth rate for plants. This means plants develop quickly, promoting large leaf surface and rich flavors (the production of essential oils).

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January 24, 2016   Comments Off on Véritable – The Autonomous Indoor Garden

Growing vegetables via smartphone. This ‘farm cube’ basically does all the work of growing vegetables for you

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A fully automated indoor farming system that its developers say is capable of growing pesticide free vegetables via your smartphone is unveiled at CES 2016

By Ben Gruber
Reuters
Jan 15, 2016

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – Growing your own produce just got really easy. This is a farm cube – a fully enclosed ecosystem capable of growing vegetables indoors.

“In this one (Farm Cube), the one cycle, around six weeks, 200 pieces or 100 pieces depending on different vegetables,” said Jack Ting, CEO of Taipei-based OPCOM, developers of the automated farming technology.

Seedlings are loaded into the cube. The growth cycle is then completely automated using farming software that monitors the plants and adjusts the environment accordingly, adding the perfect amount of air, light, and water needed for different stages of development.

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January 15, 2016   Comments Off on Growing vegetables via smartphone. This ‘farm cube’ basically does all the work of growing vegetables for you

Farm in a box: Shipping containers reused for fresh produce

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lety
Freight Farms co-founder Brad McNamara displays a lettuce seedling inside a freight container converted into a vegetable garden in Boston. The Boston-based company is repurposing shipping containers as mobile farms. Freight Farms sells 320-square-foot containers equipped with high-tech hydroponic equipment that’s capable of producing the typical yield for two acres of farmland in any climate, and uses 90 percent less water. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Industry experts caution that upfront costs and annual operational expenses like electricity for lighting systems that often run 18 hours a day can mean slim profit margins for would-be farmers.

By Philip Marcelo
Associated Press
Jan 11, 2016

Excerpt:

Most Freight Farm customers are growing high turnover, compact crops the company recommends—lettuce; hearty greens like kale, cabbage and Swiss chard; and herbs like mint, basil and oregano—and selling them to local restaurants and groceries and at community markets, according to McNamara and Friedman.

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January 13, 2016   Comments Off on Farm in a box: Shipping containers reused for fresh produce

Chicago’s ‘Urban Till’ ships to more than 100 local restaurants

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till

An indoor farm – they’ve got about 20 employees at the moment, but within the next year, Urban Till expects to add another 75.

Danielle Braff
Chicago Tribune
Dec 26, 2015

Excerpts:

The old Sunbeam factory on the Far West Side of Chicago is buzzing by 5 a.m.

Urban Till employees are harvesting, packaging and getting produce ready to ship to more than 100 local restaurants so it can be on diners’ plates later that day.

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December 31, 2015   Comments Off on Chicago’s ‘Urban Till’ ships to more than 100 local restaurants

Meet a Baby-Boomer Couple Farming in Shipping Containers

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baboo
Courtesy of Freight Farms.

Freight Farms, a Boston ag-tech start-up that sells fully outfitted hydroponic shipping container farms for around $75,000 a pop

By Brian Barth
Modern Farmer
November 27, 2015

Excerpt:

The company’s Leafy Green Machine, as they call their upcycled 40-foot shipping containers, comes with its own computerized brain that allows you to monitor the temperature, moisture, humidity, and nutrient levels of the hydroponic system remotely with a smartphone. Pink-hued LED light strips hang in front of each of the vertical grow towers, giving a party vibe to the whole operation.

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December 7, 2015   Comments Off on Meet a Baby-Boomer Couple Farming in Shipping Containers

Manchester’s Home of Honest Coffee to grow salad greens and herbs for use in its on-site kitchen

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hydro
HydroGarden’s VydroFarm vertical hydroponic systems in basement. Stephen Fry and Refarming’s Jules Bagnoli alongside the new VydroFarm.

The café offers locally sourced seasonal food and locally roasted coffee and prides itself on being a community asset as all profits go back to the local community as grants for creative entrepreneurs.

By Nikki Lee
Press Release
Hydro Garden
Nov 26, 2015

Excerpts:

Creative working space and artisan coffee shop, Home of Honest Coffee, in the city of Salford, has taken one more step towards sustainability following the installation by Refarming Ltd & Co-operative and Mutual Solutions of one of HydroGarden’s VydroFarm vertical hydroponic systems in its basement. The system will be used to grow salad greens and herbs for use in its on-site kitchen.

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December 3, 2015   Comments Off on Manchester’s Home of Honest Coffee to grow salad greens and herbs for use in its on-site kitchen

The farmers growing vegetables with LED lights

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We visit indoor farms using artificial light to boost produce and an airport using its open space to build bee colonies.

By TechKnow
Al Jazeera
28 Nov 2015
(Must see. Mike)

Excerpt:

Green Sense Farms runs its vertical farm from a 2,800 square metre warehouse just outside Chicago. The farm is bathed in a pink glow – the effect of the thousands of red and blue LEDs – light-emitting diodes – which enable the plants to photosynthesise.

“We take weather out of the equation,” explains Robert Colangelo, founder of Green Sense Farms. “We’ve created groundhog day here. Each day is consistent and it’s the same, so we always get perfect plants every day.”

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November 29, 2015   Comments Off on The farmers growing vegetables with LED lights

Growing Underground brand will soon harvest for top London restaurants

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undgr
The underground tunnels in Clapham, south London. Photograph: Alicia Canter for the Guardian.

Microgreens are the early stages of plants more commonly harvested when they are more fully grown. They are popular with chefs for their deep flavour.

By Shane Hickey
The Guardian
Sept 13, 2015

Excerpt:

The first section of the tunnel system they have converted now extends to 6,000 sq ft (550 sq m) of growing area and will be able to produce 700 boxes of goods a day when production has been fully scaled up, says Dring. They hope to extend this to 23,000 sq ft (2,200 sq m) of growing space within two years.

“Anything that grows within 30 days is financially viable. After you go over the 30 days, it is not so. That is changeable a bit now and the efficiencies are changing so you can bring crops that you would have done in 40 days down to 30 days,” Ballard says.

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September 13, 2015   Comments Off on Growing Underground brand will soon harvest for top London restaurants

New York’s Edenworks Is Building The Future Of Food On Urban Rooftops

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poleden
A visit at Edenworks from the Polish Minister of Agriculture and the NYS Commissioner of Agriculture.

Green estimates that with a 75,000 square-foot greenhouse, Edenworks would be able to provide enough food to sustain a population of 5,000 people.

By Christine Magee
TechCrunch
Sept 1, 2015

Excerpt:

Currently, Edenworks is selling top-notch produce and herbs to two restaurants in New York while it continues building the second generation of its farming infrastructure. Since the farm is not a sterile system like most hydroponic operations, Green says, the produce they’re able to grow is substantially higher in quality.

And you can very clearly taste the difference. For what it’s worth, the tomatoes, arugula, basil, and whatever radish-in-leaf-form that I tasted were by far more flavorful than anything comparable that I’ve ever eaten. It’d be like drinking Coors Light for years until someone hands you an IPA: technically they’re both beers, but after tasting the latter, the Coors tastes flavorless and watered down in comparison.

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September 10, 2015   Comments Off on New York’s Edenworks Is Building The Future Of Food On Urban Rooftops