New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
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Category — Hydroponics

32 percent of Future Farmers of America (FFA) members live in urban and suburban areas.

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Maize High FFA.

One of those non-rural FFA chapters formed two years ago at Maize High School, located in the northwest Wichita suburb of Maize, Kansas.

By Shauna Rumbaugh
High Plains Journal
Feb 23, 2015

Excerpt:

A local Boy Scout troop built four raised beds for the school, and this spring Super’s students will use them to plant root crops, which don’t grow well hydroponically.

They also want to try growing cucumbers, peppers and strawberries.

The school has an educational outreach program for elementary students in the works. Groups of students will go into local grade schools with simple hydroponics units and teach kids about food and nutrition and show them how they can grow plants hydroponically.

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March 3, 2015   No Comments

‘Freight Farms’ Grow Local Flavor, Year-Round

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Containers on roof.

At this point, their business is breaking even.

By Jeremy Hobson
Here and Now
Feb 17, 2015

Excerpt:

In a city, you can grow enough produce using this technology to make a scaleable business. So you can sell wholesale as well as retail and have a real business,” Shawn told Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson.

The couple is currently growing greens including kale, cilantro, mustard greens and wild mint. Like a library of plants, the greens are neatly organized in towers of leafy green. Mustard greens, with their wasabi-like finish are something that restaurants request.

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February 27, 2015   No Comments

Microsoft’s Café 34: Success with urban farming

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Photo credits: Scott Eklund. Pictured in image, Jessica Schilke.

The pair hopes to grow 100 percent of the Microsoft’s microgreens in house, or about 270 trays per week, by the beginning of the next fiscal year in July.

By Aimee Riordan
Microsoft News Center Staff
February 9, 2015
(Must read. Mike)

Excerpt:

Welcome to Dining Microsoft’s urban farming experiment, where microgreens are used as a topping on pizzas and other dishes served at the café. They’re also often the finishing touch on entrees served in the adjacent “in.gredients,” a space created for local restaurateur John Howie and is currently home to guest chef Maria Hines of Tilth fame.

The greens, available in the café’s “Gather” salad bar, are often the first to go, says Jessica Schilke, urban farming specialist for Microsoft’s Dining and Beverage Services. “We get lots of great feedback about how they taste,” she adds.

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February 10, 2015   Comments Off

Students reveal results of indoor grow lighting trials

Ralph and Watts learned that although the two bulb fixture would be less costly up front, the four bulb fixture produced more than double the harvest.

By Stephen Dafoe
Morinwille News
Jan 2015

Excerpt:

Eight months after receiving a $10,000 grant from BP Canada through their A+ Energy Program, Morinville Community High School’s Urban Agriculture class showed off the results of their Indoor Grow Lighting Trials.

“We received a grant to be able to buy a variety of indoor growing lights,” said MCHS Urban Ag teacher Neil Korotash. “The students have been experimenting with different grow lights to see which ones work best for this [classroom] type of setting or for average homeowners that want to grow some herbs at home.”

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January 28, 2015   Comments Off

Grow Your Own Greens With The Growbot, A System Designed To Make Rooftop Farming Easy

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The Internet-connected lightweight greenhouses can squeeze into vacant city corners and grow five tons of lettuce a year. That’s a lot of salad.

By Adele Peters
Fast Co Exist
Jan 5, 2014

Excerpt:

But a startup called Cityblooms hopes to help change that. The company makes small, modular “growbots,” lightweight greenhouses that can squeeze into vacant city corners and grow food more efficiently than the typical community garden. The hydroponic units are cloud-connected, so farmers can remotely track the growth of their crops, as well as control irrigation, humidity, and plant nutrition.

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January 13, 2015   Comments Off

Go Green: Seedfolk City Farm in Rochester, NY

Jacob Deyo helped build a hydroponic system and and aquaponic system; that uses fish to help feed the plants.

By Katrina Irwin
Rochester Homepage
12/11/2014

Excerpt:

Hidden behind a coffee shop on Rochester’s East Main Street is a greenhouse sprouting with possibilities.

“We’re really able to train our young people to be the farmers of tomorrow,” said Seedfolk Farm Youth Director Lisa Barker. “Not only be the farmers of tomorrow, but do it in their cities not far from where they live.”

Lisa is working with city youth, teaching them to grow vegetables and herbs.

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December 23, 2014   Comments Off

Smithsonian: Turning Shipping Containers Into Urban Farms

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The company, co-founded by Dan Kuenzi, works with produce buyers, retailers, distributors, and hospitality firms to explore options for integrating local, indoor agriculture solutions into their product offerings.

In a clever recycling experiment, the startup Local Roots Farms is growing organic, hydroponic produce in America’s food deserts

By Megan Gambino
Smithsonian
Dec 9, 2014

Excerpt:

At any given time, there are upwards of 700,000 unused shipping containers in the United States. Some clever architects have hacked these 40-foot steel compartments into skate parks, libraries, emergency shelters and surprisingly beautiful homes.

But Daniel Kuenzi has a new one. The Washington, D.C.-based entrepreneur is turning derelict shipping containers into urban farms.

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December 21, 2014   Comments Off

Cambodia: For Those Who Can Afford It, Urban Farming Bears Fruit

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A catfish forms? Part of the aquaponics system at Mr Chandara’s farm. (Neou Vannarin/The Cambodia Daily)

Mr. Chandara and Mr. Sophal said that if more farmers adopted their modern cultivation methods, the country’s agriculture industry would be more stable and productive.

By Neou Vannarin
The Cambodian Daily
Nov 25, 2014

Excerpt:

The hydroponics system does away with many of the hassles of traditional farming while allowing vegetation to thrive in a confined urban setting, using only the electricity needed to power a small pump, Mr. Sophal said.

Since he first turned on the taps of his contraption in 2011 after taking a short course on hydroponics in Thailand, Mr. Sophal’s urban farming experiment has gone from a pet project to a full-fledged enterprise.

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December 1, 2014   Comments Off

Indoor Agriculture Conference to Host Leaders in Agriculture Technology, Vertical Farming, Commercial Greenhouses

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3rd annual Indoor Agriculture Conference on March 31 and April 1, 2015 in Las Vegas

Press Release
10.13.2014

Indoor agriculture is experiencing rapid growth as drought, supply chain challenges and the scarcity of new farmland force growers to seek more efficient and sustainable growing methods. The leaders in this growing sector of agriculture will meet at the 3rd annual Indoor Agriculture Conference on March 31 and April 1, 2015 in Las Vegas to discuss the present and future of this expanding industry.

The conference will be a chance for commercial growers to see and experience new technology, meet with funders, and learn from some of the most successful companies in the industry. Agriculture technology companies, suppliers and automation companies will also have the chance to meet and mingle with leading vertical farmers and commercial greenhouse operations.

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October 26, 2014   Comments Off

Yard Too Small For A Garden? Grow Vegetables Vertically

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Paul Langdon, of Wethersfield, and his vertical portable hydroponic garden. Photo by Stephen Dunn / Hartford Courant.

Won first prize in the sustainability category last weekend at the Maker Faire

By Christopher Hoffman
Courant
Sept 26, 2014

Excerpt:

The 43-year-old software engineer turned to hydroponics, or gardening without soil. Langdon and his friend Curt Downing of Glastonbury designed and built a compact, vertical hydroponic garden that grows 160 plants and is controlled from a cell phone.

Langdon and Downing aren’t the only ones who think the garden — made of PVC pipe, downspouts and gutters — is cool. Earlier this month, their rig won first prize in the New York Maker Faire’s sustainability category.

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October 19, 2014   Comments Off

At MIT, A Farm Grows That Is Built For A City

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CityFarm is a soil-free system for urban farming that actually might work

Fast Coexist
Oct 1, 2014

CityFarm started as a 60-square-foot module inside MIT’s Media Lab, where Harper grew lettuce, herbs, and tomatoes in a windowless room bathed in blue and red artificial light–the part of the sun’s spectrum that plants can actually absorb. The system had no soil. Some plants were grown hydroponically and others aeroponically in a simple mist. Both methods require far less water–as much as 90% less–compared to a conventional farm. More recently, Harper began experimenting with an even bigger system in the building, which is also meant to test whether sunlight exposure helps or hurts the crops.

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October 9, 2014   Comments Off

Atlanta-based PodPonics grows greens in shipping containers

CBS46 News

Lettuce Buy Local currently includes three product varieties of delicate local greens:

Green Mix – green romaine and green lollo
Encore Mix – green romaine, green lollo and red lollo
Dragon Mix – baby mustard, red kale, purple kohlrabi, mizuna, red cabbage (in stores summer 2014)
Jurassic Mix – baby kale (available in stores fall 2014)
Rocket Mix – arugula (available in stores fall 2014)

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October 9, 2014   Comments Off

Project envisions city-style farm in Albuquerque, New Mexico

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Project would feature hydroponic gardens, retail spaces in old shipping containers

By Jessica Dyer
Albuquerque Journal
July 31, 2014

Excerpt:

Roy Solomon sees green in a sea of pavement.

He pictures fruits and flowers thriving amid the cacophony of freeway traffic, and a small – and somewhat unconventional – retail center growing up with them.

Solomon, an Albuquerque businessman and veteran restaurateur, plans to develop a farm-centric retail project on a vacant 1 1/2-acre plot just north of the Carlisle off-ramp from westbound Interstate 40.

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August 10, 2014   Comments Off

BrightFarms wants to build a hydroponic greenhouse farm in Washington, DC

Help us to build a 120K sq ft hydroponic greenhouse farm to supply the nation’s capital with the freshest locally grown produce year-round

Excerpt from Indiegogo site:

We just announced an exciting partnership with Giant Food® to deliver year-round local produce to Giant stores throughout the Washington metropolitan area. At 100,000 square feet, it will be the largest urban greenhouse of its kind in the world.

We have the site. With our partnership with Giant Food® in place, we now need to finance and build the greenhouse. Our architectural plans are being finalized and our goal is to break ground in August 2014.

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July 31, 2014   Comments Off

‘Sustainable Microfarms’ wants to make it easy for urban hydroponic farmers

A new technology (the Genesis Controller) that automatically monitors plants 24/7 and takes the required actions to maximize health and growth.

By Steven Bustin
Techli
May 7, 2014

Excerpt:

Sustainable Microfarms is a hydroponics startup that is taking a systemic approach to disrupting while simultaneously empowering the agriculture industry and all the players involved. They are starting with a small but passionate consumer market, the urban hydroponic farmer. To say that Sustainable Microfarms is another hydroponics company is to say that Tesla is just another electric car. They have developed new technology (the Genesis Controller) that automatically monitors plants 24/7 and takes the required actions to maximize health and growth.

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May 18, 2014   Comments Off