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Category — Hydroponics

Japan’s Future Vertical Farms – Semiconductor Chip Companies Produce Food

How Japan is using high tech factories to grow vegetables indoors.

By Rachel Mealey
Al Jazeera
25 May 2015
(Must see! Mike)


By 2050, the world will need to feed an additional 2.5 billion people living in cities. Yet as the demand for food rises, the amount of land available for agriculture in developed countries is expected to decline.

In Japan, at the Fujitsu factory of Aizu-Wakamatsu which still manufactures semiconductor chips for computers, a different project is underway which may offer a solution to this problem.

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May 26, 2015   No Comments

High-tech urban farming in the UK begins to move from demonstration projects to full commercial-scale developments

LED-based methods of growing crops are becoming more efficient as technologies improve year on year – image: USDA.

Closed crop growing systems are going mainstream, but they have their critics

By Gavin McEwan
Horticulture Week
7 May 2015


But some are critical of these schemes. Mike Hamm, professor of sustainable agriculture at Michigan State University, points out that only a handful of crops can ever be viably grown using enclosed systems, pointing out that as commodity crops, wheat and other grains “would be important if these systems are to truly feed a city”, but these would in fact be “a terrible choice for indoor production”.

Citing a study by Cornell University emeritus professor Dr Louis Albright, he says wheat grown in a tiered, artificially-lit system would require three Empire State Buildings to feed the city of New York and the resulting bread would have to be priced at $11 “just to cover the lighting cost”, he says.

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May 15, 2015   No Comments

HydroGarden assists The University of Nottingham in new food and energy research

The VydroFarm system at The University of Nottingham’s Creative Energy Homes Project (left to right) Stephen Fry, commercial sales manager, HydroGarden; PhD student Matthew Woodward; Professor Mark Gillott, The University of Nottingham.

Two of HydroGarden’s vertical hydroponic systems have been installed in the University’s ‘Creative Energy Homes Project’.

By Sarah Jelly at HydroGarden
May 2015

The University of Nottingham is embarking on an exciting new hydroponics research project with the help of Coventry-based hydroponics experts, HydroGarden, as part of its investigations into new concepts for energy efficient food secure future living.

The project will be supervised by Professor Mark Gillott and undertaken by Matthew Woodward, an undergraduate student on the B.Eng Hons Architecture Environment Engineering Programme at The University of Nottingham’s Department of Architecture and Built Environment.

It will investigate the differences in the energy used by a hydroponic system with only LED lighting, and one that utilises a mixture of natural and artificial lighting sources. The work will consider the impact of these different growing environments on the growth and production of the plants.

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May 13, 2015   Comments Off on HydroGarden assists The University of Nottingham in new food and energy research

Hydroponic agriculture turns Kenyan homes into gardens


“I grow tomatoes, kale and spinach, which saves me time and money,” she said. “The crops mature faster [with hydroponics] when compared to growing them on a farm.”

World Bulletin
April 6, 2015


We teach farmers how to utilize the vertical spaces in their homes,” Mwangi, the hydroponics expert, told.

Kimani Kemboi runs a pharmacy at Aga Khan University Hospital and lives in Westlands, an affluent Nairobi neighborhood.

“For every household in Nairobi, space is an issue,” he told. “Unlike other towns, Nairobi is not an agricultural town.”

Kemboi first heard about hydroponics from a friend who uses it to grow fodder for his animals in Kikuyu, a town in Kenya’s Kiambu County.

“After visiting him, I decided to make a small kitchen garden for myself,” he said.

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April 14, 2015   Comments Off on Hydroponic agriculture turns Kenyan homes into gardens

Backyard plastic bubble in Greater Vancouver is Canada’s first biodome

Tom Colclough is growing about 6,000 strawberry plants hydroponically on his Surrey farm in an agricultural biodome. Photograph by: Ric Ernst.

Climate-controlled domes touted as a local food solution for remote communities

By Randy Shore
Vancouver Sun
April 1, 2015


The 3,000-square-foot plastic bubble in Tom Colclough’s Surrey yard is packed with 6,000 strawberry plants that require no soil and use one-tenth the water of conventional farming.

Canada’s first agricultural “biodome” is made from air-tight layers of ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE), a plastic film that weighs 99-per-cent less than glass and naturally disperses light within the dome, creating an ideal environment for vertical hydroponic growing systems, said designer Colclough.

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April 2, 2015   Comments Off on Backyard plastic bubble in Greater Vancouver is Canada’s first biodome

LED powered CounterCrop coming to kitchens in July

Successful Kickstarter campaign raised $132,911.

Features & Benefits

Sleek Design – It’s the modern way to grow your food. CounterCrop’s clean lines and industrial design make it look great on any kitchen counter. Whether you’re whipping up mojitos with fresh mint or cutting enough greens for an entire salad, your CounterCrop is a great conversation starter when hosting dinner parties too.

Clean, Controlled Growing – Forget the dirt. CounterCrop’s self-contained, advanced hydroponic system delivers water and light at just the right time. Not to mention, with indoor gardening, you won’t have to worry about inclement weather or outdoor pests destroying your food.

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March 20, 2015   Comments Off on LED powered CounterCrop coming to kitchens in July

Linking Food Waste to Hydroponics

Re-Nuble: Transforming Food Waste to Affordable Nutrients

From their Indiegogo site:

Our Mission and Vision: Our vision is to transfer the way we grow and distribute food, making healthy food affordable and accessible to all. With our business Re-Nuble, we set out to create a non-toxic, organic-based liquid nutrient solution with yields comparable to existing chemical alternatives.

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March 17, 2015   Comments Off on Linking Food Waste to Hydroponics

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

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


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

‘Freight Farms’ Grow Local Flavor, Year-Round

Containers on roof.

At this point, their business is breaking even.

By Jeremy Hobson
Here and Now
Feb 17, 2015


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   Comments Off on ‘Freight Farms’ Grow Local Flavor, Year-Round

Microsoft’s Café 34: Success with urban farming

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)


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 on Microsoft’s Café 34: Success with urban farming

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


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 on Students reveal results of indoor grow lighting trials

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


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


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

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


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 on Go Green: Seedfolk City Farm in Rochester, NY

Smithsonian: Turning Shipping Containers Into Urban Farms

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
Dec 9, 2014


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 on Smithsonian: Turning Shipping Containers Into Urban Farms

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

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


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