New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Category — Roof Garden

Yard Too Small For A Garden? Grow Vegetables Vertically

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
Sept 26, 2014


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.

[

October 19, 2014   No Comments

Dickson Despommier and Vincent Racaniello host urban agriculture radio show

Urban Agriculture 9: Green Spirit Farms

Oct 2, 2014

Dickson and Vincent speak with Milan and Daniel Kluko, owners of Green Spirit Farms, a sustainable vertical farm in New Buffalo, Michigan.


October 13, 2014   No Comments

Brooklyn’s Gotham Greens to sprout big Chicago farm

Viraj Puri, co-founder and chief executive of Gotham Greens, said its Chicago rooftop farm will be the city’s largest.
Photo by Buck Ennis.

The six-year-old urban farm company is building a 75,000-square-foot rooftop farm in the Windy City.

By Adrianne Pasquarelli
Crain’s New York Business
Oct 7, 2014


The cost of the new facility was not disclosed, but similarly sized greenhouses can cost as much as $4 million to build.

“Farming on soil is still cheaper, but there seems to be a market for high-value produce grown hyperlocally,” said Nevin Cohen, assistant professor of environmental studies at The New School. “I’m hopeful that innovations in design and technology will bring the cost of rooftop greenhouses down.”

[

October 8, 2014   Comments Off

Converting wasted roof space into gardens and greenhouses

John Jarratt’s ‘London Rooftops’.

London has 20,000 hectares of roofscape. Most of it is pitched and residential.

By Rachel Dring
Sustainable Food Trust
Sept 30, 2014


Oscar is an architect who heads up a design consultancy called Architecture & Food (A&F).

He’s on a mission to convert London’s cityscape into an urban rooftop farmland. He’s been researching and developing building-integrated agriculture projects for his home city since 2007.

[

October 6, 2014   Comments Off

Toronto is poised for more green roofs, but the City’s bylaw largely rules out growing fruits and veg

Leeks, squash, and carrots are some of the vegetables ready for harvest in August on this part of Ryerson’s green roof.

Ryerson’s green roof expects to produce more than 2,268 kilograms of food by the end of the season

By Michelle Adelman
Sept 29, 2014


But the roof still has to meet the bylaw’s construction rules. The one requiring that plants cover 80 per cent of a green roof by the third year effectively prohibits most food plants, the majority of which live only one season. Lettuces, for example, are harvested and replanted throughout the summer and finally die off in fall. The idea behind the rule is plant survivability because, “if the green roof was left to fallow and die, it wouldn’t be a functioning green roof,” says Aster.

[

October 5, 2014   Comments Off

Urban farming reaches new heights in Bangkok

spiruClosed tanks of growing Spirulina bubble away on a Bangkok rooftop.

The company aims to expand its output by establishing more production facilities on rooftops in Bangkok and elsewhere on non-arable land.

The Asahi Shimbun
Sept 20, 2014


A team of entrepreneurs at start-up company EnerGaia has succeeded in producing commercial quantities of Spirulina, an eco-friendly superfood, using the sun-baked dead space on the top of Bangkok high rises for a farm.

Founded and run by entrepreneur and engineer Saumil Shah, EnerGaia uses an innovative system of interconnected plastic bins, each holding 250-280 litres of liquid, with a pumping system to agitate the Spirulina mix and ensure the photosynthetic algae receive sufficient sunlight and nutrients.

[

September 28, 2014   Comments Off

Should Tokyo Build Methane-Powered Cow Farms in the Sky?


Mushin thinks urban farming in future Tokyo … will be “corporations that set up high-tech, dense, multi-story production systems on the edges of towns.”

By Cameron Allan Mckean
Resilient Cities – Next City
September 17, 2014


Farms in Tokyo produce enough food to feed less than one million of the city’s residents, according to a 2010 survey by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. Data suggest, however, that 85 percent of the city’s residents want urban farmland to give them access to fresh foods and green space. Cowships might be a fantastical solution, but Mushin says that’s beside the point. “There’s nothing wrong with these ideas. The only problem is that there is a huge lack of imagination and interest,” he says. “Humans can change, it’s just that we’re not inspired to change. No one cares about (energy) efficient lightbulbs – it’s got to be something you can be delighted by.”

[

September 20, 2014   Comments Off

Vancouver rooftop greenhouse back in business

City-owned parking garage to produce food once again

By Jane Deacon
Vancouver 24 Hour
September 11, 2014


A troubled Vancouver urban farming facility is set to be revamped after its acquisition by Affinor Growers, which plans to use the technology to grow food locally and pot in the U.S.

Affinor, which also has a research and development facility in Port Coquitlam, has purchased the assets of Alterrus Systems’ rooftop growing facility on Richards Street. Before the company declared bankruptcy last year, it produced leafy greens and herbs through “vertical” farming techniques, which maximize sunlight exposure by suspending thousands of plant trays within a greenhouse-style facility.

[

September 15, 2014   Comments Off

Can Urban Agriculture Work on a Commercial Scale?

Montreal’s Lufa Farms developed an e-commerce model for fresh food. Farming the world’s cities will require marketing savvy as much as skill at growing food in urban settings.

An urban farm in Montreal is scaling the industry “with more software than farmers.”

By Flavie Halais
City Lab
Aug 22, 2014


Lufa is also developing its own in-house technology. The company has just received a patent for a system that allows it to grow 30 percent more food on the same area. Meanwhile, the IT team is developing a suite of iPad apps for greenhouse management. One of them, which helps manage insect populations, will soon be made available to all organic growers. “We’ve decided it’s too valuable for us not to be going out to the world and saying, ‘Use it for free,’” says Hage.

[

August 26, 2014   Comments Off

Seattle rooftop garden on the Stack House Apartments

Stack House is a LEED platinum apartment complex in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood. The 1,000 square foot rooftop garden is operated as an in-house production farm and serves as a new and unique amenity for this urban housing development. Photo by Joshua Lewis / Seattle Refined.

Our most successful example of a rooftop community farm

By Britt Thorson
Komo News
Aug 15, 2014


“This is probably our most successful example of a rooftop community farm,” said Jessica Roundy, an Urban Farmer & Landscape Designer with SUFCo.

Built in 2013, the rooftop farm is not only beautiful but also extremely productive.

[

August 23, 2014   Comments Off

Proposed Floating Vertical Farms for Singapore


“We believe these types of initiatives can be applied closer to the existing and new emerging urban centers in order to help mitigate the future food issue.”

By Adele Peters
Fast Company
July 29, 2014


Architects from Barcelona-based design firm JAPA have proposed a new system of looping towers that could float in local harbors, providing new space for year-round crops. Called F.R.A., short for “floating responsive architecture,” the design is inspired in part by floating fish farms that have been in use locally since the 1930s.

[

August 19, 2014   Comments Off

Inside the World’s Largest Indoor Farm in Japan

A worker tends vegetables at the world’s largest “plant factory” on July 2, 2014. The Japanese factory produces 10,000 heads of lettuce a day. Photograph By Kyodo Via Ap.Click on image for larger file.

An abandoned Sony factory in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, has been transformed into what could very well be the farm of the future.

By Gloria Dickie
National Geographic
July 17, 2014


Shigeharu Shimamura, a plant physiologist and CEO of Mirai, has constructed the world’s largest indoor farm—25,000 square feet of futuristic garden beds nurtured by 17,500 LED lights in a bacteria-free, pesticide-free environment. The result? About 10,000 heads of fresh lettuce harvested each day.

The unique “plant factory” is so efficient that it cuts food waste from the 30 to 40 percent typically seen for lettuce grown outdoors to less than 3 percent for their coreless lettuce. (Related: “Stop Wasting Food in the West and Feed the World.”)

[

August 14, 2014   Comments Off

The Business of Building a Rooftop Farm

Urban Farming: Home on the Brooklyn Grange

Bloomberg TV
Aug 2014


We are funded through interest loans, equity investments, and good old-fashioned grassroots fundraising. We raised a good chunk of our funds on Kickstarter.

We have 40,000 square feet on a 65,000 square-foot face.

[

August 13, 2014   Comments Off

Panasonic ventures into farming in Singapore, a land-scarce city-state

panaClick on image for larger file.

It aims to contribute five per cent to local supply by March 2017.

By Medilyn Manibo
Aug 8, 2014


The vegetables, produced within a 248 square metre indoor facility in Tuas, includes green lettuce, white radish, rocket lettuce, basil, mint herb, wild parsley, baby spinach.

Both leafy vegetables and root crops are currently cultivated within 35 days in soil-based environment and sustained with artificial lighting using LED lights. Panasonic said it is continuing its research and development to shorten the lead time to 28 days.

[

August 8, 2014   Comments Off

Santropol Roulant’s rooftop garden in Montreal an ‘oasis’

Santropol Roulant’s rooftop garden in Montreal an ‘oasis’.

The cost of building a green roof has been substantial — about $20,000 to build the drainage and irrigation system and another $200,000 to strengthen the building’s structural capacity.

By Christopher Curtis
The Gazette
July 30, 2014


“Kids come here and they see an eggplant, and they’re not crazy about eggplants when they see it on their dinner plate, but they see it in the garden and their eyes almost pop out of their heads,” said Noémie Desbiens-Riendeau, the co-manager of Santropol’s urban agriculture program. “It’s very touching, it’s nice. It’s almost magical.”

[

August 8, 2014   Comments Off