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Category — Vertical Farm

Has This Silicon Valley Startup Finally Nailed The Indoor Farming Model?

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“We’re working to ensure that all of our food gets to the store within hours, and not days or weeks.” [Photo: courtesy Plenty]

That day at Google’s cafeteria, I tasted something different. True and vibrant flavors, textures like I’m used to in field-raised greens and fruits, unusual varieties I’d only expect from really savvy growers.

By Adele Peters
Fast Company
May 18, 2017

Excerpt:

The company plans to build its farms next to large cities, but not directly inside, to best fit in existing supply chains that have distribution centers on city limits. “If you want to be delivering a large amount of super-amazing tasting produce to a large grocery store in the middle of a city, you want to be in the distribution center that feeds that grocery store,” Barnard says. “Because otherwise, it’s going to go back out of the city to the distribution center and then back to the store. And now you’ve cost [yourself] hours and maybe even a day or two. The promise that we’re making to customers is that it’s literally days faster.”

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May 24, 2017   No Comments

Vertical Farms in the City

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BetterLife Growers will use ‘tower gardens’ like these to grow lettuce and herbs in Atlanta. Photo: Scissortail Farms

Traditional, rural farming is far from being replaced by all of these new technologies, experts say. The need for food is simply too great. But urban projects can provide a steady supply of fresh produce, helping to improve diets and make a city’s food supply more secure, they say.

By Bryan Anselm
The Wall Street
May 14, 2017

Billions of people around the world live far from where their food is grown.

It’s a big disconnect in modern life. And it may be about to change.

The world’s population is expected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050, 33% more people than are on the planet today, according to projections from the United Nations. About two-thirds of them are expected to live in cities, continuing a migration that has been under way around the world for years.

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May 22, 2017   No Comments

How tech-enabled urban farms can work for Singapore

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Comcrop – Singapore. A 6,000-square-foot urban farm on a downtown rooftop. Click on image for larger file.

How would an urban farm here commercialise and scale up?

By Paul Teng & Christopher Vas
The Newspaper
May 13, 2017

Excerpt:

Consumer data collected by researchers at Murdoch Singapore from markets such as Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia showed that consumption of high-value leafy and non-leafy vegetables and fruits by these urban populations is on the rise and likely to grow by over 20 per cent in the future.

Plus, some of these markets were found to be not price sensitive. Instead, they are more focused on getting nutritious, safe and certified products.

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May 22, 2017   No Comments

Student compares container, vertical and hydroponic gardens to assess their ability to grow several different types of lettuces

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University of Kentucky student Anna Townsend.

University of Kentucky student says: “This type of garden fights consumer waste and provides a sustainable way to grow fresh produce.”

By Katie Pratt
University of Kentucky News
May 1, 2017

Excerpt:

Housed in the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, CKUK uses student volunteers to glean produce that would otherwise go to waste. They use it to prepare healthy meals for Lexingtonians in need. Since it is a student-led, nonprofit organization, its budget is minimal. Townsend’s research will allow the group to continue to produce fresh vegetables in the winter months in a sustainable and economical way.

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May 8, 2017   Comments Off on Student compares container, vertical and hydroponic gardens to assess their ability to grow several different types of lettuces

First large scale commercial vertical farm in Europe to be set up in the Netherlands

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The 900m2 indoor vertical farm will have over 3,000m2 of growing space and produce pesticide-free lettuce.

Farm to serve one of Europe’s biggest supermarket chains with fresh-cut lettuce grown using LED horticultural lighting

Press Release
Philips Lighting
Feb 8, 2017

Excerpt:

Sustainable growth
“Producing lettuce for the fresh-cut segment indoors not only means avoiding all pesticides, it also means a much lower bacterial count and therefore longer shelf life at the retailers. With the lettuce being packaged at the same spot as where it is grown, we save on transport before distribution to retailers,” says Rien Panneman, CEO of Staay Food Group. “Also, by avoiding weather fluctuations, we maintain an optimized and stable production environment to guarantee consistent and optimal product quality.”

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April 26, 2017   Comments Off on First large scale commercial vertical farm in Europe to be set up in the Netherlands

2 East Bay companies redefine urban farming

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Benjamin Fahrer at work at the Top Leaf Farms location on the roof of 2201 Dwight Way in Berkeley. Photo: Alix Wall.

Oakland Farms: While vertical towers are a new fad in urban agriculture, Oakland engineer John Wichmann has built one of his own design that he believes is better than any on the market.

Excerpt:

The larger of the two operations is Top Leaf Farms, a rooftop garden at 2201 Dwight Way in Berkeley. The building, which was built by the Oakland-based Nautilus Group, Inc., is called Garden Village and functions as student housing for UC Berkeley. It was completed in January 2015 and Top Leaf began installing its garden in August 2016. By October it was up and running, growing produce in 10,000 of its 12,000 square feet of space.

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April 11, 2017   Comments Off on 2 East Bay companies redefine urban farming

“Father of Vertical Farming,” Dr. Toyoki Kozai Says ‘Future Promising’

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ICCEA 2017: Dr. Toyoki Kozai’s take on vertical farming.

The most fulfilling project for the next generation of vertical farms is the online estimation of rates of photosynthesis, transpiration (water uptake) and respiration in vertical farms.

By Patrick Williams
Produce Grower
Mar 2, 2016
(Must see. Mike)

Excerpts:

PG: What does the future look like for vertical farming?

TK: It is promising. Commercialization of vertical farms started in Asian countries such as Japan and Taiwan since 2010. It is going to be started in the Netherlands this year. Russia has a strong interest in the vertical farming business.

Commercialization of strawberry production in vertical farms started in Japan two years ago. Commercialization of high-wire cherry tomato production has been considered in the Netherlands. Many private companies are interested in the production of medicinal plants in vertical farms.

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March 3, 2017   Comments Off on “Father of Vertical Farming,” Dr. Toyoki Kozai Says ‘Future Promising’

The view from inside Square Roots’ urban shipping container farms in Brooklyn

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Arugula and mustard greens from Square Roots’ first harvest were on sale for $5 a bag. (Photo by April Joyner)

A month ago, Square Roots, the urban farming accelerator launched by Kimbal Musk and Tobias Peggs, began its yearlong program in the Pfizer Building

By April Joyner
Technically Brooklyn
Dec 19, 2016

Excerpt:

The farmer-entrepreneurs have been given free rein to develop farming and business strategies of their own choosing. The challenge, both Peggs and the program’s participants stressed, is figuring out how to make the economics work. The modular farms, which use technology from Boston-based Freight Farms and Laramie, Wyo.–based Bright Agrotech, cost about $3,000 a month to run, according to participant Jonathan Bernard. But they also produce a relatively high yield, given the space: one farm, for instance, could yield 55,000 mini-heads of lettuce per year, Peggs said. The farming system Square Roots uses allows the participants to yield a weekly harvest once their first crop matures.

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December 27, 2016   Comments Off on The view from inside Square Roots’ urban shipping container farms in Brooklyn

Transforming vacant buildings to urban farms—how one D.C. start-up leads the way

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On average, Locals yields 3,458 pounds (1,568.5 kilograms) per month, composed primarily of micro greens, edible flowers, and herbs in addition to a small scale research and development project work shopping mini vegetables and organic feed crops.

By Mackenzie Marcotte
Food Tank
Dec 10, 2016

Excerpt:

For Nadia Robinson of D.C.-based Locals Grow Smart, erasing food deserts means transforming the community that raised her. Growing up in Washington, D.C.’s Northeast side, Robinson spent hours in the kitchen and garden with her mother and grandmother, who grew up on a farm. While fresh meals were readily available at her home, she noticed her neighbors struggled with nutrition education and access to fresh produce, often settling for highly processed options. District-level food justice efforts commissioned by First Lady Michelle Obama target the neighborhood, but Robinson sensed a void—her community needed a multi-functional pillar to address more than nutrition.

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December 20, 2016   Comments Off on Transforming vacant buildings to urban farms—how one D.C. start-up leads the way

Paris startup plans to grow produce in shipping containers

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agrc

Fruits and vegetables in Europe travel, on average, 1500 km before reaching your table. They’re harvested too soon and they are expected to ripen during the transportation process.

Agricool
Press Release
Nov 23, 2016

Excerpt:

Agricool is a startup created in 2015 by Gonzague Gru and Guillaume Fourdinier, two sons of farmers who couldn’t find any high-quality fruits and vegetables in the city. The problem was obvious: fruits and vegetables sold in cities don’t have any taste and they’re full of pesticides. The reason was obvious, too: fruits and vegetables in Europe travel, on average, 1500 km before reaching your table. They’re harvested too soon and they are expected to ripen during the transportation process. What’s worse, they’re selected precisely for their ability to travel instead of for their taste. And why do they come from so far away? Because space is rare: in France, 25 square meters of agricultural land disappears each second. So if we want to eat high-quality fruits and vegetables, we need to find a way to grow them in cities.

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December 12, 2016   Comments Off on Paris startup plans to grow produce in shipping containers

Inside a 17 Storey Vertical Farm – A Vision by Sweden’s Plantagon

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Details begin to emerge after 2 minutes of the video. If the video fails to load, see the video here.

New movie shows details of how the building functions. Enjoy the view from the 16th floor ‘Urban Farmer’s Skybar’

Excerpt from recent news release.
“Dubai group buys key stake in Swedish Plantagon”
Stockholm Dec. 2016

Excerpt:

Plantagon’s landmark project The World Food Building in Linköping, Sweden, is attracting global attention and is seen by many as leading the development of large scale and sustainable food production in cities.

The building was recently awarded The International Architecture Awards 2016 by The Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies.

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December 10, 2016   Comments Off on Inside a 17 Storey Vertical Farm – A Vision by Sweden’s Plantagon

‘Veggielante’ helps folks grow food in small spaces in Sacramento

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sacres

Con10u2Farm.com puts modules in schools to encourage gardens in city neighborhoods

By Cathie Anderson
Sacramento Bee
June 18, 2016

Excerpt:

Friends tease James Brady about his devotion to urban farming, calling him a veggielante and a veggie preacher, but that doesn’t stop his proselytizing. Brady and his business partners create microscale systems that allow schoolchildren and others to grow produce in small or nontraditional spaces.

They recently sold nine of their “adaptive growing modules” to Sacramento-area schools such as Luther Burbank High School, John Still and Pasadena Avenue Elementary School. The modules consist of raised storage bins hooked up to a recirculating water system and filled with a composted growing medium. A timer, which can be powered by solar energy, turns the drip system on and off as directed.

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October 25, 2016   Comments Off on ‘Veggielante’ helps folks grow food in small spaces in Sacramento

Urban Crops, a new Belgian company specialising in indoor growing systems

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Heads of lettuce being grown with violet LED lighting in a completely automated internal agricultural system, in Waregem, Belgium.PHOTO: AFP

In the Urban Crops laboratory, up to 220 mature lettuce plants are produced each day in a 30-square-metre room using just five percent of the water required in traditional agriculture.

The Straits Times
AFP
Oct 9, 2016

Excerpt:

Mr Vandecruys prides himself on the completely automated agro-system he has set up in Waregem, in eastern Belgium.

At the Urban Crops lab, a conveyor belt circulates containers of germinated plants which are placed in a special substrate, using no earth to reduce the risks of disease linked to animal-life and other external factors.

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October 16, 2016   Comments Off on Urban Crops, a new Belgian company specialising in indoor growing systems

Elon Musk’s brother is building vertical farms in shipping containers

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340fl
630 Flushing. Old Pfizer factory in Brooklyn.

If the Square Roots campus of 10 farms is successful, Musk says the team will build more farms within New York City and eventually expand to other US cities.

By Leanna Garfield
Business Insider
Aug 23, 2016

Excerpt:

Entrepreneur Kimbal Musk — yes, he’s Elon Musk’s younger brother — is trying to grow a variety of things inside the old Pfizer factory in Brooklyn. Among them: a new agricultural venture, hundreds of pounds of leafy greens, and the next generation of young farmers.

Starting fall 2016, he and fellow entrepreneur Tobias Peggs are planning to launch a new urban farming incubator program, called Square Roots. Musk tells Business Insider that it will give young food-tech entrepreneurs spaces to develop and accelerate their vertical farming startups.

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August 24, 2016   Comments Off on Elon Musk’s brother is building vertical farms in shipping containers

Inter-Urban Farms – Bringing Vertical Farming to Columbus, OH.

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We are campaigning for $85,000 to buy a Leafy Green Machine from Freight Farms.

By Jens Tuin
Kickstarter
Aug 2016

Excerpt:

We want to bring urban agriculture to Columbus, Ohio! With the purchase of a Freight Farm, we want to grow and sell locally grown produce for the City of Columbus. A Freight Farm is a self-contained vertical farm that uses less resources to grow food, allowing it to be placed in an urban setting. We need your help to raise the funds to buy this unit and the land to begin growing fresh produce year-round for Columbus, Ohio.

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August 23, 2016   Comments Off on Inter-Urban Farms – Bringing Vertical Farming to Columbus, OH.