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Category — Vertical Farm

Urban Farming Gets New York City Council Attention

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Rob Laing, right, CEO and founder of Farm.One, and farmhand Caleb Raff at the Farm.One hydroponic farm at the Institute of Culinary Education in lower Manhattan on Wednesday. Photo: Claudio Papapietro For The Wall Street Journal

Rooftop gardens, greenhouses and ‘vertical farms’ may benefit from more clarity on zoning and insurance

By Thomas MacMillan
Wall Street Journal
July 20, 2017

When Robert Laing was setting up his indoor herb-growing business in Manhattan last year, it took months to find someone willing to insure his tiny hydroponic operation.

“You say, ‘I’m a farm,’ and they put you over to their farming division and they say, ‘How many acres do you have?’ and you say, ‘300 square feet,’” Mr. Laing said.

New York City has the largest urban agriculture system in the country, including community and rooftop gardens and greenhouses, as well as “vertical farms” like Mr. Laing’s company, Farm.One, which cultivates microgreens in windowless rooms aglow with LED lights. But a recent report by the Brooklyn Law School finds new growers are sometimes stymied by confusion and lack of regulations.

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July 20, 2017   No Comments

Japan: Tokyo’s Pasona Group staff will tend to cows, horses and pigs on the 13th floor of its new headquarters

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Original 2016 Tokyo office has grown its own food in a vertical farm since 2005. You walk over a 1,000-square-foot rice paddy, continue through an okra field and you enter the vine-covered “tomato guest room” or the “vegetable factory” filled with hundreds of hydroponic heads of lettuce.

On the second floor, fruit trees form partition walls between meeting spaces, bean sprouts are grown under benches and herbs grow on shelving along the walls.

Nikkkei Asian Review
July 10, 2017

Excerpt:

The Pasona Group staffing agency will tend to cows, horses and pigs on the 13th floor of its new headquarters near Tokyo Station, opening the exhibition ranch to the public in an effort to cultivate interest in husbandry.

The company’s headquarters recently relocated to a building close to the northern exit of the heavily trafficked station. The 400-sq.-meter ranch will be open on weekdays and Saturdays. An accompanying cafe will host food-related educational programs for children.

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July 16, 2017   No Comments

Bowery Farming raised $20 million for its “post-organic” vertical farm

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Bowery Farming cofounder and CEO Irving Fain.

“We are a tech company that is thinking about the future of food.”

By Amy Feldman
Forbes
June 14, 2017

Excerpt:

The new financing, announced this morning, brings Bowery’s total take to $27.5 million. The company declined to disclose valuation, but it’s clearly a big bet on something that for many years had been little more than a dream. “We are a tech company that is thinking about the future of food,” says Bowery’s co-founder and CEO Irving Fain.

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June 21, 2017   Comments Off on Bowery Farming raised $20 million for its “post-organic” vertical farm

Brooklyn ‘Square Roots’ startup aims to feed an urban world

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Peggs estimates that farmers take home between $30,000 and $40,000 total by the end of the year.

By Melissa Fares
Reuters
June 6, 2017

Excerpt:

Nabeela Lakhani, 23, said reading “Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal” in high school inspired her to change the food system.

Three nights per week, Lakhani assumes the role of resident chef at a market-to-table restaurant in lower Manhattan.

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June 12, 2017   Comments Off on Brooklyn ‘Square Roots’ startup aims to feed an urban world

Beijing, China: Meet the Company Building Farms in Parking Structures

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Alesca Life creates solutions that enable anyone anywhere to grow the safest, healthiest and freshest produce. Our flagship product is a completely self-contained and automated growing system housed within a ISO-standard 40-foot shipping container.

By Lizzy Schultz
Agwired
Jun 2, 2017

Excerpt:

Stuart Oda previously worked as an investment banker before serving as a co-founder of Alesca Life, a Beijing-based agriculture technology company that builds weather-proof, cloud-connected farms in order to enable local food production by anyone, anywhere.

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June 9, 2017   Comments Off on Beijing, China: Meet the Company Building Farms in Parking Structures

Urban farming in Singapore has moved into a new, high-tech phase

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Associate professor Lee Kim Seng (front) and the students behind the project (from left) – Mr Lim Zi Xiang, 35, Mr Kibria Shah, 31, and Ms Boo Jia Yan, 23. Photo: Dios Vincoy Jr For The Straits Times

Three urban farms stand out for their ingenuity.

By Natasha Ann Zachariah
Straits Times
June 3, 2017

Excerpt:

The first is by a group of engineering students who have combined two aquaponics methods to get a larger harvest with more variety.

The second is by a businessman who used to sell raw materials for pesticides. He has invented a “growing tower” that does away with chemicals.

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June 9, 2017   Comments Off on Urban farming in Singapore has moved into a new, high-tech phase

Future Of Food: How Under 30 Edenworks Is Transforming Urban Agriculture

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Edenworks is able to harvest, package and reach consumers within 24 hours. By cutting down on transport and prioritizing quality over durability, the greens are also up to 40% more nutrient dense than traditional produce.

By Alexandra Wilson
Forbes
June 1, 2017

Excerpt:

Currently, about 95% of leafy greens consumed in the US are grown in the desert regions of California and Arizona. Most of these products are grown for mass production and durability in transport, rarely for quality or sustainability. Urban farms have cropped up as way to provide growing metropolises with fresher produce in a way that is better for the environment.

The Edenworks model differentiates itself from other urban farms in that it is a complete, aquaponic ecosystem. Waste from the tilapia fish is used as a natural and potent fertilizer for the microgreens planted on vertically stacked power racks. They have no need for synthetic fertilizers or pesticides that can diminish the nutritional quality of produce.

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June 7, 2017   Comments Off on Future Of Food: How Under 30 Edenworks Is Transforming Urban Agriculture

‘Plant Factories’ Churn Out Clean Food in China’s Dirty Cities

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A researcher transplants rice seedlings in a greenhouse of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences. Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

Researchers build urban farms, crop labs to combat contamination

Reporting by Christina Larson and Lulu Yilun Chen, assisted by Vicky Feng
Bloomberg News
May 25, 2017
(Must see. Mike)

Excerpt:

Yang Qichang walks through his “plant factory” atop the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences in Beijing, inspecting trays of tomato vines that may help farmers slip the stranglehold that toxins have on China’s food supply.

The containers are stacked like bunk beds, with each vine wrapped in red and blue LED lights that evoke tiny Christmas trees. Yang is testing which parts of the visible-light spectrum are optimal for photosynthesis and plant growth while using minimal energy.

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June 3, 2017   Comments Off on ‘Plant Factories’ Churn Out Clean Food in China’s Dirty Cities

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

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   Comments Off on Vertical Farms in the City

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   Comments Off on How tech-enabled urban farms can work for Singapore

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’