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Category — Vertical Farm

This Stylish Table Is the “Next Generation” of Automated Urban Farming

Photo credit: Dan Addison, University Communications, UVA

Babylon is now focused on bringing the farms to consumers outside of universities. Currently, a the micro-farm farm goes for $1,799.

By Jennifer Marston
The Spoon
December 29, 2017

Excerpt:

Recent grad Alexander Olsen started Babylon Micro-Farms in 2016, as part of the University of Virginia student entrepreneurial clubhouse, HackCville. An early prototype won $6,500 from Green Initiatives Funding Tomorrow, part of the UVA student council.

Now, Olsen and six other employees are working to get the hydroponic farms inside the homes of consumers, billing them as “the next generation home appliance.”

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January 5, 2018   No Comments

UK: Let there be light to help centre’s tomatoes grow

Tomatoes are grown under LED lights at Stockbridge Technology Centre at Cawood.

Our tomato crops here at Stockbridge Technology Centre will be going strong all winter, thanks to the extra light provided by LED (light emitting diode) technology, which illuminates the crop at very low cost.

By Dr David George
Yorkshire Post
27 December 2017

Excerpt:

We use mainly red and blue LED lighting to grow our tomatoes because they are the two colours of light that plants respond to best. This gives our glasshouses a very festive feel at this time of year – they certainly outshine the single string of Christmas lights in my window at home!

Our work with lighting and crops is led by head of photobiology Dr Phillip Davis, and also extends to other areas. By tweaking the combination of colours and the intensity, duration and pattern of light that our crops receive, we can deliver exciting results, particularly in our urban farm facility, where we have complete control over the levels of light that crops receive.

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January 4, 2018   Comments Off on UK: Let there be light to help centre’s tomatoes grow

Feeding the Future of Agriculture with Vertical Farming

Authors. Click image to see larger file.

Vertical farming is not a fairytale; it is happening now.

By Mark Esposito, Terence Tse, Khaled Soufani, & Lisa Xiong
Stanford Social Innovation
Dec 27, 2017

Excerpts:

Traditional farming has been characterized as labor-intensive and remote to a modern and urbanized lifestyle. In some places, farm work is associated with poverty and isolation, but in the vertical farm, farmers must be data analysts, bio-scientists, and system supervisors in addition to working with crops. Should urban farms continue to scale, this could result in displacement of existing low-skilled labor. Such a shift is typical of any major industry transformation—economists call this the rebound effect. Understanding this transformation in farming provides professionals who are either entering or already in the vertical farming industry with leverage when communicating the need to embrace vertical farming with different stakeholders.

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January 3, 2018   Comments Off on Feeding the Future of Agriculture with Vertical Farming

Local Roots: Farm-in-a-box coming to a distribution center near you

The interior of a TerraFarm.

United Nations World Food Programme has just purchased TerraFarms to provide produce to developing areas of the world

By Diana Gitig
Ars Technika
12/16/2017

Excerpt:

A solution like this in a developing economy doesn’t seem to make much sense on the surface. But the company is now claiming that it has achieved cost parity with traditional, outdoor farming. It’s the first in the indoor/urban/vertical farming model to have done so, possibly because the shipping containers allow them to generate more farmland more quickly and more cheaply than can be done in a warehouse or other indoor systems.

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December 23, 2017   Comments Off on Local Roots: Farm-in-a-box coming to a distribution center near you

Canada: Regina food bank greenhouse fills shelves with garden-fresh goods

The greenhouse currently uses 48 vertical towers and they are growing a variety of crops such as broccoli, cabbage and many others.

“Growing our own food as a food bank is a really good way to look at what we do on a bigger scale and provide not only fresh food but also education to the clients and community about where food comes from, what it looks like, what it smells like, what it tastes like,” she said.

CBC News
Dec 09, 2017

Excerpt:

The centre of each tower is filled with compost which is produced by red wriggler worms, who live in bins at the greenhouse. These worms are fed waste the food bank won’t be using, with the worms converting 31 kilograms of inputs each week into fertilizer. This fertilizer in turn is fed back into the garden towers as nutrients for the plants.

“It’s vertical gardening and indoor growing. Controlled environments are definitely a popular thing right now,” said Wenger.

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December 19, 2017   Comments Off on Canada: Regina food bank greenhouse fills shelves with garden-fresh goods

Sweden: Plantagon CityFarm plans to create a network of underground urban farms

The system will save the office building 700,000 kilowatt-hours of energy a year, worth roughly three times as much as the previous tenant of the basement was paying in rent.

By Adele Peters
Fast Company
Dec 5, 2017

Excerpt:

Underneath a 26-floor office tower in Stockholm, an underground space once used as an archive for a newspaper will soon become a farm. And because of a unique business model, the urban farmers growing greens in the new farm won’t pay rent–their farm will pay for itself in heat.

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December 15, 2017   Comments Off on Sweden: Plantagon CityFarm plans to create a network of underground urban farms

Inside a farm hidden under the streets of Paris in an abandoned parking garage

Since late 2016, La Caverne/Cycloponics has grown vegetables in a 37,700-square-foot farm underneath the streets of Paris.

By Leanna Garfield
Business Insider
Dec 6, 2017

Excerpt:

It’s an underground farm by La Caverne/Cycloponics, a local indoor farming startup that harvests lettuce, herbs, and mushrooms in a space it calls la caverne (the cave).

The 10-person team calls its farm “the cave.” It’s located beneath a 300-unit affordable housing complex. The space was formerly an abandoned parking garage.

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December 9, 2017   Comments Off on Inside a farm hidden under the streets of Paris in an abandoned parking garage

Malaysia: Farming gains ground in Kuala Lumpur

City Farm marketing director Looi Choon Beng demonstrates how little space is needed for an urban garden. – By Kamal Ariffin, November 26, 2017.

“Somebody needs to do this thing now, or else we will not be ready for a possible crisis in the future.”

By Asila Jalil
Malaysian Insight
Nov 26, 2017

Excerpt:

In the heart of Kuala Lumpur, Wong Min Lik has co-founded Moutou Art Space on the rooftop of a building at Lorong Panggong.

The 35-year-old Wong said the rooftop was empty space before they took over in December last year. Today, it has a bar and a garden which brimming with fresh vegetables and herbs such as lemongrass, ginger, mint, lemon, passionfruit, and bitter gourd.

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December 3, 2017   Comments Off on Malaysia: Farming gains ground in Kuala Lumpur

Indoor farming expert says Korea, Japan need to up investment

Toyoki Kozai, professor emeritus of Chiba University and president of the Japan Plant Factory Association, speaks to the press at an indoor farming facility in Chiba University in Chiba, Japan. (Son Ji-hyoung / The Korea Herald)

An example is the $1 billion investment into factory farms by Sanabio, a joint venture between the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Chinese optoelectronics giant Sanan Group.

By Son Ji-hyoung
Korea Herald
Nov 26, 2017

Excerpt:

In the wake of cost-saving light-emitting diode technologies, now is the best time to invest in indoor farming, according to Kozai.

Currently, products grown in indoor vertical farms are 20 to 30 percent more expensive than those of conventional farms.

JPFA, a Chiba University-affiliated vegetable factory operated across 10,000 square meters, uses solar light to grow tomatoes and strawberries, and artificial light for lettuce production.

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December 2, 2017   Comments Off on Indoor farming expert says Korea, Japan need to up investment

Some Food Banks Are Using Vertical Farms

Canada: The Surrey Food Bank’s vertical farm system. (Photo © Pixel Perfect Photography)

Vertical farms allow food banks to grow their own produce with high-tech systems in an effort to fight food insecurity year-round.

By Jodi Helmer
Civil Eats
11.17.17

Excerpt:

One of the biggest arguments against food banks getting into the vertical-farming business is simply that these systems are pricey. The Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma paid $140,000 for its two Growtainers, securing a grant from the Morningcrest Healthcare Foundation to purchase the vertical farms. It costs an additional $680 per month for electricity to power them.

For nonprofits, cost can be a barrier and, in some locations, indoor farms are an unnecessary expense. The learning curve can also be steep and most food banks rely on volunteer labor to handle maintenance and harvesting, often with training from the manufacturers of the vertical systems.

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November 24, 2017   Comments Off on Some Food Banks Are Using Vertical Farms

Canada: Kale Grown in Indoor Farm

Modular Farms president Aaron Spiro grows 68 kilograms of kale a week inside his mobile farm with infra red lights. (Vince Talotta / Toronto Star)

Modular Farms vertical hydroponics system will soon produce up to 68 kilograms of kale a week.

By Ainslie Cruickshank
Toronto Star
Nov. 6, 2017

Excerpt:

“They can start guaranteeing their customers that any kale on the menu was not only grown locally but was literally harvested less than half an hour before people are eating it, which is pretty amazing,” said Aaron Spiro, the president of Modular Farms.

Over the last four years the Brampton-based company has developed an indoor farming system housed in 40-foot containers made of insulated composite steel panels that they say can grow food in any climate.

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November 13, 2017   Comments Off on Canada: Kale Grown in Indoor Farm

Indoor farming feeding hundreds each day in Connecticut

“We can feed about 300 people per week…An 11-ounce container which is like that large container at Whole Foods,” Curry stated.

By Ann Nyberg-News Anchor
News 8
Nov 1, 2017

Excerpt:

Indoor farming is underway in the state of Connecticut thanks to a group of young entrepreneurs.

Trifecta Ecosystems Incorporated has just fully filled out its new downtown Meriden aquaponics facility with thousands of plants growing in about 12 inches of water vertically and on a flat surface.

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November 8, 2017   Comments Off on Indoor farming feeding hundreds each day in Connecticut

Saudi Arabia: ‘NEOM’ – $500 Billion Future Mega-City to Include Vertical Farms

It’ll be 33 times the size of New York City.

By Talia Avakian
Travel and Leisure
October 25, 2017

Excerpt:

Dubbed NEOM, the mega city will cover 26,500 square kilometers in total, spanning territory within Egypt and Jordan as well.

The city is set to be the world’s first independent economic zone, operating with its own laws, taxes, and regulations.

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November 2, 2017   Comments Off on Saudi Arabia: ‘NEOM’ – $500 Billion Future Mega-City to Include Vertical Farms

Houston’s Urban Container Farm Unfazed By Hurricane Harvey

Acre in A Box Farm.

While many Texas crops got flooded, one unconventional Houston farm was able to supply restaurants with fresh lettuce after Harvey

By Florian Martin
Houston Public Media
October 16, 2017

Excerpt:

Besides the convenience of having this more or less mobile farm in an urban setting, the concept proved useful during Harvey because the water didn’t get to it. So they were able to provide a restaurant that was open with fresh lettuce.

“We were the only salads on their menu that day,” Abendshein said. “And it was great because people, I think it was the first real day people could kind of get out, and we had fresh produce for everybody.”
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October 23, 2017   Comments Off on Houston’s Urban Container Farm Unfazed By Hurricane Harvey

The Netherlands: This Tiny Country Feeds the World

A sea of greenhouses surrounds a farmer’s home in the Westland region of the Netherlands. The Dutch have become world leaders in agricultural innovation, pioneering new paths to fight hunger. Click image to see larger file.

The Netherlands has become an agricultural giant by showing what the future of farming could look like.

By Frank Viviano
Photographs by Luca Locatelli
National Geographic
Sept 2017
(Must see photos. Mike)

Excerpt:

The Netherlands is a small, densely populated country, with more than 1,300 inhabitants per square mile. It’s bereft of almost every resource long thought to be necessary for large-scale agriculture. Yet it’s the globe’s number two exporter of food as measured by value, second only to the United States, which has 270 times its landmass. How on Earth have the Dutch done it?

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October 13, 2017   Comments Off on The Netherlands: This Tiny Country Feeds the World