Startup Profile: PodPonics Gives Rise to Sustainable Lettuce Enterprise In Used Shipping Containers

For Atlanta, GA-based startup, PodPonics, lettuce is everything. More than 12 chefs in the area have gone on record to say PodPonics’ greens are the best they’ve ever tasted, said Dan Backhaus, the company’s sales and marketing strategist.

“For them to get excited, you have to have pretty darn good lettuce,” he said.

PodPonics’ lettuce, by the way, is grown inside of used shipping containers that are converted into modular controlled-environment growth pods. The pods contain a proprietary growing system that combines hydroponics, advanced LED lighting, irrigation and nutrient technology with process control. Read more

Recirculating Farm Coalition Promotes Sustainable Agriculture & Aquaculture

The newly established Recirculating Farms Coalition (RFC) has launched a national campaign to promote the growing of local, fresh food and the creation of green jobs. The organization, which counts educators, farmers, chefs, non-profit groups and others among its members, seeks to achieve its objectives by focusing on the development of eco-friendly recirculating farms.

For reference, the organization defines a recirculating farm as one that uses clean recycled water, rather than soil, as a basis to grow food. These farms can grow plants (hydroponics), fish (aquaculture), or both plants and fish together (aquaponics). Read more

Startup Profile: Greenhouses in the Sky, Oh My

Creating something out of nothing. Isn’t that the magic of farming? Taking things that don’t seem to mean much by themselves – dirt and seeds and water – and creating sustenance. Lately, skyfarmers like those at Sky Vegetables are trying to do that with even less. They’re taking the soil and even some of the water out of the equation, and substituting in an underused resource – roofs. In doing so, they hope to create value, jobs and local produce where before there was nothing. Read more

Rooftop Farm Couples Science with Sustainability

Finding fresh, high-quality produce in Montreal is a challenge. The long and winding road that produce typically travels from farm to market in this city means that it must be harvested far before it’s ripe in order to survive long shipping distances. The downfalls of the current supply chain – heavy fuel use, food safety risks, and the lack of personal connection between farmer and consumer – inspired Mohamed Hage, president and founder of Lufa Farms, to develop a model urban farm that would provide local, sustainable food to city dwellers. Read more

Vertical Farming Startups Seek Profit by Bringing Sustainable Agriculture to Cities

It’s Vertical Farming day over at Seedstock and we’re celebrating with a digest that features stories on a number of vertical urban agriculture startups that have the potential to play an outsize role in furthering the goals of sustainable agriculture.  Enjoy your reads!

Rooftop Farm Couples Science with Sustainability

Finding fresh, high-quality produce in Montreal is a challenge. The long and winding road that produce typically travels from farm to market in this city means that it must be harvested far before it’s ripe in order to survive long shipping distances. The downfalls of the current supply chain – heavy fuel use, food safety risks, and the lack of personal connection between farmer and consumer – inspired Mohamed Hage, president and founder of Lufa Farms, to develop a model urban farm that would provide local, sustainable food to city dwellers.

Growing a Million Heads of Lettuce on a Pin

Vertical Agriculture System

To grow one million heads of lettuce using conventional agriculture methods in the US requires either 16 acres of land in the Northern states, 8 acres of land in the Southern states, or .9 acres in a traditional hydroponic greenhouse operation. Vancouver-based Valcent Products Inc. (OTCBB: VCTZF) claims that it can beat those numbers handily and produce the same amount of lettuce sustainably on just .16 acres with its patented hydroponic vertical growing system, VertiCrop™.

Home Town Organic Farm Goes Vertical in the City

Vertical Organic Urban Farming System

Dan Gibbs, CEO of San Diego, CA-based vertical organic farming startup Home Town Farms, doesn’t believe he’s introducing a new company, but an entire industry that will benefit consumers, the environment and the future of sustainable agriculture. “Urban farming isn’t new, vertical farming isn’t new, but vertical urban farming is new,” said Gibbs. To grow the vertical urban farming industry, Home Town Farms plans to build one-half to three-acre greenhouses on the rooftops, abandoned lots, and corners of urban areas in densely populated U.S. cities.

TerraSphere Systems: Sustainable Vertical Farming is a Reality 

Vertical Farm System

The idea for TerraSphere Systems’ vertical farming technology all started with a few marijuana plants. In fact, Nick Brusatore, Co-Founder and Inventor of TerraSphere Systems, began developing his unique hydroponic technology system for medical marijuana cultivation in Canada (Canada began offering medical marijuana to eligible patients in 2003). After working with their hydroponic technology for a while, Brusatore and his partner William Gildea began to think about population growth and quickly perceived the wider agricultural marketplace opportunities for their product to address future food shortages.

AeroFarms: Urban Agriculture Aeroponic Systems

AeroFarms systems do not require vast swaths of arable land to grow food.  They can be placed in refurbished industrial buildings and stacked vertically, one on top of another reaching up to 60 times the footprint in annual production. Seedstock recently spoke with Ed Harwood, CEO of AeroFarms, whose company has created an aeroponic growing system (a controlled environment agriculture system that grows produce without soil and without sun, all year round and in any location) with the potential to revolutionize and jumpstart the nascent urban agriculture movement and help to sustainably meet the food needs of a growing world.

Greenhouses in the Sky, Oh My

Creating something out of nothing. Isn’t that the magic of farming? Taking things that don’t seem to mean much by themselves – dirt and seeds and water – and creating sustenance. Lately, skyfarmers like those at Sky Vegetables are trying to do that with even less. They’re taking the soil and even some of the water out of the equation, and substituting in an underused resource – roofs. In doing so, they hope to create value, jobs and local produce where before there was nothing.

This post was originally published on Seedstock.com: http://seedstock.com/2011/08/12/seedstock-digest-vertical-farming-startups-sustainable-agriculture/

Startup Profile: Food and Innovation Grow on a Farm in a Window

A Windowfarms System in a Brooklyn Storefront - Source: Windowfarms

Source: Windowfarms

Windowfarms will not save the world. But even in the big picture, every little piece counts.

That’s the thinking of The Windowfarms Project founder Britta Riley, a technology designer with myriad interests ranging from product development to social media to agriculture. Riley, along with Rebecca Bray, started Windowfarms in February 2009 as a way to foster consumer involvement, collaboration and innovation in food production and the environmental movement.

What exactly is a windowfarm? At the most basic level, it’s a vertical hydroponics system; rather than growing in rows, in soil, outdoors, plants within the system grow in columns, in water, indoors – in a window to be exact. The nutrients crops would get from the soil are instead dissolved in water and delivered to the plants with the help of an air pump.

On a more profound level, windowfarms are a powerful tool for changing the way consumers relate to their food. Read more

Startup Profile: Home Town Organic Farm Goes Vertical in the City

Dan Gibbs, CEO of San Diego, CA-based vertical organic farming startup Home Town Farms, doesn’t believe he’s introducing a new company, but an entire industry that will benefit consumers, the environment and the future of sustainable agriculture.

“Urban farming isn’t new, vertical farming isn’t new, but vertical urban farming is new,” said Gibbs. Read more

Seedstock Digest: Hydroponic Greenhouses Atop Super Markets, An Aeroponic System in a Grade School Classroom, Rooftop Aquaponics and more!

It’s Urban ‘Ponic Wednesday at Seedstock and that means we are featuring articles that we wrote on urban agriculture startups that are making use of hydroponic, aeroponic and aquaponic systems. So check them out and get your ‘Ponic on! Read more

Startup Profile: Sustainable Agriculture: Coming Soon to A Supermarket Rooftop Near You!

brightfarms builds hydroponic greenhouses on supermarket rooftopsFrom the creators of the Science Barge, the floating hydroponic greenhouse project supporting sustainable food production and powered 100% by renewable energy, comes a new company that builds, designs, finances, and operates hydroponic greenhouse farms on supermarket rooftops. It’s called BrightFarms. By growing produce on site, the company enables grocery retailers to alter their produce supply chain in a way that improves the planet and their profits. Read more

Startup Profile: TerraSphere Systems: Sustainable Vertical Farming is a Reality

TerraSphere Systems Vertical FarmingThe idea for TerraSphere Systems’ vertical farming technology all started with a few marijuana plants.

In fact, Nick Brusatore, Co-Founder and Inventor of TerraSphere Systems, began developing his unique hydroponic technology system for medical marijuana cultivation in Canada (Canada began offering medical marijuana to eligible patients in 2003).

After working with their hydroponic technology for a while, Brusatore and his partner William Gildea began to think about population growth and quickly perceived the wider agricultural marketplace opportunities for their product to address future food shortages. Read more