Category: Urban agriculture

O’Hare airport’s new soil-less garden helps feed passengers

Read the full post at SmartPlanet.

Passengers at Chicago’s O’Hare airport might be traveling all across the world, but their food won’t travel far.

That’s because a new 928-square-foot, soil-less, aeroponic urban garden will provide produce for many of the airport’s restaurants, and an oasis for weary travelers.

City Hall Gets Behind Urban Agriculture in Flint, Michigan

Read the full post at Sustainablog.

As we noted in our series on urban agriculture in the United States, many in struggling cities see small scale food production on city lots as a way to provide both economic and social benefits to communities desperately in need of both. Over at SUNfiltered, though, I’ve taken a look at a couple of cases where unusual gardening got people in trouble – one Michigan woman was even threatened with jail time for her front-yard garden.

Yep, city codes are still catching up in many places (as is often the case). In Flint, Michigan, however, the city’s not merely staying out of the way; they’re actively supporting a growing urban farming movement within the city. Partnering with Michigan State University, Flint is in the process of developing “a strategic plan for urban agriculture… including improving inner-city access to fresh produce and identifying proper zoning policies for urban gardens.”

Gotham Greens Lifts Fresh Veggies to New Heights

Read the full story in Environmental Protection.

Nestled between towering skyscrapers and the Brooklyn Bridge, rests a vegetative oasis ripe for the picking.

Gotham Greens, a hydroponics greenhouse facility, sits on a warehouse rooftop and brings new meaning to the phrase “locally grown” – especially atop a 15,000-square-foot manufacturing building in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Founded by Viraj Puri and Eric Haley in 2008, Gotham Greens has been fully operational since June 2011. Because of its rooftop positioning and location, the “farm in the sky” can harvest 365 days a year.

New Company Brings Produce From the Roof to the Supermarket Aisle

Read the full story at Good.

Growing produce on your roof is a productive way to take advantage of the space, but is it possible to make it commercially viable on a larger scale? A new company’s business model may show the way. New York-based BrightFarms, which builds rooftop greenhouses, hopes to turn a profit while cutting shoppers’ “food miles” down to zero by growing vegetables where people buy them: the supermarket.

How Would You Make Our Food System More Awesome?

Read the full post at Good.

Our current food system is decidedly not awesome: it subsidizes food that makes us sick and makes it difficult to get ahold of anything fresh. But a micro-grant foundation, called Awesome Food, that launched last week is trying to make it better. Starting next month, it intends to give out $1,000 per month to “further food awesomeness in the universe.” If you get your application in by August 5, you could be the winner of the first round of money.

Turning a Rooftop Garden into a Supermarket’s Supply Chain

Read the full story at GreenerDesign.

The bagged organic baby mixed greens on sale in my local Whole Foods Market in Bethesda, MD, are not very “green” at all. To grow the lettuce, vast amounts of water must be moved from the Colorado River to California, the most hydrologically altered landmass on the planet. The lettuce is picked, packaged, washed and shipped in refrigerated trucks (because it’s perishable) roughly 2,800 miles across America. The cost? $3.99. If you believe, as I do, that the demand for water and oil are going to grow, this five oz. bag of greens will only get more expensive.

There ought to be a better way of getting lettuce into the hands of supermarket shoppers.

Paul Lightfoot, the chief executive of BrightFarms, a New York City-based startup, thinks he has found one: His company is planning to design, build, finance and operate hydroponic greenhouse farms on supermarket rooftops, eliminating time, distance and cost from the food supply chain.

Spiral growing tubes enable farming in small spaces

Read the full post at Springwise.

Gardening in bottle caps is a fun concept that’s well-suited to urban settings, but consumers interested in growing more substantial crops might be better off with Whirligro instead. Targeting those with limited growing space, Whirligro uses spiral-shaped tubes to elevate food crops off the ground and enable greater production.

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