Over the last few months, we’ve been experimenting with a menagerie of indoor food-growing systems at our office: a vertical garden, a hydroponic system and an aquaponic system. While the versions we’ve installed won’t revolutionize the local food landscape in our neighborhood, if scaled up, these alternative growing methods have the potential to help urban areas meet the growing demand for food. We wanted to get hands-on with a few of these methods to learn more and to provide a showcase of what’s possible. Here’s how we did…
This month, Sustainable America will welcome the arrival of its new Omega Garden, an innovative rotary hydroponic system, which will serve as one of three indoor, urban agriculture demonstration units showcased in our new Stamford office. Its innovative design gets up to 3.5 times more in harvest per plant, without chemical fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides. Now that’s impressive.
At Sustainable America, we are focused on ways to double or triple the amount of local food produced on urban farms and in what are known as “controlled environment agriculture” efforts, which include hydroponics, aquaponics and, more recently, aeroponics. We see lots of opportunities to develop the market for CEA systems in the thousands of abandoned factory buildings, warehouses, shopping malls and school buildings across the country.
The urban farming movement is going strong, with organizers worldwide working to bring food production into urban areas. Urban food production improves city dwellers’ access to fresh food, promotes food justice, and reduces transportation costs. Check out three up-and-coming urban farming projects tailor-made to suit the needs of their communities.
Colin Archipley, a decorated Marine Sargent and Iraq War vet, and his wife Karen, own a successful organic hydroponic greenhouse operation in California. Troubled by the plight of veterans and returning servicemen and servicewomen, they formed the Veterans Sustainable Agriculture Training (VSAT) program. The program provides vets and their spouses with an entrepreneurial training program in sustainable agriculture.