Tag Archives: hydroponics

Adventures in Indoor Growing

lettuce, basil and chives

A portion of our first harvest: lettuce, two varieties of basil and chives!

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…

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The ‘Omega Garden’ Takes Hydroponics for a Spin

The Omega Garden provides 6 square feet of growing space yet takes up only 2 X 3.5 feet of space.

The Omega Garden provides 20 square feet of growing space yet takes up only 2 X 3.5 feet of space.

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.

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Reviving Neighborhoods with Aquaponics


Photo Credit: OrganicNation via Compfight cc

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.

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3 New Urban Farm Projects To Watch

Photo courtesy Growing Local NOLA

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.

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From The Battlefield to The Farm

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.

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By the Numbers

Currently 50 million households suffer from food insecurity, meaning that family members cannot always meet their basic food needs.

10 million people a year could be fed through the recovery of just one-fifth of food waste.

Only 2% of food waste is composted or otherwise recycled—62% of paper is recycled.

Consumers throw out about 40% of the fresh and frozen fish they buy.

The U.S. produced 208 pounds of meat per person in 2009—60% more than Europe.

Low income commuters spend a much higher proportion of their wages on gas—8.6% versus 2.1% at $4 per gallon.

Food prices rose 35-40 percentage points between 2002–2008.

Americans consume 25% of the world’s produced oil, but our nation holds less than 3% of the world’s proven oil reserves.

The International Energy Agency says greenhouse gas emissions rose 3.2% last year, with a 9.3% increase in China offsetting declines in the US and EU.

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