“Food Loves Tech” Event Brooklyn, NYC November 3rd and 4th

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On November 3rd, I ventured to New York City to join the panel discussion, “Can indoor agriculture help us produce more food, more sustainably?”  This was the lead-off panel, opening the “Food Loves Tech” expo at Industrial City, Brooklyn, NY.

Urban food production and distribution clearly was a topic that was on everyone’s minds, as the room filled to near capacity with eager audience members.  Moderated by Editor in Chief of “Edible Manhattan” Magazine, Brian Halweil, the panel featured Andrew Carter, founder of Smallhold, Jason Green, CEO of Edenworks, Marc Oshima, Chief Marketing Officer of Aerofarms, Tobias Peggs, CEO of Square Roots, Allison Kopf, CEO of Agrilyst, and myself, Joe Swartz, VP of AmHydro.  The 6 of us each spoke briefly about our respective companies, and then settled in for a robust discussion about Indoor Agriculture and audience Q & A.

While many indoor agriculture discussions tend to center around “new” or “flashy” technologies, moderator Brian Halweil instead focused the discussion on more practical approaches and how both newer and older, time-tested technologies are being implemented to successfully overcome some of the urban food production challenges that exist today.   Each panelist spoke of how their particular companies are providing systems or technologies that increase production efficiencies, offer new ag employment opportunities, or increase the availability of fresh, local food.  While some offered differing opinions, in most cases all panelists agreed on the needs of the community and the various vehicles in which those needs could be met.

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6 Steps to Help You Prepare Your Greenhouse & Hydroponic Operation for the Winter Season

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The late Fall and Winter growing season is upon us and if you haven’t already, it’s time to take some steps to keep your greenhouse running at peak capacity.  Undoubtedly, one of the most challenging times for growers in the North is the period of progressively shortening days, lower light levels and falling temperatures, so everything that we can do to minimize this season’s effects can keep your bottom line as healthy as possible.  

Best practices of “winterization” should include maintenance of your structure and systems but also include modification of your crop production practices and schedules.  

GREENHOUSE WINTERIZATION CHECKLIST:

  1. Inspect, service and test all heating systems.  This includes secondary ventilation systems as well as environmental controllers.  Be sure that your fuel is clean and well stocked.  All heat exchangers, motors, pulleys, etc should be inspected and repaired/replaced if necessary.  Backup heat source(s) should be considered mandatory.


  1. Examine and secure greenhouse glazing/cover. Be sure that glazing material (double poly, poly carbonate, glass, etc) is properly secured and flashed.  A simple hole in the poly, loose glass, or detached polycarbonate will be a constant source of heat loss, resulting in lost revenue and potential damage to your structure.  
  1. Repair or replace flashing around doors, vents, and shutters.  Not only will improper/damaged flashing and weather-stripping cause heat loss, but is also a common access point for mice, rats, and other rodents.

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A NEW and INNOVATIVE farming model- to revolutionize food production/distribution as we know it!

A New and Innovative Farming Model to Revolutionize Food Production & Distribution As We Know It!

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“Total world population reached 7 billion just after 2010 and is expected to count 9 billion by 2045.”

– National Institute of Health

“Unsustainable agricultural and aquaculture practices present the greatest immediate threat to species and ecosystems around the world.”

– World Wildlife Federation

We’ve all heard the alarm.

As the human population continues to rise, so does the concern about how we are going to feed ourselves. In agricultural industries, the push is on to produce more and more food with the limited space that we have. The environmental impact our food system – from producing, packaging and distributing our food – is on everyone’s mind as of late. People have a genuine concern about how our current agricultural model impacts our planet. Recent substantial investments into indoor vertical farming technologies show just how serious people are about tackling this issue.

The big question is: what do we do about it?

 

“SoftBank Invests in Largest Ever Agtech Deal, a $200m Series B for Indoor Ag Startup.”

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hydroponic farming

Throwback Thursday – Nutrient Recirculation Pt. 3

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As we’ve learned in part 1 and part 2, in order to grow successfully in a hydroponic system, there are certain basics that always need to be kept in check: otherwise, plant performance inevitably suffers. After covering source water, nutrient and pH, world-renowned hydroponics expert Michael Christan breaks down the final ingredients of a healthy indoor growing environment: oxygen, light, temperature, humidity, air circulation, and CO2.

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