27 August 2008

the techie perspective on urban farming

It seems to be on everyone's radar -- I'm talkin' 'bout urban farming. It's not just for citybillies. Even techies want their veggies homegrown, off the CO2-spewing agricultural grid, so to speak. Here's the cool tech perspective from Wired:

Innovations from NASA and garage tinkerers have made food-growing radically more efficient and compact than the victory gardens of yore. "Aeroponics" planters grow vegetables using mist, slashing water requirements; hackers are building home-suitable "aquaponics" rigs that use fish to create a cradle-to-grave ecosystem, generating its own fertilizer (and delicious tilapia, too). Experts have found that cultivating a mere half-acre of urban land with such techniques can yield more than $50,000 worth of crops annually.
Read the full article here.

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roxsen said...

What is helping to spur the urban farming industry is a franchise-ready, sub-acre farming system called SPIN-Farming. SPIN makes it possible to earn $50,000+ from a half-acre. SPIN's growing techniques are not, in themselves, breakthrough. What is novel is the way a SPIN farm business is run. SPIN provides everything you'd expect from a good franchise: a business plan, marketing advice, and a detailed day-to-day workflow. In standardizing the system and creating a reproducible process it really isn't any different from McDonalds. By offering a non-technical, easy-to-understand and inexpensive-to-implement farming system, it allows many more people to farm commercially, wherever they live, as long as there are nearby markets to support them. By using backyards and front lawns and neighborhood lots as their land base, SPIN farmers are recasting farming as a small business in a city or town and helping to accelerate the shift back to a more locally-based food system. SPIN is now starting to be practiced throughout the U.S.,Canada, UK, Australia, Ireland and the Netherlands, and you can see some of these entrepreneurial farmers in action at www.spinfarming.com

Liz said...

I love that many small urban farms can contribute to a greater food system, rather than one large farm system contributing to many small regions.

Thanks for the info. I will definitely check out the site.