If the Square Roots campus of 10 farms is successful, Musk says the team will build more farms within New York City and eventually expand to other US cities.
By Leanna Garfield
Aug 23, 2016
Entrepreneur Kimbal Musk — yes, he’s Elon Musk’s younger brother — is trying to grow a variety of things inside the old Pfizer factory in Brooklyn. Among them: a new agricultural venture, hundreds of pounds of leafy greens, and the next generation of young farmers.
Starting fall 2016, he and fellow entrepreneur Tobias Peggs are planning to launch a new urban farming incubator program, called Square Roots. Musk tells Business Insider that it will give young food-tech entrepreneurs spaces to develop and accelerate their vertical farming startups.
Musk and Peggs will create vertical farms inside 10 steel, 320-square-foot shipping containers — all of which will be housed in the old Pfizer building. vertical_farm_2 Square Roots
The containers will contain rows of organic greens and herbs, and each mini-farm will be managed by a young millennial entrepreneur who’s interested in vertical farming.
“These are people who are likely just starting their entrepreneurial journey,” Peggs says. “They will get hands-on experience running a vertical farming business with us — but we’re here to help them become future leaders in food, wherever that journey leads.”
City of Portland’s ‘Food’ specialist Steve Cohen who gave them a tour of thriving urban agriculture ventures and community gardens around the City.
By Chef Arthur Gordon and Anya
Aug 16, 2016
The Ariadne Garden is a double lot located in the heart of NE Portland. Established in 1993, it is now managed by the Oregon Sustainable Agriculture Land Trust. Some of the Portland Ariadne birds eye view healthiest soil in Portland is found here, nurturing the most delicious food available. Ariadne is a self-sustaining retailer, selling its own flowers (peonies, roses, yarrow, lilies, gladiola, zinnias) and produce (tomatoes and starts, lettuces, escaroles, mustards, kales, beans, squash, raspberries, etc.) to those who visit its onsite produce stand.
Operated by volunteers – from the neighborhood and the city at large – each person contributes their skills and passions. The Ariadne is a site of research, teaching, sharing, and discussion: learning, building community and eating well.
At the Cully N Portland Cully Eggplant Neighborhood Farm in North East Portland, the Gordons’ met Matt Gordon who has operated this one acre urban farm sustainably since 2010. That day they also met Josh Volk who was helping out. Josh is an acclaimed small farms advocate, who is writing a book on Urban Agriculture. This farm exists with its partnership to a Lutheran Church, on whose land they farm. Matt and Josh affirm that growing healthy vegetables and fruits in a healthy soil ecosystem creates neighborhood-level sustainability and self reliance. These are some more benefits of urban agriculture.
Urban agriculture makes use of human aptitude rather than machinery and develops skills that can be applied to other industries in the long run, says the writer.
By Pierre Heistein
Aug 16, 2016
Pierre Heistein is the instructor of UCT’s applied economics for smart decision making course.
Initially the provincial programme will help households to bolster their income and diversify their dinner table. But thereafter the number of small farming operations will conglomerate into a larger economic system. Resellers and wholesalers will appear, possibly co-ordinating the production of small farmers and collectively marketing and selling their produce. The economy will grow from the bottom.
Urban agriculture is not a replacement for traditional farming; it is a complement. Traditional, large-scale farming is necessary – at least at the moment – to ensure a steady supply of high quality food at an affordable price. Harvests, such as wheat, are not economical in backyard lots.
But in a country where hands are idle, mouths are hungry, skills are lacking and prices are volatile, decentralised, labour-intensive food production is a brilliant support system to the economy. The Western Cape’s minister in charge of agriculture, Alan Winde, and his team should be congratulated for this initiative.
Whole Farm Business Plan Challenge by Appalachian Sustainable Development (ASD)Are you or anyone you know interested in writing a business plan for your farm? I know, business plan writing isn’t the most exciting farm task, but a vital chore if you desire a successful enterprise. Appalachian Sustainable Development (ASD) is hosting a Whole Farm Business Plan Challenge beginning September 29th. The Whole Farm Business Plan Challenge is an opportunity to win award money for your business plan whether you have one already written or will write one by November 10. There will be a series of six webinars on topics like: forms of incorporation, financial assessment, and basic accounting. At the end of the webinar series, people who submit a whole farm business plan will be entered to win three cash prizes to support their farm businesses. ASD is a partner of the Virginia Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition Program (VBFRCP) which is coordinated by VA Tech. The Beginning Farmers and Rancher Coalition will be providing the webinar format so that farmers throughout the region can access these trainings from their own place without having to travel. All of the webinars will be held on Thursdays from 12 noon to 1 pm on September 29, October 6, 13, 20, November 3, and 10. The webinars will offer expert advice from people like Andrew Branan of Branan Law Firm, PLLC in Hilsborough, NC. Mr. Branan will be giving the webinar on Forms of Incorporation. You can find some resources on their website at http://www.brananlaw.com/workbooks-and-workshops/ The award money for the first chosen whole farm business plan is $400, second is $200, and third is $100. Attendance at all six webinars is required in order to be eligible for the prize money. The guidelines of the challenge and the scoring chart that will be used to select the winners can be found atasdevelop.org/sustainable-agriculture Past webinars provided by Virginia Tech that might also be helpful can be found at: http://vabeginningfarmer.alce.vt.edu/webinar/Archive.html Of particular interest might be the webinar on enterprise analysis, but there are many others there that would also be useful. We are in a time when the age of farmers is increasing, the size of farms are increasing, and the number of farms is decreasing. The demand for locally grown food is increasing and we need more entrepreneurs with smart business plans. We hope the prize money is enough of an incentive for people to put their farm business ideas on paper. Having a living document provides you with a roadmap to drive your business to success. All farmers, ranchers, and gardeners in southwest Virginia and northeast Tennessee are eligible to participate in the Challenge. One-on-one technical assistance is also available for those who would like extra support. To register for the Whole Farm Business Plan Challenge, please contact Tamara at email@example.com or (276) 623-1121.