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Thank you. However you came to be here and whatever you are taking time from to read this, thank you. I’ve had this website for a few months now and I’m really excited by how many people I’ve met through it and come to talk to.
I’m getting to know a lot of you so far, but I’ve realized most readers probably don’t know me, and I didn’t think that was very fair! I’m going to use this piece to help change that and give you a little teaser for what we have planned for the earlier part of 2015.
My name is Evan Bromfield (click, and connect with me on Linkedin. Let me know you’re coming from here!), and that’s my goofy picture up above. This website came out of my obsession with vertical farming that started with my senior thesis. I was studying international development with a focus on agriculture, vaguely hoping to get into the World Bank, IMF, or an NGO. If you’ve studied international relations theory, you can probably tell I read a lot of Keohane in school.
Vertical farming gave me something concrete to focus on, and as my thinking shifted away from top-down solutions to complex societal problems towards bottom-up ones, it gave me something to aspire to.
I see vertical farming as a solution to a number of ailments to our current food crisis, and there certainly is a crisis. I’ve been contacted by a non-profit called Foundation Earth to write a piece on just that, and I hope to see that go up next week.
Some people have asked me why I haven’t already done a general overview. There are two reasons. When I first started writing this website, I intended it to be for people already convinced vertical farming was a good idea. I thought that these people would be more interested in specific analysis like this and this than something more general. I still think that’s true, and I’ve already done interviews with several hot startups in the space that will continue that trend in the next few weeks. But I’ve been so surprised at the amount of push back, for various reasons, that this idea gets. I want to change that.
The other reason is that I hoped to publish an overview in a larger white paper that I would send out over my email list as opposed to just a quick one-off post. I’ve partnered with some colleagues to do it, but we’re still tweaking it to perfection.
But I think the time for a well-researched vision piece that strays away from the hyperbole of feeding 9 billion people lettuce has come.
Another thing that I want to mention is that I’m giving the content on my site away for free because I think it’s important. None of the interviews or farm analysis I do are paid for or sponsored. I believe that people interested in this field need a realistic scope of what they can achieve and where they can work to keep increasing the potential of vertical farming. I love doing it and I’m hearing back from people that it’s helping them too. Keep sharing on Facebook, Twitter, emails and liking/commenting on wordpress- I really appreciate it.
All that said, I wish I had a personal domain name! I was ready to do that but then my webhost service (1&1) wanted to charge me an arm and a leg extra to transfer my wordpress site to their servers because I wasn’t using Linnux (anybody know a way around this?). I’ll be working on a solution to that in the next few months.
Another thing I need is an email autoresponder! As I gear up for more of these high-quality giveaways like the VC pitch template, it would be nice to ensure that everyone who signs up to the mailing list gets those right away without having to email me separately. For example, if you find this article later and missed the first email linking to the template today but still want it, you’ll have to get in touch with me through my mailing list to access it.
On the other hand, a more hands on approach seems to encourage other people to talk to me. As always, if you want to get in touch, reply to the emails I send out to the list and add me to your contacts! Another really good way to reach me is on Twitter @proverticalfarm. I hope everyone does get in touch- let’s fix the food system!