A Farmer’s Guide To Owning Your Farm

This is a special guest post by Nick Burton, founder of State of the Soil Media. To keep getting great content from guests like him, make sure you check out our vertical farming newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will also be getting a steep discount code to Nick’s State of the Soil Virtual Summit.

In this post, Nick walks you through how to own your farm and not let your farm own you. He shares things like what employees to hire first and creating a good environment for them. My favorite part is where he shares the actual checklist he uses to operate (a six figure business) systematically, allowing him to accomplish more. Here’s Nick –

A Farmer's Guide to Owning Your Farm

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5 Best Farming Quotes From The Martian

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Last week’s post about farming in space was such a hit, I decided to follow up on it here. If you haven’t seen it yet, The Martian follows astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) after he ends up stranded on Mars. Running out of food, but needing to survive for more than a year in a temporary habitat that’s not designed to last more than a month, he has to get creative.
My asshole is doing as much to keep me alive as my brain.

[spoilers] As much good this did for getting people excited about space again, I think it’s important to remember that what helps Watney more than anything is his ability to grow food creatively. He uses his own waste to fertilize his potato clones and creates water out of thin air. So, at the risk of seeming too much like Buzzfeed, click through the gallery below, get inspired, then go get vertical!

Bonus! This little bit of dialog was too good to leave out:
“[11:52] WATNEY: The crops are potatoes, grown from the ones we were supposed to prepare on Thanksgiving. They’re doing great, but the available farmland isn’t enough for sustainability. I’ll run out of food around Sol 900. Also: Tell the crew I’m alive! What the fuck is wrong with you?
[12:04] Jet Propulsion Lab: We’ll get botanists in to ask detailed questions and double-check your work. Your life is at stake, so we want to be sure. Sol 900 is great news. It’ll give us a lot more time to get the supply mission together. Also, please watch your language. Everything you type is being broadcast live all over the world.
[12:15] WATNEY: Look! A pair of boobs! -> (.Y.)”

Top 5 Required Readings For Vertical Farming

I’ve compiled a list of the top 5 required readings and resources for anyone serious about vertical farming.

1. The Vertical Farm: Feeding the World in the 21st Century: Despommier is considered the father of vertical farming and this is the book that got so many people started in this movement. You’ll fantasize about skyscrapers feeding cities and find all the crucial sources you need for further research.

2.  The MIT CityFARM: MIT is pushing the boundaries of research in controlled environment agriculture.  My favorite part about this project is that not only are they working to push the technology to its limits, they have embraced the open source collaborative nature that will come to define the next greatest innovations in technology.  Explore their website and follow them on Twitter for up-to-date information on the cutting edge research that propels real innovation.

3.  Agritecture: Agritecture curates the most relevant news in the vertical farming and building integrated agriculture industry.  I’ve even been featured on their site here and here.  Agritecture includes the latest news from all corners of the industry combined with compelling analysis that goes beyond what most major news sources cover.  They are also one of the most active members in the Association For Vertical Farming.

4.  The Building Integrated Agriculture Linkedin Group: This group is home to compelling discussion and debate about all facets of BIA.  A read through the different conversations reminds us of all the priorities and passions that shape a new technology: from environmental sustainability to robotic systems, this group touches on everything while at the same fostering real connections.
LinkedIn Group

5.  Pro Vertical Farm: I couldn’t leave our own site off the list!  We would like to think that our project’s emphasis on thorough analysis is different than any other resource.  Whether we are diving deep into LED lighting issues or combining years of media coverage for in-depth case studies, we’re proud of the work we’ve done so far with the Urban Vertical Project and the Pro Vertical Farm Blog and Twitter page.  And we are proud that you decide to read us.  Many thanks from Evan and the Urban Vertical Project Team.

Don’t see your favorite resource here?  Sign up for our mailing list and reply to the emails with your ideas.  I check every single one and would love to hear from you.  You can get in touch with me on twitter as well @proverticalfarm.

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