AeroFarms Wins Circular Economy Honor

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A single tree blossoms thousands of times, part of a beautiful biology that continues the species. Yet, of those thousands of blossoms, we do not consider those that do not become another tree wasteful. Instead, they are beautiful, and useful. Those that don’t lead to another tree start to decompose and begin a cycle of nourishment where the biological building blocks of the blossom are fed back into the parent tree. The circle of life.

This illustration is used repeatedly in Cradle to Cradle by William McDonough and Michael Braungart, a book that describes in a growing wave of persuasion the need for what’s known as a circular economy.

Vertical farming strives towards this type of system, and one farm in particular has been recognized for embodying this ideology. Many of you know AeroFarms for recently raising millions in funding to build the worlds largest vertical aeroponic farm in Newark. AeroFarms is a finalist for the World Economic Forum (WEF) Ecolab Award for Circular Economy Enterprise. Whether or not they win the award, this is an honor for sure.

AeroFarms Circular Economy
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The First Certified Aquaponics Farm In Chicago: Does It Get Vertical?

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Going back through materials you saved over the past year is a bit of a New Year’s chore. But sometimes, you strike gold. Here is a great news story on Chicago’s first certified aquaponics producer.

Some things to note:

  • This project was associated with The Plant, an operation the Urban Vertical Project loves to cover.
  • Greens and Gills was taking advantage of all available space in their operation by growing on multiple levels – hinting at the potential coming fusion of aquaponics and vertical farming.
  • It took 2 whole years of research and $150,000 to get the project underway.
  • The business has since been put up for sale. While we have seen aquaponics work extremely well on a small scale and the sustainability potential for growing like this is huge, it does seem to reinforce the hypothesis that commercial aquaponic farms aren’t quite ready. They seem to last for even less time than commercial vertical hydroponic/aeroponic operations. That being said, if you know of a few large commercial aquaponics producers that have been around for more than 3 years, let me know in the comments!

Interview With Sky Greens Vertical Farmer Jack Ng

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I saved this interview with Jack Ng, the innovative engineer behind Sky Greens, now Sky Urban Solutions, awhile ago and figured it would be good to share. This is an insightful look into one of the leaders of the vertical farming and plant factory movement and is a great follow up from one of this website’s cornerstone pieces: The First Vertical Farm Showdown: Why You Need to Know What’s Happening in Singapore.

Check out the full article in the Singapore Times hereJack Ng in his vertical farm