I spend a lot of time looking at Google data to see specifically what people are interested in for vertical farming. Resoundingly, it’s how to do it and how much it costs. But unfortunately, asking any professional in the field right now those questions is like pulling teeth. No one wants to talk, no one wants to answer them.
To be fair, part of that is because they’re extremely hard questions. I know because I’ve been asked them. Often people write vague emails with just a rough sketch of an idea in mind and expect me to do all the legwork for them. However, because each situation for a farm is so different (where are you doing it? what kind of space do you have access to? who are you selling to? etc.), it becomes impossible to answer.
People are of course resoundingly polite and friendly about it, but it feels like you never walk away with enough information. I want to change that. While I already made this announcement on my email list (if you haven’t signed up already, check it out – there’s more early access announcements and even more content you’ll get there than what’s on the site), I want to put it out here as well.
I finally finished a deal on a space to start my own commercial hydroponics farm.
Staying busy with a lot of side projects (you’ll hear about them soon) but I came across this cool song by Plant Based Records’ DJ Cavem talking about, among other things, the importance of community involvement in agriculture. Part of the music video is set in a slick hydroponic greenhouse so check it out and let me know what you think.
“Cocaine doesn’t grow in my community but kale does”
Why aren’t there rice paddies lining the walk to your conference room? Why don’t you have lemon trees instead of cubicle walls? Where are your tomato plants!? The Japanese staffing company Pasona has all this and more and is one of the best examples of building integrated agriculture. Click continue reading below to find out:
What is building integrated agriculture and why it’s the the coolest part about vertical farming
What Pasona harvests and how
The health benefits for the employees of an agriculturally integrated office
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With over 100 years of farming experience, when the Villari family decides to take us behind the curtain of their hydroponic business, you know it’s bound to be good.
Their success started with a 16 year old boy’s 75 mile walk in 1910. Sal Villari had just come from Italy with just a few words of English and enough money to buy cattle in Lancaster Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, the only place he could market his cattle was in Philadelphia and the only way he could get there was on foot. Since then the Villari farm has grown; from traditional Lancaster pasture land to a quintessential Italian vinyard, the fourth generation of Villaris are now making a splash (ha!) in hydroponics.
In this interview and case study:
Regina and Joe Villari take us through their business and answer some of the most common questions the Urban Vertical Project gets about hydroponic farming.
I summarize their data and compare it with some of the other operations we’ve looked at in order to give you the most information and context possible to plan your own endeavor.
I examine the cost/ sq foot of a ground-level hydroponic greenhouse and compare that with a rooftop vertical farm.
We also look at a really effective marketing technique Regina and Joe are using that just might blow the lid off of the organic label.