Vertical Farm - Food Factory
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Eleven food trends that could stick in 2014

Eleven food trends that could stick in 2014 | Vertical Farm - Food Factory | Scoop.it
Last year was filled with cronuts, cupcakes, pretzel rolls and Sriracha. Local sourcing was huge. And kale was everywhere. But, what will 2014 hold?

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Vertical Farm - Food Factory
Vertical Farming, Urban Agriculture and various topics of interest ...
Curated by Alan Yoshioka
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Antarctica is getting a farm that can grow produce even when it's -100 degrees Fahrenheit outside — take a look

Antarctica is getting a farm that can grow produce even when it's -100 degrees Fahrenheit outside — take a look | Vertical Farm - Food Factory | Scoop.it
The Eden-ISS relies on a technique called vertical farming, in which food grows on trays or hanging modules under LEDs instead of natural sunlight.
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America’s First Meat-Free Fast-Food Restaurant Is Getting Ready To Expand

America’s First Meat-Free Fast-Food Restaurant Is Getting Ready To Expand | Vertical Farm - Food Factory | Scoop.it
Launched two years ago in a small town in Northern California, Amy’s Drive Thru has been a runaway success–much to the surprise of the owners, who now hope to take it nationwide.
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The future of farming is here and it is happening in Lakewood

The future of farming is here and it is happening in Lakewood | Vertical Farm - Food Factory | Scoop.it
Infinite Harvest, a vertical farming company in Lakewood, can grow enough vegetables to feed roughly 2 percent of the city's population, founder Tommy Romano says.
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Exotic Methi Microgreens

Exotic Methi Microgreens | Vertical Farm - Food Factory | Scoop.it
Methi or Fenugreek seeds have long been a staple of Indian cuisine. Methi has an incredibly interesting aroma, our first impression was the first smell you get when creating pancakes fo
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Meet Farmlab.One, The Latest Indoor Farming Experiment From Germany’s Largest Retailer

Meet Farmlab.One, The Latest Indoor Farming Experiment From Germany’s Largest Retailer | Vertical Farm - Food Factory | Scoop.it
While we haven't arrived at a future where every corner grocery has an in-store farming system with rows and rows of produce, it isn't for lack of trying. This is especially true for METRO Group, Germany's largest retailer, who has been experimenting with in-store farming since early 2016. That's when the retailer launched Kräuter Garten…
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Taking a lean approach to vertical farming

Taking a lean approach to vertical farming | Vertical Farm - Food Factory | Scoop.it
Originally published in Issue 9 Dan Albert, owner of Farmbox Greens, made the decision to start slow and expand his vertical farm system on his own terms rather than seeking outside investor capita…
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PIDO's Bike Share Farm is a community garden that can be pedalled from place to place

PIDO's Bike Share Farm is a community garden that can be pedalled from place to place | Vertical Farm - Food Factory | Scoop.it
Beijing architects People's Industrial Design Office has designed a mobile farm that lets the community share responsibility for crops' wellbeing.
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Vertical farming is revolutionizing how food is grown in America

Vertical farming is revolutionizing how food is grown in America | Vertical Farm - Food Factory | Scoop.it
A warehouse in New Jersey is using technology to enhance how crops are grown in a world facing overpopulation. In this week’s Sunday Spotlight, NBC’s Morgan Radford discovers how seasons don’t matter and flavors are controlled in this evolving industry.
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Mr Mac's curator insight, August 2, 6:47 PM
Unit 5 - Commercial Agriculture, Sustainability
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Scientists Are Planning A Floating City Where They Can Conduct Research Unregulated

Scientists Are Planning A Floating City Where They Can Conduct Research Unregulated | Vertical Farm - Food Factory | Scoop.it
In the hopes of rising above the laws and regulations of terrestrial nations, a group of Silicon Valley millionaires has bold plans to build a floating tec
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Greenhouses in the Arctic Will Reduce Food Insecurity in Canada's North

Greenhouses in the Arctic Will Reduce Food Insecurity in Canada's North | Vertical Farm - Food Factory | Scoop.it
Greenhouses grow food at a fraction of what it would normally cost.
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The future of local farming: Balancing technology and nature

The future of local farming: Balancing technology and nature | Vertical Farm - Food Factory | Scoop.it
SINGAPORE: Imagine a future where all of Singapore’s vegetables are grown in a completely controlled environment, and where every stage of a plant's growth can be calibrated - from its soil composition to the amount of air and light it gets.

Such farm factories are fast becoming a reality indoors, located in warehouses and industrial buildings.

Hothousing them in this way allows for a faster and smarter way of growing greens, thanks to agrotechnology - such as the use of artificial LED light, computer-controlled watering and fertilising, and genome editing of crops. At the same time, such vertical farms have a smaller physical and energy footprint.

There has been rising interest around the world in indoor farms, said Associate Professor Sanjay Swarup from the Department of Biological Science at the National University of Singapore. "Not only (are we seeing) large-scale production which is under controlled conditions, but it is also now comparable to what people can get from outdoor cultivation."

Currently, there are around 200 food farms in Singapore producing fish, eggs and vegetables - 15 of which are indoor farms.

PRODUCTIVITY THE NEW BUZZWORD

With erratic weather patterns arising from global warming, an increasing population and Singapore's heavy reliance on imported food, productivity is an oft-repeated buzzword in the local farming industry.

On Mar 7, the Government unveiled its Farm Transformation Map, with innovation and the use of technology seen as key means to boosting farm yields.

Likewise, productivity-related criteria were included in the tender assessment for new farm plots in Lim Chu Kang and Sungei Tengah, with farmers to tender for plots starting in August.

In an exclusive interview with Channel NewsAsia, Senior Minister of State for National Development Koh Poh Koon stressed the importance of the farming industry in contributing to Singapore's food security: "As opposed to many different industries, our local food farms have an important national duty to ensure that Singapore has some supply resilience.

"Therefore, we want to encourage our farms to adopt technology that make them more productive - increase their yield, decrease their loss, so that in times of need, we know we can be self-sufficient to some extent," Dr Koh said.

LOSING TOUCH WITH THE NATURAL WORLD?

But as technology sinks ever deeper roots in Singapore’s urban jungle, some in the industry say that its overemphasis may root out the rustic nature of farming and, for younger generations, a loss of knowledge of where our food comes from.

While older folks can recall childhood memories of chickens and cows roaming in their kampung, many children today only have the experience of seeing animals up close at the zoo or during farm tours.




It is that disconnect that has made second-generation farmer Chelsea Wan worried for her 21-month-old son.

"We shouldn’t be too engrossed about farms having to go high tech," said the director of Jurong Frog Farm. "Being a parent myself now, I hope my child will get to see both sides of the industry, the different ends of the spectrum - from the high-tech farm to the productive conventional ones.

"If children have to visit factories in future to see how animals and plants are grown, they really might lose their concept of how soil-based vegetables are important, how the environment really does affect the farming community, how climate change plays an important role as well," said Ms Wan.

"They might lose all that, to think that everything can be controlled and manipulated. So that might not be such a good thing for young children."




Care should be taken when adopting any new technology, Assoc Prof Sanjay said.

"As we're getting away from less sterile outdoor conditions to indoor conditions, there will be a reduced load of bugs - or microbes - so that might or might not be good in the long run, because microbial exposure from the air and water and all around us help to improve our immunity as we grow up … So we still have to see the long-term effects of that."

EXPERIMENTING WITH THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS

But some say that the value of traditional farming and of "farm factories" may not be a meaningful or accurate distinction.

"I think a lot of times when we talk about technology, the image that comes to mind is that of gizmo and gadgetry, expensive investment in machinery," said Dr Koh. "But technology means that we need to use something that is more related to science, and also have something that helps to reduce wastage and increase your yield.

"Farming technology spans a whole different spectrum - from simple things like automatic irrigation to putting in simple sensors which tell you the temperature," said Dr Koh. "These are actually simple technologies that existing farmers on the soil are actually using. So I do not think that it is beyond the reach of most of our land-based farmers."

President of the Kranji Countryside Association Kenny Eng agreed: "Innovation does not just equate to high tech. Innovation can be innovation in your production, concepts, being creative in your product range as well.

"Farming agriculture for that matter is not just production - there’s heritage, culture and education. These intangible assets are very critical for nation building in Singapore. Knowing where your food comes from is something that every parent hopes every child (will) know."

One such conventional soil-based farm attempting to incorporate both production and education is Kok Fah Technology Farm. Not only does the vegetable farm hold a weekly farmer's market and tours for the public, it has also adopted new machinery with the help of government funding. Such technology has helped to improve its yields by around 20 per cent - up to 120 tonnes of vegetables a month.




"We realised that manpower is getting more and more difficult to hire and it's getting more expensive," said its business development manager Dave Huang. "At the same time, the Government is giving out grants to offset all the machinery that you buy for the company. So that’s why we decided to adopt technology."

Since then, Mr Huang said that the farm has seen "better consistency" in its output, with the technology providing more consistent irrigation to its crops.

More young urban farmers are also exploring how to harmonise both the hardware and "heartware" of farming - such as Citizen Farm, a first-of-its-kind closed loop urban farming system.




The 8,000-sq-m farm, located in Queenstown, makes use of insect farming to turn food waste into fertiliser, which is then supplied to its food crops.

"We incorporate natural elements in the modern technology we use today," said its head farmer Darren Ho. "We looked around in the cities and we realised what is in abundance is food waste. We use insect farming to turn this food waste into fertiliser, which is then transferred onto our growing systems, which then produces high-quality food. And then it goes back into our consumers which then generates food waste again.

"So this is part of this circular economy approach, as opposed to a linear approach, whereby you put inputs and expect outputs."

The farm grows its greens - such as microgreens, lettuce and tomatoes - in both indoor and outdoor spaces. It also has a mushroom farm and aquaponics farm rearing fish, with nutrients from its waste being absorbed by vegetables in its indoor farm.




Apart from conducting corporate farm tours, it has also tasked itself with a social mission, by employing people with autism and Down's syndrome. It also plans to start an urban farming school in October.

"I think that the advancement of technology should not come at the expense of human capital," said Mr Ho. "We have to look at what our society is made up of first, look at what’s needed … and what we value around us, before we get too ahead of ourselves with technology.

"Same thing with our farm - we do want to see robotics and technology for agriculture advance, but never at the expense of human capital or our workforce," he said, citing an example of giving more dangerous jobs to robots instead of workers.

As more farmers find ways to balance the value of both technology and nature, the future of local farming looks bright.

Ms Wan is optimistic. "I hope to see children being able to see farms as how they’re supposed to be - animals that can see the light and breathe outdoor air, and also appreciate technology to increase productivity and automise land space," she said.

"If they're able to see both sides, they can better decide for themselves how to merge the two."
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Room to grow more local veggies at Panasonic's farm

Room to grow more local veggies at Panasonic's farm | Vertical Farm - Food Factory | Scoop.it
Consumers here can look forward to more home-grown leafy greens from Panasonic, which plans to expand its high-tech indoor vegetable farm and more than double its production by next year.. Read more at straitstimes.com.
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Horticulture Experiment Using LED Lighting Yields Super Rich Vitamin C Arugula | Electronics360

The trial proves that it is possible to add functional ingredients to food in a natural way by growing it differently.
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Micro Lighting Solution

Micro Lighting Solution | Vertical Farm - Food Factory | Scoop.it
 We have visited using low lighting levels to grow microgreens in an earlier blog and now find and offer what we call a Micro Lighting environment to grow out microgreen crops. In a previous blo
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This High-Tech Vertical Farm Promises Whole Foods Quality at Walmart Prices

This High-Tech Vertical Farm Promises Whole Foods Quality at Walmart Prices | Vertical Farm - Food Factory | Scoop.it
SoftBank-backed Plenty is out to build massive indoor farms on the outskirts of every major city on Earth.
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From Outer Space to Your Space

Recently on the International Space Station the astronauts served a crop of space cabbage that was grown and harvested entirely in space! What an amazing accomplishment and a critical buildin
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Space Food Experiments

Space Food Experiments | Vertical Farm - Food Factory | Scoop.it
We have been following the NASA food growing experiments in space since day one. They have been fascinating to say the least and we have tried to grow some items here inspired by ou
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New Look, New Direction

New Look, New Direction | Vertical Farm - Food Factory | Scoop.it
Our companies are always moving forward so it is with great pride today that we formally unveil our new logos and the start of a new direction for Urbafresh.  Let's first begin with our ne
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When the Prescription Is a Recipe

When the Prescription Is a Recipe | Vertical Farm - Food Factory | Scoop.it
Doctors, hospitals and some workplaces are showing, not just telling, people how to lead healthier lives by making nutritious food.
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Grocery Stores Draw Millennials With In-Store Restaurants

Grocery Stores Draw Millennials With In-Store Restaurants | Vertical Farm - Food Factory | Scoop.it
While grocery stores had been losing customers to smaller markets and online shopping, "groceraunts" — with seasonal menus and alcohol — are luring back foot traffic to the old-school grocers.
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Bus Converted into Mobile Food Market Brings Fresh Produce To Low-Income Neighbourhoods

Bus Converted into Mobile Food Market Brings Fresh Produce To Low-Income Neighbourhoods | Vertical Farm - Food Factory | Scoop.it
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Google’s Quest To Develop A Plant-Based “Power Dish” More Popular Than Meat

Google’s Quest To Develop A Plant-Based “Power Dish” More Popular Than Meat | Vertical Farm - Food Factory | Scoop.it
In an attempt to reduce the company’s carbon footprint, Google is making changes to the food it serves its employees: everything from blending burgers with mushrooms to a data-driven quest to create the most delicious vegan taco.
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This Vertical Farm Wants To Be An Agriculture Company, Not A Tech Company

This Vertical Farm Wants To Be An Agriculture Company, Not A Tech Company | Vertical Farm - Food Factory | Scoop.it
FreshBox Farms is going big by focusing on harvests, not proprietary growing systems.
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The Plant-Based Burger That Smells, Tastes and Bleeds Like the Real Thing

The Plant-Based Burger That Smells, Tastes and Bleeds Like the Real Thing | Vertical Farm - Food Factory | Scoop.it
Pat Brown, the scientist and chief executive behind the plant-based burger from Impossible Foods, is on a mission to recreate the texture, smell, and flavor of meat that carnivores crave — while cutting down on the waste in meat production.
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