Established in 2017, Stacked Farm is an automated vertical indoor farm that grows salad greens and herbs. It has gained international interest during the coronavirus pandemic amid concerns about the food supply chain. The Queensland-based company plans to open farms across Australia, and is also looking at moving into retail. Stacked Farm operates every month of the year thanks to its temperature-controlled environment. Its process is effective at growing food in extreme climates, and interest is especially high in places like Dubai, where nearly all food is imported.

Key Takeaways:

  • Stacked Farm is an automated vertical farm, located in Australia that produces salad greens and has the capacity to produce strawberries and tomatoes.
  • Besides being fully automated, the produce is picked, packed and sealed by robotic equipment. A notable plus in the era of Covid19.
  • The greens go directly to wholesalers, hotels and restaurants, eliminating middle-men handling of produce.

“Aussie company Stacked Farm, a fully automated vertical indoor farm, has been gaining international interest amid the coronavirus pandemic.”

Read more: https://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/aussie-vertical-farm-company-gained-053418762.html

Poughkeepsie-based Farmers & Chefs likes to showcase the freshest produce of the region through its food trucks and brick-and-mortar restaurant. Owner John Lekic has recently taken to growing his own vegetables and herbs using a shipping container growing system bought from an Israeli company. The vertical garden is climate controlled and uses automated watering. The system requires 90 percent less water than traditional farming, and no pesticides are needed. Currently, Lekic is growing kale, lettuce, thyme, arugula, sage and dill.

Key Takeaways:

  • For one chef who wanted to grow his own food, vertical farming was the solution.
  • A shipping container in a parking lot can grow food in up to eight different areas.
  • The vertical farm grows food faster, requires less water, and can grow year-round.

“Short on space in the small parking lot behind the Farmers and Chefs building, which already holds the two food trucks, it occurred to Lekic that the only way to grow was up.”

Read more: https://www.chronogram.com/hudsonvalley/farmers-and-chefs-takes-farm-fresh-to-new-heights-with-vertical-gardens/Content?oid=10707137

A new farmer is using social media to his biggest advantage. The farmer is leveraging Pinterest and Youtube to learn what he needs to know. He is finding that this is saving him money because he is avoiding mistakes and learning tips and tricks others have learned over their time farming. He is approaching a phase where he will be fully operational. He will make use of his new found kills on his 8-hectare property.

Key Takeaways:

  • Youtube and Pinterest are teaching a newly minted farmer how to do his craft.
  • The farmer says that the education on the systems is showing him how to save thousands of dollars and shortcut the learning curve
  • He has a 8-hectare property where he will practice and apply his craft.

Quote: “Mr Anderson’s vertical farming set-up is made from four pallets turned upside down, stacked about 40 centimetres apart on industrial pallet racks and lined with weed matting.” (Bolton, 2020)

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2020-06-25/vertical-farming-ideas-for-peter-anderson-came-from-youtube/12383942

How good is your green finger? Northampton Partnership Homes (NPH) is seeking to figure out that exactly for its own tenants. Last year’s winner, Cynthia Hawes, received the recognition that her garden was special via the honor of winning. The NPH is also encouraging people to get into gardening by offering free packets of seed to get people started in their own gardens.

Key Takeaways:

  • Northampton Partnership Homes (NPH) is set to run their annual garden competition.
  • They want to encourage gardeners and help those working hard on their own to feel encouraged.
  • Moreover, they are giving out seeds to help people get involved in the hobby.

Quote: “NPH has also launched the ‘seeds of hope’ campaign on Facebook, where the team is giving out free packets of seeds for people to plant in their gardens.” (Roberts, 2020)

Source:

https://www.northamptonchron.co.uk/news/people/search-starts-award-prize-council-house-tenant-best-garden-2895448

Two entrepreneur minded escapees of the tennis world have formed a business to help solve hunger problems. They intend to do this through the use of aeroponics. Aeroponics is the use of nutrient dense mists instead of soil. These farms also, typically, make use of LED lights instead of normal sunlight. The use of soil and LED lights gives the farm the ability to grow things quickly and to custom adjust the intakes of the plants for maximum production.

Key Takeaways:

  • The system makes use of aeroponics.
  • Aeroponics is the practice of replacing soil with a nutrient-dense mist and, usually, LED lights instead of regular lights.
  • They were able to replicate a specific taste and variety of basil that a restaurateur wanted for their business.
  • They are opening the business to consumers. 

Quote: “Their entrepreneurial “garage” is a two-story-tall indoor vertical farm in San Jose where we met up with CEO Samuel (a Santa Clara University graduate) and CTO John (Westmont College, Technical University of Munich).” (Zavoral, 2020)

www.mercurynews.com/2020/06/23/sv-chat-brothers-hope-to-feed-the-world-with-their-robotic-indoor-farming-technology/

The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted problems with the complex supply chains that modern supermarkets rely on. Currently, food travels a long way and passes through several middlemen along its route from farmer to consumer. The “just in time” delivery model means back up stock isn’t maintained in store rooms. Part of the solution to these problems could be vertical farming, in which crops are grown in stacked trays indoors using hydroponic nutrients and LED lighting. This technique can produce significantly higher crop yields. Setting up vertical farms near supermarket distribution centers could circumvent the logistical challenges of the current system.

Key Takeaways:

  • Logistical issues mean that supermarkets could face supply problems even after the pandemic.
  • Problems with supply efficiency and security have been increased by the pandemic.
  • The entire system will need a complex overhaul and will possibly need to implement new technology like vertical farming.

“Supermarkets are struggling to cope with surging demand stemming from panic buying, with customers stripping shelves bare within hours of supermarkets opening.”

Read more: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/coronavirus-highlighted-problems-supermarket-supply-172200700.html

The 2020-21 for the Georgia Peanut Commission will be focused on helping farmers use technology that will be sustainable. They say this will be an opportunity to help their farmers out. They say sometimes this works by providing seed money but that in certain circumstances they will provide complete funding to farmers. The sustainable methods include breeding, research, and management of pests such as trouble with root worms. It’s an opportunity for giving back to the community.

Key Takeaways:

  • 40 research projects have been funded to help make Georgia peanut funding more sustainable.
  • The funding was raised in part by peanut farmers, who donate a small amount of money to research for each ton of peanuts produced.
  • The funding covers projects looking at irrigation, managing diseases, and more.

“Research funding totaling $739,693 was approved by the Georgia Peanut Commission’s board of directors during its March meeting. It encompasses 40 project proposals from the University of Georgia, USDA Agricultural Research Service and Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.”

Read more: http://southeastagnet.com/2020/03/23/georgia-peanut-commission-research-3/

Sustainable cleaning products first appeared on the professional hygiene market during the ’90s. Since then, increased demand has led to innovation and new technologies. Biotech ingredients (i.e., bacterial cultures and enzyme extracts) enable cleaning products to be developed that are highly concentrated while containing low concentrations of chemicals. The three main axes of sustainable development are lower environmental impact, safety for workers, and affordability. The last of these is achieved because biotechnological cleaning products can be diluted at high rates while still providing effective performance.

Key Takeaways:

  • Biotechnology companies are making strides when it comes to developing new sustainable cleaning products.
  • The industry was previously based on chemists, but things like enzymes are bringing more biology into the equation.
  • Products made with biological materials often contain much less active ingredient, making them potentially safer.

“This increase in demand for such products has in turn led to innovation and the development of several new technologies. As you would expect, some quickly disappeared while others remained on the market and continued to evolve. Biotechnology is one of the most important of these, and as market conditions evolve, it continues gaining increasingly important market awareness and share.”

Read more: http://www.europeancleaningjournal.com/magazine/articles/latest-news/the-role-of-biotechnology-in-sustainable-cleaning-products

Several Houston-area shops are giving away free CBD oils to help people relieve stress related to the COVID-19 outbreak. CBD (cannabidiol) is a chemical in marijuana that doesn’t deliver a high. Hydroshack Hydroponics and Oil Well CBD are giving customers a choice between rolls or CBD tinctures. Meanwhile, four American Shaman CBD stores are hosting giveaways, with one store offering free CBD gummy samples. According to the CDC, stress during the outbreak can be reflected in changes in sleep or eating patterns, difficulty concentrating, or the worsening of chronic health problems.

Key Takeaways:

  • Shops that sell CBD in and around Houston are distributing complimentary CBD oils.
  • The CBD oils to be freely distributed are intended to help quell the worries and stresses of COVID-19.
  • CBD, which is found in marijuana, does not intoxicate its users.

“According to the CDC, stress during an infectious disease outbreak can include fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones, changes in sleep or eating patterns, difficulty sleeping or concentrating and the worsening of chronic health problems.”

Read more: https://abc13.com/coronavrius-stress-over-coronavirus-covid-19-cbd/6061449/

One student at Arizona State University created a new food growing system, which completely skips the farm process of food growing. This system is called a vertical farm, and is so small that it can sit in the corner of a grocery store. This system reduces food waste, and can process over 2,000 pounds of food waste per day. Growing food in this space could work virtually anywhere on the globe, thus saving a ton of resources for future generations.

Key Takeaways:

  • A chemist has created a system where you can grow food in a vertical setup with a very small footprint.
  • It uses clean technology and produces the same amount of lettuce as a much larger farm.
  • The system can also help reduce waste by taking waste and using it to grow plants.

“In a time when grocery stores are struggling to keep shelves full, Chen’s vertical farm could sit in the corner of a market parking lot, sending lettuce grown from a completely organic closed system to the shelves in as little as three weeks.”

Read more: https://asunow.asu.edu/20200407-solutions-growing-welcome-vertical-farming