700 lunches were provided to children in North Carolina. A big part of those lunches was hydroponically grown lettuce. There were nine varieties collected and used in these lunches. They were given to 17 child care facilities by Catering for Kids. They expect another harvest in mid-September.

Key Takeaway:
Nine varieties of hydroponically grown lettuce were provided to children.
The number of lunches provided was 700.
The lunches were provided in North Carolina.

Quote: “Nine varieties of locally grown hydroponic lettuce will be used to help make chicken salad sandwiches and salads, which will go in boxed meals for a Thursday hand out.” (Brown, 2020)

Link to article: https://www.wfmynews2.com/article/news/local/hydroponic-lettuce-harvested-for-catering-for-kids-lunch-distribution/83-e92883bd-a318-4119-a415-744add534b1b

The combination of climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic have raised questions about food waste and scarcity. Teacher Tamara Caraballo has looked to aquaponics systems as a solution. Aquaponics combines aquaculture and hydroponics to create a self-sustaining, organic system for producing food. In it, nitrifying bacteria enables plants to turn ammonia from fish waste into nitrates, which plants then use as nutrients. Carballo’s advanced biology classes set up systems using tilapia, goldfish, koi, tomatoes, lettuce and peppers. She champions aquaponics systems as one of the most efficient methods of creating a reliable source of food.

Key Takeaways:

  • The covid-19 pandemic highlighted that there are issues in terms of food scarcity, and many Americans would have starved if grocery stores had been closed.
  • The system requires adding nitrifying bacteria to the fish’s water and turning the waste from the fish into nitrates.
  • The aquaponics systems are completely organic and they tend to require less water usage than a typical garden.

“Aquaponics is a combination of aquaculture with hydroponics, which creates a self-sustainable system capable of producing food.”

Read more: https://everettclipper.com/13156/showcase/aquaponics-a-solution-for-self-sustainability/

Smart Acres in collaboration with South Korea Vertical Farming Company is set to launch operations in the UAE after an initial test phase. This new vertical farming technology will allow them to cultivate grade-A crops all year round. These leaps forward in vertical and hydroponic farming are going to ease concerns regarding food security. New start ups like Smart Acres are predicted to be quite successful being that their are very few risks or drawbacks to their operation.

Key Takeaways:

  • During the proof of concept phase, Smart Acres has shown that they can grow lettuce and herbs.
  • After the proof-of-concept phase, Smart Acres is planned to launch in UAE during the third quarter.
  • Smart Acres was awarded CES 2020 innovation award for solving issues in agriculture like water waste, depletion of nutrients and insect infestation.

“The technology is able to detect, track, and adjust the humidity and temperature of the environment in order to maintain the health of the crops.”

Read more: https://gulfbusiness.com/smart-acres-vertical-farming-company-to-launch-in-uae-in-q3/

The mayor of Jersey City announced a partnership with AeroFarms to develop the country’s first municipal vertical farming program. At 10 sites across the city, approximately 19,000 pounds of vegetables will be grown yearly. The program is part of a larger initiative by the World Economic Forum called Healthy City 2030. Jersey City is one of four cities participating globally; its selection is related to its status as a “food desert.” Residents will have access to free produce, but in return, they must attend healthy eating workshops and consent to regular health screenings.

Key Takeaways:

  • There will be 10 vertical farms throughout the city growing 19,000 pounds of vegetables yearly.
  • Jersey City is one of four cities worldwide participating in the program on behalf of the World Economic Forum.
  • Jersey City has been identified as a food desert with minimal access to supermarkets or large grocery stores.

“The public will get access to free fresh vegetables grown in Jersey City through the nation’s first municipal vertical farming program, according to an announcement by Mayor Steven Fulop.”

Read more: https://hudsonreporter.com/2020/06/10/growing-up/

Colorado’s MED is considering lowering the cycling to waste ratio of marijuana products down to 10%. The current limit is 50% but there is a lot of concern that this waste will be used to make black market marijuana. The idea has a lot of push back from marijuana growers who feel that they have done a good job eliminating the waste safely. The article seems to suggest that some growers may support making the bins more secure instead of changing the ratios. 

Key Takeaways:

  • The current waste ratio is 50% according to the article. 50% of the by-products can be thrown away as trash and the other 50% is supposed to be recycled.
  • Proposals have it lowered to as low as 10%.
  • Lowering the waste ratio also would have the added effect of removing 122 metric tons of carbon dioxide according to some reports.
  • marijuana owners have declined so far citing they feel they have securely removed their trash in the past.

Quote: “…some marijuana industry members suggested adding nothing to the marijuana mix, suggesting they’re confident that they can dispose of their trash in a secure manner.” (Mitchell, 2020)

Link to article: https://www.westword.com/marijuana/colorado-explores-sustainable-marijuana-production-regulations-11774842

Keeping the food that we grow safe as well as keeping the environment safe at the same time is a challenge. The more we use to grow the crops the more we are harming the environment. There are many bugs that have come to be because of climate change that we are trying to combat against. The bugs that are showing up now are some that have never been seen before, and we need to figure out a way to have fewer disturbances.

Key Takeaways:

  • Crop protection has come a long way since the book Silent Spring; today’s products are safer for human health and the environment.
  • Many of today’s crop protection products are obtained from natural sources and used to grow organic produce.
  • Enabling more food to be grown per unit of land reduces human encroachment into areas such as the Amazon rainforest.

“Dangers in the food supply can occur at any stage of the farm-to-fork process.”

Read more: https://www.syngenta.com/grow-it-safe-sound-agricultural-practices-ensure-safe-and-sustainable-food-supply

In Maryland, the City of Brunswick recently passed a small business sustainability program in the wake up with COVID-19 crisis. The new micro-grant is meant to help these small businesses pay for their rent, utilities, mortgages in more as they are not receiving any customers due to the quarantine measures. To become eligible for this grant, small businesses must prove that they lost half of their revenue due to the pandemic. The funds have shown wide support as the community’s economic well-being was at stake.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Micro-Grant is targeted at helping businesses stay in business as a result of financial hardships due to Covid-19.
  • Most businesses only have 27 days of cash available, which makes liquidity issues, as a result of stay at home orders, a concern.
  • The Micro-Grant is targeted at businesses in the Brunswick area, and it can be combined with State and Federal funding as well.

“Eligible businesses must demonstrate a 50% loss of business revenue due to the COVID-19 outbreak.”

Read more: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/city-brunswick-small-business-sustainability-130000685.html

A university in Berlin wants to know the answer to a few questions that they have about growing crops in Berlin. The idea is to take shower water and use it to grow food hydroponically. They want to know if this will work in their area which is urban. The researchers also want to know if they can make the water sanitary enough to use for this purpose. Finally, they also want to know if the locals in the area will get involved. The article also mentions that the future may hold a time where it is illegal to water your own garden in Berlin due to water shortages. Therefore, this is why the research is important.

Key takeaways:

The obvious questions are ones they want to answer such as is the water going to be sanitary enough for food production.

They also want to know if the method will be useful in an urban area like Berlin.

Moreover, they want to know if they can actually get the community involved in this undertaking.

Quote: “Is it possible to eventually involve the population in this kind of project with the aim of ensuring that such blue-green infrastructures are operated and used by local residents themselves in the future?” (Wiesmayer, 2020)

Link to article: https://innovationorigins.com/shower-water-is-ideal-for-growing-your-own-food/

A new startup, Willo, is revolutionizing the agricultural industry. The vertical farming company is giving customers the opportunity to subscribe to a “plot” of a farm, and the yield from that “plot” will later be directly delivered to them. Right now, Willo is using artificial intelligence to grow kale and lettuce with minimal water, nutrients, and space, thus saving money. Their overall goal is to educate and inform their customers about healthy eating habits and the overall farm-to-table process.

Key Takeaways:

  • Willo is a startup that is helping people engage in healthier eating habits through indoor farming.
  • Indoor farming enables food to grow under any conditions and deliver that food to people effectively.
  • Willo believes that the ability to grow food indoors will convince and incentivize people to eat healthy.

“It’s the 21st-century version of a CSA: Greens grow in towers with no pesticides and almost no water—and when they’re harvested, they’re delivered directly to consumers living within a 20-mile radius.”

Read more: https://www.fastcompany.com/90512158/this-vertical-farm-lets-you-subscribe-to-your-own-plot-of-indoor-grown-greens

Bayer is extending itself despite having its roots firmly entrenched elsewhere. It has teamed up with Temasek to create a vertical farming company. They will call the company Unfold. They aim to use their scientific background and add that into the science of growing crops. Unfold raised 30 million dollars in its initial round of funding.

Key Takeaways:

Bayer is looking to get into the vertical farming game.

They have teamed up with Temasek to make a company called Unfold.

They rose 30 million dollars to help themselves along.

Quote: “But Unfold, backed by the scientific expertise of Bayer AG, is looking to unlock the genetic potential of this unique indoor environment.” (Taylor, 2020)

Link to article: www.laboratoryequipment.com/567294-Vertical-Farming-Startup-Backed-by-Bayer-Has-Unique-Genetic-Premise