GrowUp: the future of food - "The new concept of commercial aquaponics, argue Hofman and Webster, has a much-reduced environmental impact. Companion farming fish and crops dates back to the Aztecs, but it took until the 2010s, in Chicago, to move it indoors at any scale. In the UK, only eco-smallholdings have so far attempted it, and the only European aquaponics farms of note use purpose-built greenhouses. GrowUp's model, by contrast, is to fit out empty urban buildings, use no chemicals, employ LED lights, source 100 per cent renewable energy and, crucially, be based within five miles of its customer base in a dense urban area."
Eric Maundu - who comes from Kenya, now lives in West Oakland and is trained in industrial robotics- transforms unused spaces into productive, small aquaponic farms. He has taken the agricultural craft one step further and made his gardens smart. He explores new frontiers of computer-controlled gardening. More information about this story. His company, Kijani Grows. Via faircompanies.com.
The food desert has been a regular topic here on MetaFilter, posts about which often highlight a particular narrative about the effects of meager food choices for poorer urban communities, negatively affecting health and choice among low income people. Though not always. Some new studies indicate the situation in the US might be more like the latter, not quite as dire as is usually asserted. [more inside]
Where does the food in your bodega — or the corner grocer, the local minimart — come from? [...] How come it's easier to find fresh fruits and vegetables in Brooklyn Heights than in the South Bronx? What's the connection between the incidence of diabetes and the food market supply chain?The Center for Urban Pedagogy and Designer Observer's 30-minute video Bodega Down Bronx looks into the urban grocery gap, and is freely available to stream. [more inside]
Will Allen, the founder of Growing Power, an urban farm in Milwaukee, has won a MacArthur Genius grant. Growing Power uses aquaculture, vermiculture, and sustainable agriculture to raise food in an urban environment. Chefs of the region have taken notice, but that's not Growing Power's main purpose. Congratulations to only the second farmer to win a Genius Grant. [more inside]
Hunting and gathering in your own backyard: "Alistair Bland was a student at the University of California at Santa Barbara last year when he decided to spend 10 weeks as an urban hunter-gatherer. He foraged for food in that city and survived on what he could kill or find growing outside . . ." (Real Audio required). Bland reported on the project in more detail in the Daily Gullet.