The days are starting to get cooler and shorter, and around here and the country the weather has been affecting traditional soil growers, in many cases wiping out their gardens. Those of us in Greenhouses and warehouse growing with aquaponics are still seeing great harvests and experiencing the benefits of controlled environment agriculture first hand. When you can control your environment to some extent, you have an insurance policy against wild weather variations and get to enjoy uninterrupted year round harvests.
In today’s harvest, we check in for updates on this fall’s CREC school installation. We’ll also get the latest updates on the Sprout Food Hub in Meriden, check out this week’s blog updates, check in on industry news, and get updates on FreshCSA!
This Week’s Harvest:
1. Client Updates: CREC Schools
Last week we announced our new deal with CREC that will get aquaponics systems into all their High Schools this fall. We’ve begun ordering the materials to start building and testing their systems prior to delivery. This week we got their aquaculture tanks in. We’ve updated the design of our aGarden to move away from the bulky and ugly IBC tanks to standardized aquaculture tanks. Not only does create a better aesthetic for the classroom it will also enhance the learning experience on the system. These tanks come with portholes which will allow students a much easier time with observing the fish, making scientific observations and measurements and overall get a better touch point with the aquaculture side of things. In the pics below we are testing out the tanks for leaks. In the coming weeks, we’ll be receiving the rest of the aGarden components and start building their systems on site for further testing before we deliver them. We’ll be sure to document the process so you can see what goes into making the aGarden the best cross-cutting multi-disciplinary learning tool to enter a classroom since the computer.
2. Company Updates
We began construction of the Deep Water Culture beds that will house our plants last week. This week we finished the construction of the frame and installed the insulation. Over the weekend we’ll work on getting the liner installed and then next week we’ll do the plumbing and add water.
If you find yourself in your car or out in the yard this weekend you’ll want to turn on the radio. Our CEO Spencer Curry recently sat down with iHeart Radio for an interview. During the talk he discussed our mission to create the City That Feeds ItselfTM, our new Sprout Food Hub in Meriden, and gave listeners details on our FreshCSA Founder’s Share program currently available here.
The interview will air at 7am Sunday September 10th on all nine iHeart Stations in CT (Country 92-5, Kiss 95-7, The River 105-9, ESPN 97-9, New Talk 1410, KC 101, The Beat 100.9, ESPN 1300, 960 WELI). You can also find the interview by following the steps below to listen at your convenience.
1. Go to: http://theriver1059.iheart.com/features/iheartmedia-communities-285
2. Scroll down to see times on each station
3. Scroll down to see the Community Access Interviews on the right
4. Click on ours to start listening
5. Once you find ours you are able to share it on Facebook, Twitter, etc… By clicking the three buttons to the right.
3. Blog Updates
Why Food Security Is The Best Investment Opportunity Of The Decade: Post 5 Examining Failed Investments For Lessons: Continuing our series on the Food Security and its potential as one of the best investment areas of the decade this week with a look at some of the failed early investments. Why look at failed investments? For one, looking at the mistakes of others helps us to avoid making those same mistakes ourselves. In addition, we can investigate what qualities make for a strong company to invest in versus what red flags to look for and avoid investing in. It’s also a fascinating insight into what it takes to start a company, and then what is needed to actually successfully scale that model when boosted with investment. Check out the post here.
Adding Fish To Your Aquaponics System: Our second post of the week focussed on the proper ways to add fish to your aquaponics. Whether an established system receiving new fish after a harvest or a brand new system receiving its first fish, you’ll need to follow a certain procedure to make the transition to your system stress-free and easy on your fish. Check out our post to see exactly how to make adding fish to your aquaponics system easy for you and the fish!
4. Industry News
Kimbal Musk’s SquareRooots raises $5 million in funding in recent seed round. The investment in Food Security niche sectors continues with Kimbal Musk (Board Member at Tesla, SpaceX and Chipotle and brother to Elon Musk) raising over $5 million for his container farming incubator SquareRoots. Square Roots trains would be farmers in a year long program where they run their own container farm in an urban environment. They learn everything from growing to marketing to business management and everything in between that’s needed to start a successful container farm in a city. This investment will allow Musk to expand his pilot Brooklyn program with another city this upcoming year and train a new cohort in Brooklyn. Click here for the full story!
5. Featured Products
We have a twofer for you this week! First, we are happy to share that our FreshCSA is live for sale. The FreshCSA Founders share is the only way to get our produce each and every week this fall. We have two options, the core salad CSA share which is enough produce for side salads all week for two people. Then we have our Buy One Give One share. This share we are extremely excited about as part of our mission to create the City that Feeds ItselfTM. The BOGO share gets you that weekly share of produce from the farm AND you’ll also empower a weekly share to be donated to a local nonprofit that works to feed families and individuals in need in our family. Creating a model that supports food for everyone in a city is core to the mission and buy purchasing a BOGO FreshCSA share you’ll be taking a direct role in that mission!
In addition to the FreshCSA shares, we also have released tickets for our first this fall’s farm to table dinners! We’ll be hosting at least two events this fall in partnership with My City Kitchen a non-profit that works with Meriden youth and their families to teach them how to shop and cook healthy meals on a fixed budget. The graduates of their first program will be helping to create the meals for our Farm to Table dinners along with the all-star chefs at My City Kitchen. It’ll be a great time that supports a great program for Meriden families. Grab your tix here, dates to be announced soon!
Thanks for reading! It’s a busy world out there and we are extremely grateful for the attention and support we get from our readers week in and week out.