We hope you had a great week and are setting up for an even better weekend. This week we were able to finish the move into our offices and finally have a home to work out of. In this week’s harvest, we’ll also discuss big news from the industry, how technology is changing our mindset on what future farms will look like and more updates from the buildout of our first Spout Food Hub in Meriden.
1) Client Updates
This past week we began working with the CREC school system on a new multi-year project. This project includes the installation of over a dozen aquaponics systems at every one of their High Schools over the next year, new programming, and professional development workshops for the teachers receiving the new systems. We started working with their staff to create a programming schedule for the teachers to use over the course of the school year. This will include lessons and experiments for the various STEM subjects they will be teaching with aquaponics. We’re very excited about this new project as it will mean hundreds and hundreds of young minds will be introduced to aquaponics in the next year, let alone over the course of the next 10-20 years. We’ll be sure to update you regularly on this project ver the next couple of months as our program development and system installs play out.
2) Company Updates
We moved into the office portion of our space this week. After being without an office for so long it is extremely nice to have a home base to work from and collaborate in person with the whole team. We also started receiving our shipments of the components for our commercial urban aquaponics farm. We are waiting on a few more items before we can start placing items so we will begin that buildout early next week! We are now only a few short weeks away from having water flowing and getting the first plants into our system. See the pics below of the new offices and farm equipment.
3) Blog Updates
We had two updates on the blog this week. It was a technology centered week as we investigate how new technologies and innovations are shifting our concept of a farmer and farms in general. Our first blog was on online education, a continuation of our Exponential Technology series. Online education is revolutionizing our ability to learn real skills without the burden of expensive colleges or workshops. These digital classrooms are making it easier than ever for anyone to learn about aquaponics and farming. With online education, it is now easier than ever to learn the skills and knowledge base needed to become a commercial farmer.
Our second blog of the week focused on technologies and innovations that are going to help increase farm outputs and efficiencies no matter the style of growing. The fascinating aspect of these innovations is that they aid farming high-efficiency farming techniques like aquaponics and make them even more efficient, more practical, and more approachable for new and old farmers alike. It’s a very exciting time for our industry and innovation is going to drive our ability to scale urban farming to be a practical and competitive farming practice. These innovations and technologies are what will enable to create a repeatable model for a City that Feeds ItselfTM.
4) Industry News
Huge waves being made in the local foods and urban agriculture industries with a slew of acquisitions, investments, and mergers this past week. Starting off the week Plenty, a new Silicon Valley venture backed urban farming start-up acquired Bright Agrotech, a leader in vertical farming technology and services. This acquisition cements Plenty’s place as an industry leader in the urban vertical farming movement and with this acquisition, they aim to build over a dozen farms around the country of 50,000sqft or more within the next two years using Bright Agrotech’s vertical growing technology.
The second wave to hit the industry this week was Bowery Farms just raised $20 million from a group of venture capitalists to expand its operations in the tri-state area. Bowery hit waves a few years ago after raising 7.5 million which at the time was one of the biggest investments to a start-up in the urban farming space. Bowery uses its own proprietary software and monitoring systems to increase flavor, efficiency and nutrient density of its produce.
Finally, to end the week, Amazon recently agreed to purchase Whole Foods, a national grocery chain that focuses on local and organic foods at all its retail locations. The acquisition will be for about 13.7 billion dollars and is likely going to cement Amazon as a leader in the fresh and local food’s movement. While retail locations will retain the Whole Foods name and brands, it is expected that Whole Foods will be integrated into the Amazon Fresh service which recently started experimenting with a click and collect model where shoppers can purchase their foods online and then pick them up from a retail location the same day.
Keep an eye out next week for a blog post, detailing these huge plays and what that means for the future of these industries and how it will impact farmers in the next few years.
5) Product Spotlight
This week we are happy to announce that you can secure your spot in our FreshCSA program. With just a 50$ deposit you can reserve a weekly share in our program. Your deposit will be credited to your FreshCSA purchase when it goes on sale. If you want to take back control of your food and receive a weekly share of the freshest, local, sustainably grown foods the state has to offer then reserve a share today! Click here to deposit and reserve your share today!
CMO & Co-Founder
P.S. As always be sure to follow ur on Facebook and Instagram to see even more pics and videos of our commercial aquaponics farm buildout. If you’ve ever been curious about what goes into a commercial aquaponics farm, our social media channels will be offering unprecedented insight into that process!