This week’s harvest is chalk full of goodies. We check in on CREC ASI’s system over summer break. We’ll learn about how to harness the power of the crowd to accomplish your goals with the conclusion to our exponential technology series. Also, we’ll see how rooftop aquaponics farming is helping people on the Gaza Strip, see the top ten takeaways from our Sprout Food Hub build out, and learn about a company that wants to put a mini farm in every grocery store.
In This Week’s Harvest
1. Client Spotlight: CREC ASI
This week we popped in on Jane Callery’s system at CREC ASI. Jane uses her system to teach her students about ecosystems, biology, plant science and much more. Jane’s been using aquaponics in the classroom for over two years now, starting off with a bespoke media bed system and later upgrading to add a vertical aGarden component with a smart sensor system. As you can see in the photos below her plants are thriving. Over the summer janes system is growing rosemary, carrots, chives, house plants, and a cucumber plant. She’s constantly experimenting with different plant types running experiments with her students.
2. Company Updates
We received our last fish tank this week! So we began setting up the aquaculture and finalizing the plumbing layout. We also received our biofilter’s kaldness media. Kaldness media provides a lot of biological surface area for our army of beneficial bacteria. These bacteria process the ammonia waste from the fish into a form of usable nitrogen for the plants. The bacteria are the magic link that makes the aquaponics system work. Without them, the fish would add no value to the system. With them, the fish provide a free source of fertilizer for the plants and the plants can filter the water by taking up that fertilizer.
With our build out winding down, we created a list of our top ten lessons we learned through this process. Every farm build out will face its own unique set of obstacles and challenges and as a result will offer unique lessons and insights to take to the next build. We share these insights hoping to help others who will build their own farms and help them avoid some of the obstacles we faced that potentially could’ve been avoided.
3. Blog Updates
In addition to our learned lessons from the build out, we released our last blog in our series on exponential technologies. This week we looked at technologies that enable you to harness the power of the crowd and crowdsourcing as a way to leverage your financing, aspects of your business you lack skills in, and sourcing knowledge at an accelerated pace. Whether you need a website built, an engineered design or want to crowdfund your farm, there’s a platform where you can get the expertise or resources you need from the crowd. Check out our post to learn more.
4. Industry News
Times of war in the Gaza Strip has led to many hardships in the area. The war has taken almost all the old farmland over and people in the city have been forced to grow their food elsewhere. The people have turned to rooftop growing and use methods like aquaponics to grow an abundant amount of food on each rooftop. In this way, the people are teaching each other modern farming techniques and providing food security to the community along with jobs for those not actively involved in the conflict. It’s an inspiring story of triumph in the midst of turmoil. Click here to read the full story.
Our second story this week was about a new European startup Infarm who’s on a mission to put a farm in every grocery store. Infarm imagines a world where you get to touch and smell your basil as it grows in the store, not make your choice based on what you see through a clamshell. In this world, your herbs and greens are always fresh and great tasting, they are grown for your plate that evening, not to be packed and shipped and sit on a shelf for days and weeks before you see it. To see how this company is making waves in Europe check out the full story here.
5. We’re Hiring!
In lieu of a featured product this week, we wanted to share that we are hiring for an aquaponic technician position. A full description can be found on our careers page. This position would involve working directly on our pilot farm, doing maintenance for client systems and aiding in our USDA funded research. We’re a fast-paced hard-working team looking for a motivated individual to join us on our mission. Previous experience in aquaculture, hydroponics or gardening a plus. We will train the right candidate. If this sounds like the job for you submit the form on our careers page and you’ll be contacted with details on how to apply.
Our ability to hire is a new milestone for us! We’re grateful to have grown to the point where we can create jobs in our community. We’ll be looking to grow our team significantly over the next few months. We’re striving to create a bigger impact in Meriden and the surrounding communities with our Sprout Food Hub. Growing our team with passionate, driven talent will help us on that mission. So if you or somebody you know would be interested in joining our team, now is the perfect time!
CMO & Co-Founder