This week’s harvest feature’s updates from Trifecta, a peek inside the training program at the Midstate Arc, the investment heard round the urban farming world, more industry news and much more.
In this week’s harvest:
1) Client Spotlight: Midstate Arc
The Arc or Meriden-Wallingford recently rebranded as the Midstate-Arc as they are looking to reflect their expanded presence throughout the state. We thought this would be a good time to showcase the innovative way Midstate Arc uses aquaponics as a tool to provide programming for their clients. For the past year, the Midstate Arc has been engaging in a weekly training program for its interested Intellectually and Developmentally Disabled (I/DD) adult clients. Trifecta Ecosystems has been running these training programs, teaching weekly at the arc the skills and knowledge necessary for them to maintain their systems. The program also aims to teach personal skill development like time management, accountability, working independently, working in groups and problem-solving. The team at the Arc takes care of seeding, transplanting, harvesting, organic pest management, disease prevention and control, and much more. At the end of each training, they harvest whatever they want to make their own salads as part of their healthy lifestyle program. Below are a few images from the program and the systems at the Arc. We changed the names to respect the privacy of their team. If interested in this programming for your school or organization contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
2) Company Updates:
This week Trifecta hosted the Regional Water Authority (RWA) to check out the new facilities and discuss a partnership with RWA and local CT schools. RWA will be sponsoring the installation of Trifecta’s new aGrow aquaponics systems in a few classrooms across the state with schools they already work with. This will be an exciting development as we can get aquaponics and the benefits of using the aGrow as a classroom learning tool into schools that would not otherwise be able to afford it. We’ll be sharing a lot more details on this partnership in the coming weeks.
We also were hosted by My City Kitchen (MCK) this week, a CT non-profit that is dedicated to serving their community through teaching underprivileged youth and adults how to cook healthy, cheap meals from their homes. We’ll be partnering with MCK offering our Sprout Food Hub’s commercial kitchen for them to expand their programming in Meriden and also to create new programs and services utilizing our space and farm for events like farm to table dinners, adult cooking workshops, school field trips and after school programs and much more. Keep an eye out for more details (and event dates) in the coming weeks.
Finally, Trifecta presented to a CT Next panel for consideration of their CT Next Growth Grant. We presented our current Sprout Food Hub project, our mission to create the City that Feeds ItselfTM, and our plans for expansion in the coming year. We’ll have our fingers crossed and be sure to share an update on how it turns out!
3) Blog Updates
The big news heard round the urban farming world was the huge $200 million funding round that involved investors like Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Google’s Eric Schmidt, and Japan’s Softbank Vision Fund (a $93b backed investment fund). This marks the biggest Venture Capital investment in an agtech company to date. It’s also the biggest investment into a company focused solely on urban farming. We released a blog this Thursday with our take on the investment and what it means for the CEA industry.
On Tuesday, we released the fifth project update on the Sprout Food Hub. We discussed some of the setbacks that we faced in recent weeks and how to overcome challenges as a start-up. If you missed that blog check it out here.
4) Industry News
The Mari House is taking an innovative approach to teaching youth about urban farming. They’ve taken the farm out of an urban environment and put it in a suburban neighborhood, much like a cul-de-sac community you could find in almost every suburb in America. This Malaysian farm is using their unique setting as a selling point to attract those who don’t live in urban areas to still learn about the methods and importance of urban agriculture. To read more about their program check it out our blog post.
This week we also looked at three small-scale Denver farms that are proving you don’t need to a large farm to find commercial viability in a city. These farms, two of which are under an acre, are all able to support their business thanks to maximizing efficiencies and a local demand for fresh, organic produce. Their methods range from hydroponics to soil farming, showcasing that there is no one model for success. Check out a look at each farm here.
5) Featured Product
This week we are bringing back the classic fish poop mug. Get in on the joke and show your support for Trifecta with this classic mug. You’ll never have to worry about someone accidentally sipping from your mug again, it won’t be worth the risk! If you want to crack a smile, start a discussion around aquaponics, and just have a great mug for your morning cup of joe or tea, hop over to our shop and grab yours today.
Thank You again for following our company, sharing our progress and providing the motivation for us to continue pushing the envelope to create a sustainable food future. We are so grateful that this is what we get to do for a living and that this is what our legacy will be.