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Is Urban Agriculture Commercially Scalable?

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Montreal's Lufa Farms has developed an e-commerce model for fresh food

Flavie Halais for Citiscope: In 1999, Dickson Despommier, a professor of environmental health sciences and microbiology at Columbia University, popularized the idea of large-scale urban agriculture by releasing a conceptual model for vertical farms. Crops would grow inside tall city buildings, using very little land to produce bounties of food that would not need to be shipped far to be eaten.......read more

Farmscape Opens Rooftop Garden in Downtown LA

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Fresh produce project takes urban farming to new heights

Farmscape, California's largest urban farming operation, has recently launched what may be its most ambitious project to date: a 200-square-foot custom garden on the roof of The Jonathan Club in Downtown Los Angeles. Completed in December, the garden provides fresh, organic produce for chefs working in the kitchen of the private social club. Writing for LAist, Lauren Lloyd sums it......read more

A Year on the Road: Singh Farms

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Hidden in an Arizona mesquite grove lies a fertile forest

If you thought no food ever grows in the desert, then allow me to share with you a place that will change your mind. You wouldn't know if from the freeway, but just off the 101 in Phoenix, Arizona there lies one of the most extraordinary farms the desert has ever seen. After I heard someone say it was the farm of their dreams, I knew I had to see it for myself.  A bustling farmer's market......read more

Orbiting Garden by Garden Fresh Farms

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City bus-sized urban farming contraption can produce 50 pounds of basil a day

Imagine a sustainable farm that is about the size of a city bus and is capable of producing fifty pounds of basil per day. Not only is that possible, you could help make it a reality in your community. Garden Fresh Farms is a St. Paul, Minnesota-based sustainable agriculture company that is trying to raise funds to build more of their Orbiting Gardens. Their Kickstarter......read more

Is Real Time Farms the Wikipedia of Food?

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A new website aims "to collectively document the whole food system"

The locavore craze, once the domain of a handful of hardline foodies, has gone mainstream. A seeming majority of restaurants now list describe their food as "local." But do we know where precisely each ingredient was produced? Not now, but if Real Time Farms has its way, we will soon. Launched by an ex-Google software engineer in the spring of 2010, Real Time Farms is a web-based, crowdsourced......read more

Offshore Wind Takes a Step Ahead

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With a positive new federal report, offshore wind farms in the Atlantic move closer to reality

Offshore wind development along the mid-Atlantic coast took a major step forward last week, with the completion of a federal review that showed "no major environmental damage" would be caused by tapping the renewable power source.  Interior Secretary Ken Salazar also said his department also was trying to speed up the process for issuing renewable energy leases. There are wind projects......read more

Grazin': Farm-to-Table Diner Opens in Hudson, NY

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'50s style restaurant sources grub from local farms -- including its own

The Hudson Valley in upstate New York is known for small-scale agriculture, making the town of Hudson a perfect place for a restaurant that sources all of its food from nearby farmers. Dan Gibson, a local farmer, thinks so. Gibson just opened Grazin', a diner that takes "farm-to-table" ideas seriously. The first restaurant in the USA to be certified Animal Welfare Approved, Grazin'......read more

BrightFarms Brings Rooftop Produce to Supermarkets

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NYC company wants grocery stores to raise on the roof

By standard definition, "local food" is that which is produced within 100 miles of where it's sold. BrightFarms wants you to forget that. The New York-based greenhouse company aims to shift our understanding of local-ness by bringing rooftop gardens to the place where consumers buy food: the supermarket. Launched in January 2011, BrightFarms' vision is to convince grocery retailers to grow......read more

Feds to Fund Offshore Wind Farms

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Obama administration commits $50.5 million to offshore wind R&D.

Pursuant to the U.S. President's stated goal of generating 80% of all electricity from renewable sources, the Obama administration announced this week a game plan for wind energy development off the Eastern seaboard. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar paired up Monday to announce federal funding for offshore wind farms to the tune of $50.5 million over......read more

U.S. Military vs. Wind Farms

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Renewable energy projects face off against formidable foe.

Renewable energy projects have faced some interesting opposition over the years. Some are opposed by environmentalists have because of threats to endangered species. Others are opposed by ordinary citizens for aesthetic reasons. Now the U.S. military presents a formidable new opponent. The specific menaces targeted by the Armed Forces are wind turbines, the blades of which are indistinguishable......read more

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