A firm in Kotzebue, Alaska, is growing kale, leafy greens, basil, and other greens vertically, hydroponically, and intensively -- much in the style of UrbanFresh. In fact, this indoor farm is the first hydroponic venture north of the Arctic Circle.
Like UrbanFresh, they are finding success. That may be where the comparison ends.
Where the Alaska group is serving a community of 3300, UrbanFresh is poised to serve the 3-state region.
Where the Alaska group has an operation that is currently held in a 12-meter shipping container, UrbanFresh will be utilizing warehouse space upwards of 10,000 square feet -- and is slated to open several facilities in the next five years.
Where startup and production costs are prohibitive in Alaska, UrbanFresh has cut costs and continues to make plans to reduce waste by applying Lean Farming principles.
Where the air in Alaska is frigid and makes moving product difficult, UrbanFresh is situated in pleasant South Carolina, and movement of the product is a breeze.
The time for vertical, intensive, hydroponic growing has come. We at UrbanFresh wish Alaska well in this venture and look forward to serving the Columbia community soon.
A study covered in a recent edition of Newsweek revealed that people who eat salads everyday stay years younger and avoid dementia.
"The study included 960 people, all between 58 and 99 years old and all without dementia. Everyone enrolled in the study was part of the Memory and Aging Project, which has been ongoing since 1979 at the Knight Alzheimer's Disease Research Center at Washington University" (par. 3).
Look to UrbanFresh to keep you young in the new year.
2018, here we come!
Just in time for holiday food preparation, "a study published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine details an outbreak of E. coli in 2016 linked to flour and found that the problem may be more common than previously thought" (CNN, par. 1).
According to the data in the study, "although it is a low-moisture food, raw flour can be a vehicle for food borne pathogens" (CNN, par. 3).
The findings are so new, in fact, that the Mayo Clinic's website has yet to list raw flour as one of its risky foods.
So, be careful licking the spoon as you prepare your holiday treats, and look to Urban Fresh Farms, coming soon to Columbia, to find an array of fresh, safe leafy greens.
In June of 2015, the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health published a white paper comparing hydroponic and conventional farming methods. Their research reveals that lettuce grown in southwestern Arizona needed less water (in liters per kilogram) and had a greater yield (in kilograms per square meter) for hydroponic growing as compared to conventional farming.
The trend toward growing hydroponically, intensively, and vertically as we do with Urban Fresh Farms is growing. According to research published in April of this year, the vertical farming market is expected to be valued at $9.9 million by 2025, just 8 short years from now.
The time for Urban Fresh Farms has come. We look forward to serving you soon!
The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 defines "Local" in the phrase "Local Food" as "(I) the locality or region in which the final product is marketed, so that the total distance that the product is transported is less than 400 miles from the origin of the product; or (II) the State in which the product is produced" (H. R. 2419).
Urban Fresh Farms in Columbia, SC, is within 250 miles of Ten Major Metropolitan Areas:
That means Urban Fresh Farms is primed to have "Locally Grown" customers who are wholesalers, retailers, online retailers, local restaurants, school districts, colleges and universities, and military installations.
We look forward to serving the customers of this region soon!
Our vision at Urban Fresh Farms includes the component of educating children and adults in our community about hydroponics.
To that end, this year, as summer approached, we worked with students and teachers in Richland Two and at Montessori School of Columbia.
In April, we were the launch event for a PBL for magnet and health students at Ridge View High School. We shared with students about locally grown foods and hydroponics.
Later we returned to Ridge View to see the culmination of the PBL: Students presented their plans to create traditional and hydroponic school gardens.
In May at Richland Northeast High School, Chip helped to judge business plans by entrepreneurial students at a Shark Tank event. He shared his own experiences creating business plans, focusing on Urban Fresh.
This summer, Sarah taught the students at Montessori School of Columbia about hydroponics. They grew wheatgrass in plastic water bottles, learning about using the high-vitamin wheatgrass in smoothies while practicing the repurposing of plastic bottles that constitute a big part of daily garbage across the United States.
We at Urban Fresh look forward to next year: We will continue to educate children and adults about hydroponics and healthy eating.
Keep watching! Soon we will be growing fresh, leafy green vegetables near you!
We've talked a lot about how fresh and safe our lettuce will be. It won't be long before you all will have the chance to see for yourself.
However, we haven't talked much about our staff and how we will take care of them.
Without a doubt, folks who work at Urban Fresh Farms will work hard. Growers make judgments about what plants need and when plants are ready to harvest. Growers must be vigilant, aware of the state of the plants, of the water and nutrients that feed them, of the growing units, of the surroundings. Awareness will keep our product safe, healthy, and consistent.
Most importantly, growers at Urban Fresh Farms will be learning a craft that could end food deserts while saving water and making money.
And they will be paid a living wage to do it.
Part of our business model is to sustain our work force by paying them what they deserve. We ask for vigilance and hard work from our staff, and we want them to feel loyal. We work with staff to schedule their working hours within the context of busy lives.
Everyone will be expected to attend a Food Safety Meeting every Thursday morning at 9:00--every week. Otherwise, scheduling will be worker-considerate: Urban Fresh Farms will need alert growers around the clock. Plants need pretty constant care.
Money is important--without a doubt--but the main way we are creating sustainable livelihoods at Urban Fresh Farms is by empowering our staff to become a part of the Vision:
Keep following us to find out more!
Google "The State Urban Fresh Farms," and check out the results. Then check out the article about Urban Fresh Farms in The State newspaper!
This is such an exciting time to be part of the growth and life in Columbia, SC!
Mark your calendars. We will be opening our doors this summer.
We've been waiting for today's meeting for some time, and we are not the only ones who have been. Check out this article from Columbia's Free Times newspaper: Zoning Board to Consider Downtown Hydroponic Farm. (Spoiler Alert: They approved it! Now our adventure of bringing fresh, leafy greens to Columbia will begin in earnest!)
When I was a child, people sometimes got sick from food. We knew not to eat under-cooked pork. We knew to double-check to be sure the chicken was done. We were wary of mayonnaise-laden potato salad or deviled eggs that had spent some time on the picnic table.
Then, some ten years ago, the first reports of bagged spinach laden with E. coli frightened and baffled grocery store customers. People wondered, "Who in the world gets sick from spinach?"
Since then, E. coli foodborne disease outbreaks have occurred every year, sometimes resulting in illness--and even death.
Concerns became so great that President Obama signed into law the "FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the most sweeping reform of our food safety laws in more than 70 years ... on January 4, 2011" (par. 1). Just last year, concerns about food safety dominated the agenda of the World Health Day 2015.
Keep Urban Fresh Farms at the top of your list for fresh leafy vegetables. We are certainly keeping food safety at the top of ours!