Jasmina Dolce is managing editor of GPN magazine. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 847.391.1004.
Interested in Controlled Environment Education?
Are you interested in learning more about hydroponic growing methods? Then mark your calendars and get ready for CEA School!
Growers Supply, a division of FarmTek, is hosting a three-day workshop to discuss techniques in controlled environment agriculture (CEA). The CEA School will take place Oct. 22-24, 2014, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST at FarmTek's Technology Center East in South Windsor, Connecticut. The goal of the workshop is to teach attendees how to maximize business and production potential by utilizing proven CEA techniques.
Growers will be able to discover new tips and secrets from industry professionals on how to grow beautiful and profitable vegetables with hydroponic systems, provide livestock with a nutritious, cost-effective feed with fodder systems, use an aquaponic system to produce marketable fish and lush plants and much more.
The cost for the three-day workshop is $995 and includes curriculum workbook, lunch and hotel accommodations. The $995 fee will be returned to attendees as a product credit.
To register, contact Ashley Madore at 800.476.9715, ext. 1649 or email@example.com. Space is limited, so hurry!
Lila's Garden has recently opened a new location in Hendersonville, North Carolina. The company hydroponically grows microgreens, which Suzette Cloutier, a hydroponic grower at Lila's, says is "the original fast food. You don't even have to wash it." The operation is selling its microgreens to local retailers and restaurants. The "local" model is intended to lessen the miles it takes to bring food to the table and keeps quality a primary concern regarding how the food is grown. Many consumers are drawn to these plants because of their incredible density of vitamins and protein. "Microgreens are the newest rage," says Carolyn Widener, outlet manager at Lila's Garden. "We believe the food model is going to 'harvest as you require' — there's less carbon footprint and more vitality and freshness."
The city of Tempe, Arizona, announced that Rio Salado Golf Course will slowly transform into a community garden after accepting a proposal from Ken Singh, co-owner of Singh Farms in Scottsdale, Arizona. He says, "We outgrew our farm, and we wanted to bring life back to the land." The city has also recruited the help of Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS), a social entrepreneurship program part of Arizona State University. The EPICS team, which will have around 240 students participating this fall, will focus on aquaponics, hydroponics and finding innovative sustainable solutions for growing food in an efficient manner. According to Amanda Nelson, Tempe PIO, the city hopes to get the project started in early 2015. "Tempe has had a few community gardens, but nothing to this scale," she says. "It's pretty conceptual right now."
In an effort to help alleviate hunger in Waco, Texas, Michael Kemp, a board member and engineer for The Shepherd's Heart Food Pantry in Waco, has created a model aquaponics system in his backyard. Robert Gager, director of Shepherd's Heart Food Pantry, and Kemp are working on expanding the model and opening a large aquaponics system on a little less than 3 acres of land provided by Texas State Technical College (TSTC). Gager says, "We'll have enough land out there to grow enough crops for at least 2,000 people." TSTC and Shepherd's Heart also plan to teach others about aquaponics from the new facility.