Urban Farm Startups Are Growing the Future

192
kale

Bowery is the latest of a handful of urban farm startups attempting to reinvent how people, specifically city dwellers, get their food.

Even AeroFarms, a New Jersey farm startup that waters its plants with patented aeroponic misting apparatus and is the most established U.S. company of its kind, describes its progress in terms of traditional software release iterations.

The Brooklyn-based company Gotham Greens is a successful test case for shrinking the greenhouse farm format to fit smaller metropolitan spaces, but still harvest enough produce to turn a profit.

It’s currently renovating a former steel supply company building half a mile away from its current headquarters, creating what will be its third major farm and a symbolic gesture of rehabilitation for the city.

“They’ve looked at our history, they’ve looked at our operating costs, and they’ve seen what the demand is,” cofounder Marc Oshima told me when I visited the farm.

The true question of Silicon Valley investors is almost always: Can a business scale up? Is it a Foursquare or an Uber? The question is particularly tricky for something as intricately designed and finicky as a farm, which can’t simply be revamped by overhauling a portion of code or redesigning its user experience.

The inventor’s secret sauce is a proprietary nozzle used to mist a plant’s roots with with nutrient-rich water, a method called aeroponics that cofounder Oshima says uses 95 percent less water than traditional farming, which is even less than hydroponic farming uses - and less than the average aeroponic farm uses.

This is an autogenerated summary from a published source: Buying the Farm – The Ringer