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Sundrop Farms – Wow!

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Touch the Soil News #702 (Photo – Aerial of Sundrop Farms – CC SA 4.0) Sundrop Farms in Australia is a testament to human ingenuity. The farm is a 90-acre facility that includes greenhouses and a concentrated solar power generator to desalinate water (from the ocean) and power the greenhouses. To start with, Sundrop produces tomatoes. Estimates are that the facility has a potential to produce 30 million pounds of tomatoes a year. Initial production is under a contract with supermarket chain – Coles. Coles has 776 supermarkets throughout Australia employing some 100,000 people. You’ve got to see the video below. Sundrop plans to employ about 200 people and all…

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What Is Protected Horticulture?

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Touch the Soil News #571 The term protected means protected from the elements. Protected horticulture has been primarily employed in greenhouse settings, but can also be in buildings hosting vertical agriculture or other forms of protecting crops from the elements. The advantage of protected horticulture is that it can produce food continually, provided there are water, light and plant nutrients. While it has not captured the attention of the American public, a food-production revolution is going on in Mexico – It is called protective vegetable farming. In the year 2000, Mexico had already established itself as a leader in protected vegetable production with about 1,950 acres under greenhouse cover. Fast…

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Urban Seed – Big Plans for Las Vegas

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Touch the Soil News #455 Urban Seed, a Las Vegas enterprise, wishes to launch a worldwide farming revolution while making Las Vegas an environmentally responsible source of high-end produce. Last week, the management team – a group of 10 highly experienced professionals in business, finance, horticulture and culinary arts – broke ground on a campus of 7 greenhouses. The greenhouses will have an incandescent green glow which will make them visible from the Las Vegas strip. The new campus will also include a production studio, commercial kitchen and event space. At the heart of the operation will be the hydroponic greenhouses which Urban Seed says will be run and managed…

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News Roundup

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Touch the Soil News #253 Metropolis Farms in Philadelphia stacks growing trays high inside an urban building. Jack Griffin, president of Metropolis Farms says they can grow 120,000 plants in 36 square feet. You just have to go higher. Griffin explains they can grow plants at a density of 1,200 times that of conventional farms. Visit their site at: http://www.metropolisfarmsusa.com/   UrbanFarmers AG – a German Company is in the business of designing and operating aquaponic rooftop farms. A present they are under construction of Europe’s largest rooftop farm – 13,000 square foot rooftop greenhouse, a 4,000 square foot indoor fish farm, a 2,700 square foot processing and packaging area…

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Wyomatoes & Kelp4Less in PBS Special

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Touch the Soil News #226 Recently the Wyoming PBS aired a special program on Wyomatoes.  Wyomatoes is a unique greenhouse that raises organic tomatoes in soil. Also featured in the presentation is Brandon Mason from Kelp4Less. Mason and Kelp4Less helped Wyomatoes go organic and rise to the challenge of soil nutrition, soil biology, plant nutrition and plant health that go hand in hand with organic farming. Wyomatoes logo on the side of their delivery truck (Photo – Susan Gisin) The Wyoming PBS station produces a series of programs under the heading “Farm to Fork Wyoming.”   The series explores the growing direct to market economy – an insightful resource for the…

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Sundrop Farms’ Greenhouses Boggle the Imagination

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Touch the Soil News #210 While the information doesn’t reach mainstream American news, the folks down under (Port Augusta, Australia) are engaged in a big project. Sundrop Farms – a hydroponic greenhouse venture – is in the midst of building a 49.4 acre complex of greenhouses. Sundrop Farms has reached an agreement with Australian supermarket chain “Coles” to supply locally grown, sustainably produced affordable produce. Coles has 750 retail outlets across Australia. Inside a Sundrop Farm tomato greenhouse – the new greenhouses will cover about 2.2 million square feet (photo courtesy of Sundrop Farms) The farming project, called the Port Augusta project, does not utilize the traditional farming cornerstones of…

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Food-Chain News Roundup

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Touch the Soil News # 149 Billionaires and Food Vietnam’s only billionaire, Pham Nhat Vuong, through his investment company Vingroup, is putting together a $46.5 million dollar greenhouse food enterprise. Up till now, Vuong has been involved in property development – making agriculture a total departure from his norm. Helping in the project is Israeli company Netafim. Netafim builds out greenhouses and is the world’s leader in drip irrigation products and technology. Vuong represents just one small investor, among a growing flock of investors looking to harness their dollars in food and agriculture. Greenhouse food production near cities attracts billionaire Farmers Open Grocery Store Two Canadian farmers – Simone Rudge…

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