RSS Entries ATOM Entries

Posts Tagged ‘local food production’

The Plant: From Meatpacking Factory to Vertical Farm and Food Business Incubator

Posted in Models by Jessica Bird on May 23rd, 2012

Source: Co.Exist

Photo by Plant Chicago via Flickr CC

From “A Meatpacking Plant Transformed into a Vertical Farm” by Ariel Schwartz

When entrepreneur John Edel was a kid, he loved to visit the Garfield Park Conservatory, a massive indoor plant conservatory in Chicago that was largely neglected until the mid-1990s. Edel’s fascination for indoor growing never waned. In 2010, the entrepreneur bought “The Plant”–an empty 93,500-square-foot Chicago meatpacking plant–with the intention of turning it into a net-zero waste and energy vertical farm. “Edel was interested in ways of bringing back manufacturing jobs to the city,” explains Melanie Hoekstra, director of operations at The Plant. The building is uniquely suited to food production; it contains food-grade materials (these allow for legal and safe food preparation) because of its meatpacking history. Instead of combining farming with other types of manufacturing, The Plant is sticking entirely to food–and lots of it.

So far, the plant’s tenants include a handful of bakers, a kombucha brewery, a tilapia fish farm, a mushroom garden, and three aquaponics farms (including Skyygreens). The Plant is currently on the hunt for a brewery. When everything is up and running, waste won’t be able to escape The Plant. The brewery’s spent grains will feed the fish farm, waste products from the fish will nourish the mushroom garden or feed the plants, and the plants (found in the aquaculture operations) will clean the water and send it back to the fish farm. The net-zero energy building is also installing a combined heat and power system (set to be up and running next year), which will collect methane from The Plant’s food waste-gobbling anaerobic digester. The system will turn that methane into electricity and heat. The heat, in turn, will be converted into steam and sent to the brewery, which will use it to boil kettles.

Despite its grand ambitions and reliance on volunteers, The Plant’s construction is moving along at a fairly rapid pace. The shared kitchen space will be finished by 2014, and the outdoor gardens will come soon after that. Everything–including common areas–will be finished by 2016 or 2017. The reaction so far from the surrounding neighborhood has been encouraging. “Folks in the immediate vicinity are generally excited at the very least because it’s not just a vacant building at the dead end of a street where lord knows what could happen,” says Hoekstra. Eventually, some of those neighbors might even end up with new jobs. The Plant anticipates that its tenants will hire approximately 125 people to do everything from manning the mushroom farm to making cake in the bakeries.

To learn more about how The Plant works, watch this short video.
For more information visit The Plant’s website.

SoupCycle & Community Supported Agriculture

Posted in Models by Kate Archdeacon on April 22nd, 2010

Source: Springwise

SoupCycle is a bicycle-based delivery service for organic soup, made from locally grown produce and delivered each week to subscribers.

Three soups are typically on the menu in any given week at SoupCycle. Consumers who live or work in the Portland, Oregon, company’s delivery area begin by checking out the selections for the following week and placing their order by midnight on Friday; rustic bread, salad and dressing are also available. With a list of subscribers in hand, SoupCycle then buys the necessary produce from local farmers. On Monday it cooks up those ingredients into delectable soup, and then on Tuesdays it begins its weekly deliveries, with a different delivery day for each area. Each of SoupCycle’s trailers can carry some 40 soup containers, 40 bread loaves and 20 salads at once.

Since SoupCycle first launched about a year and a half ago, it has delivered more than 10,000 orders of soup, spent USD 33,000 with local farmers and saved 3,000 gas-powered miles by using bicycles instead. Some 300 subscribers now enjoy its weekly deliveries.

See the original post on Springwise.

Toronto Food Policy Council- An Example for the World

Posted in Models, RDAG by Devin Maeztri on April 16th, 2009

The City of Toronto created the Toronto Food Policy Council (TFPC) in 1991 in the absence of federal and provincial leadership on food security.

TFPC partners with business and community groups (including City Councillors and volunteer representatives from consumer, business, farm, labour, multicultural, anti-hunger advocacy, faith, and community development groups) to develop policies and programs promoting food security – the TFPC has been instrumental in putting Food Security and Food Policy development squarely on the municipal agenda in Toronto

Read the rest of this entry »