Urban Agriculture Startup Gotham Greens Closes $29 Million Round of Funding

Urban Agriculture Startup Gotham Greens Closes $29 Million Round of Funding

Gotham Greens, a technologically advanced urban agriculture startup, has closed a $29 million Series C financing round, bringing its total equity funding to $45 million, according to Fortune.

The Brooklyn-based company says the same investors that have backed them from the beginning continue to invest. “They’re sticking with the company. They like the profitability and the returns,” says co-founder and CEO Viraj Puri.

But a new investor, global investment company Creadev, joined the club with a “significant” investment. Creadev is funded by the Mulliez family– one of the wealthiest families in France.

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Vertical Life Farms Looks To Bring Local Produce to South Dallas

While Downtown Dallas may have a thriving culinary scene, only several minutes away, neighboring South Dallas hasn’t fared as well with offering healthy, tasty food options. The area is known familiarly by locals as a “food dessert” for the lack of fresh food available. Enter Alaric Overbey, a businessman who has set out to revive this area’s reputation by establishing Vertical Life Farms, a system of tower gardens operating throughout the city.

These tower gardens are located on rooftops, patios, and balconies throughout Dallas and operate using a vertical aeroponic system. These systems can grow nearly every fruit and vegetable, thereby offering local restaurants and markets an ample supply of fresh, local produce.

Overbey explained to Dallas Weekly, “My goal is to be able to sell as many tower gardens as possible. As a result, I’ll be able to start a much needed food initiative.” Read More

Urban Agriculture’s Healthy Roots in Detroit

Urban Agriculture’s Healthy Roots in Detroit

Urban farming may seem like a recent phenomenon, sprouting up in cities across America, but it’s been around much longer than that.

According to the 2014 documentary, “Plant This Movie,” narrated by actress Daryl Hannah, as far back as the 1930s, people were using their own land to grow their own food and raise their own livestock. During World War II, victory gardens produced hundreds of tons of food a year. In 1944, 40 percent of food was grown at home and school gardens, totaling 20 million gardens coast to coast.

After the war, soldiers came home and wanted their own piece of the pie, paving the way for a watershed moment in the late ‘40s. The lawn became a symbol of upward mobility as suburban sprawl took hold. Much like the lawn, grocery stores became a symbol of a high standard of living and made it easy to pick up peas for that night’s dinner instead of waiting for them to come into season.

As Hannah said, “The highway system and advances in refrigeration divorced people from their food. Local food was not a lifestyle choice — it was the only choice available to most people until the 1950s.”

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Artesian Farms: Growing Veggies and Jobs in Detroit

Artesian Farms: Growing Veggies and Jobs in Detroit

By Dorothy Hernandez, Foodable Contributor

In a former warehouse on Detroit’s northwest side, Jeffrey Adams is not only planting the seeds for the produce he grows in his vertical hydroponic farm, but also for the revitalization of his hard-hit neighborhood.

When he began Artesian Farms, which grows, packages and distributes vegetables such as lettuce, chard and kale, as well as herbs such as basil, he wanted to use the farm as a vehicle to create jobs and training programs to boost Brightmoor, a blighted area that has been wracked with crime and abandoned homes. 

Artesian Farms offers several benefits to the community, he says. “No. 1, turn blighted space into something productive. Two, we hire from the neighborhood,” says Adams, who adds the community has a high rate of unemployment, especially among 18- to 30-year-olds. His first employee is from the neighborhood, a woman he has known since she was 12.

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Check Out Our "On Foodable Side Dish" Episode Featuring Boston's Rooftop Farms [VIDEO]

Farm-to-table. Farm-to-fork. Farm-to-bar. However you word it, this “trend” has become a movement through the power of consumer demand. Nowadays, it’s a lot easier to find establishments that cater to this ethos, where ingredients in dishes coming out of the kitchen can be traced back to where they came from. 

In a recent “On Foodable Side Dish” episode, we explore this movement as transparently as possible: by bringing viewers into Boston’s rooftop gardens and then showing you how local Boston chefs are incorporating some of these fresh-picked ingredients into their menus. 

Bostonian and Foodable Video Correspondent, Jacqueline Church, first takes us to Higher Ground, where Founding Farmers John Stoddard and Courtney Hennessey tell us how they got started and what they are producing, and give us a tour of the herb garden. The next stop is Fenway Park’s Fenway Farms, where Sr. Executive Chef Ron Abell talks about the fruition of the rooftop farm, an idea that has been in the works for years. He also brings us into his kitchen to show us how he’s using the fare to produce fresh menu items daily.