As we all well know, right now is a critical time where we all need to be taking care of ourselves, each other and our planet. The choices we make every day all have a big impact, and especially the choices we make on a repeated basis. One of those choices (I trust! :-) ), is where to source our produce, since we are buying it every week, or every few days (right!). It matters how far that produce travels, and whether it is organic or not. When we make a purchase we are supporting or taking a stand against pesticides, toxic herbicides, carbon emissions and more- whether it is a conscious or unconscious stand.
I learned about Home Town Farms, which is a company working on making a huge difference in farming and the way produce is grown and distributed. Take a peek at my interview with CEO Dan Gibbs:
1. Tell us about Home Town Farms, and what it does.
Home Town Farms combines proven growing technologies in such a way that drastically reduces the amount of water, fuel, fertilizer, packaging and land that traditional farms use to grow the same amount of food. Home Town Farms will virtually eliminate the cost of transporting produce hundreds if not thousands of miles by setting up vertical farms in densely populated areas with direct to consumer sales, on location where the food is grown in addition to wholesale sales to local farmer’s markets, restaurants and grocery stores.
2. What inspired you to create this concept/company?
After studying Nutrition and Renewable energies I realized that our food production and distribution systems are one of the most wasteful processes in our country, and potentially the world. My partner who is an expert in farming and cutting edge growing technologies showed me one of the vertical growing systems that we will be using, and at that point we realized that we could move these systems in to the city and change the way we grow and distribute food.
3. How is this different or better than supporting organic sources of food?
We are Locally grown and Organic, we offer the best of both worlds plus the systems that we use saves on average 85% of the water, 80% of the fertilizer and only uses 1/6th the land than traditional farming plus because of location reduces fuel consumption and carbon out put by about 90%. Because of these resource savings we can produce organic vegetables and berries for less than half of what it costs traditional farms to produce and transport non-organic vegetables and berries. With direct to consumer sales, we will pass allot of these savings onto the consumer.
Commercial Vertical Organic Urban Farming offers the following benefits:
1. Water Savings
2. Carbon Reduction
3. Fuel Reduction
4. Food Safety
5. Eliminate herbicides and harmful pesticides
6. Higher food nutrient content
7. Affordable organic food
8. Reduces fertilizer consumption
9. Food Security
10. Local Jobs
4. Where is this being implemented already?
No one in the country has our exact business model. The systems that we are using to grow our produce have been sourced from other countries around the world and all have over 10 years of proven track records. We are combining these existing systems in a way that no one else has done. We are working on opening our first farm in San Diego, CA.
5. What are your future goals?
I believe that Commercial Vertical Organic Urban farming is going to a major industry in our country and the world. Our goal is to be the leader in this new industry. We are currently working on street level farms and developing roof top farms, plus we are looking at different ways to make multistory buildings work.
6. Anything else you’d like to add?
In order for urban farming to supply the majority of fresh produce to the city dwelling population it must be economically viable. Home Town Farms has found that solution. We save a tremendous amount of natural resources, provide more nutrient rich food for less and at the same time are very profitable. A true win for all looking for natural foods for energy!
Hopefully, in the future, this type of farming will become widespread across our country and the world! Remember to do your best to make the best decisions you can when purchasing- choosing organic, local…and soon we can add urban and vertical to that list.
See you here soon! xx Kimberly