Are you interested to invest in Swissponic? Well there is a good chance to learn more about us in two weeks in Zürich. We have been selected from the Jury of the SICTIC Investor Day as one of the eight most promising startups. More information and inscription request you can find on the link above. We are looking forward to meeting you!
Not only energy efficiency is a big point for new buildings, homes have to become more active. The last 10 years as been signed with great increment of new renewable energy production through photovoltaic panels installations. Now also the green reintroduction on the spaces occupied by cementer expansion is becoming a necessity. This is the case of this innovative project in Vienna where they combined photovoltaic and green on the rooftop, with the right technology they can improve the solution by introducing vegetable cultivation.
After two years of engineering work, Alpha and Beta tests, countless workshops and many many hours of business model scenarios, we are pleased to inform our followers that we have reached our goal by completing our home farming solution with automated control system and that we will officially go to market on early 2017. We also decided to apply to our nearest start up competition (Startcup Ticino) and the great notice is that we have been selected as one of the ten finalists for the best Start up of the year 2016 for innovation and rising opportunity.
Details on the ceremony you find on this link (Startcup Ticino 2016 Ceremony) where you can also participate (terms of inscription is 26.11.16) and vote our Start up.
Stay tuned and thank you in advance for your support!
People are more to more asking themselves what they are eating and lots of journalists are finally investigating on the consequences for our health due to abuse of chemicals use in agriculture. Unfortunately there are Governments that still allows the use of pesticides to grow better vegetables that are prohibited in the Europe and North America areas since they are considered carcinogen. Hereafter we link some reports in Italian Language (also relating water contamination and new farming trends), if have other interesting reports in any language please do not hesitate to send us the link so to post it on our blog. Thank you.
(Picture by charlie vinz from chicago – portable fish farm, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7913728)
Let’s talk fish. Take my word for it: It may not sound like the most glamorous of topics, but our swimming friends are potential game changers in the world of Personal Urban Farming (PUF).
I’ve mentioned aquaponics in the past, but have yet to expand on the topic. Especially for those who are new to alternative farming, this might be a method you don’t really know much about. Even if you are savvy on the pros and cons of aquaponics, it never hurts to reconsider the basics of what makes this technique a viable option (or not so viable option) as we brainstorm the future of PUF.
Essentially, aquaponics uses fish and plants . They rely on one another to live. Waste from the fish feeds the plants while the plants filter the water so that the fish have a healthy environment.
When people are first introduced to aquaponics, I’ve found that one of the most common reactions is concern regarding the amount of water that is required. If fish are involved, doesn’t that mean you will use more water than other growing methods would?
This is an important question to address, as water will only continue to become a more limited resource in decades to come.
Despite the ‘aqua’ in aquaponics, this method of alternative farming actually uses a very minimal amount of water comparatively. One source referred to it as “water recycling.” Aquaponics creates its own ecosystem that cleans the water as it passes through the growing plants. Water, then, is very intentionally used and retained by all steps of the process.
The only time that water is lost is during cleaning, during which an effective aquaponics setup will only lose about 10 percent. This percentage is already down considerably from what is was just a few years ago.
As an advocate for PUF, one of the most exciting aspects of aquaponics for me is the lack of restriction regarding location. Aquaponic systems have been set up in all types of spaces—indoors and outdoors, on land unsuitable for farming otherwise, in urban homes and small apartments.
To prepare for your aquaponics system, take note that you will need to invest in quality fish food. This is probably the main item you will continuously need to add to keep this method of food production going.
Of course, there are a lot of questions you may have surrounding the details. Which fish are best? Which plants are best? Which combinations are most effective, and do I need to add any nutrients to my water?
This takes us back to the database that we’re currently working on putting together—a database that would essentially be a recipe box for PUF.
Scientists in the field continue to explore what the options and what works best. What’s exciting is that everyday people, like you and I, can join in that exploration and experimentation. With an online database to share our results, we will be able to make double the progress by learning from one another.
Until the database is up and running, rest assured that many types of fish and many types of plants have proven to work well in aquaponics. There are simplified lists available online that can help you start brainstorming which produce you would like to grow and which fish can help complete the cycle.
If you are still on the fence about trying aquaponics, I have one final bit of encouragement:
Last year, an article was published in the Journal of Science and Technology Education explaining a project in which students created their own aquaponics system. The report concluded that this group of young adults saw improved “sustainable development, social compromise, team work and cross-cultural communication skills” as a result of their collaboration.
Clearly, there is much to learn from aquaponics.
Just as the fish and plants need each other, we must rely on one another to continue advancing environmentally-friendly methods that can produce the food we need, where we need it most.
Independence, efficiency, climate change. I can think of a lot of practical reasons why growing your own food, even if you live in the city, is a smart idea.
Despite all of that, many people remain unconvinced. Why?
The individuals I have met who are passionate about Personal Urban Farming (PUF) are passionate for more reasons that just the practical stuff (although that’s a part of it, too). There’s something about this wild and crazy new-age concept that goes deeper than logical thinking.
As far-out there as that may seem, that’s what I’d like to explore a little bit in today’s blog. I’ve come up with five reasons—besides the obvious—that PUF can make an incredible and lasting difference in your life.
There are actually scientific studies that prove this to be true. No matter how old you are, it is important to be open to learning new things—and not just things that you need for your day job.
PUFs are the perfect lifelong learning opportunity. Deciding which plants you want to grow, creating the right environment—even choosing how to use your produce once it’s mature—all of these steps require a curiosity and passion for learning that enriches quality of life.
In the first chapter of his book, Food and Nutrition, author Paul Fieldhouse jumps right into the conversation of culture and what we eat:
“Where it is easily seen that the direct consequences of food intake are biological—food meets the energy and nutrient needs of the body—it is also apparent that the nature of that food intake is shaped by a wide variety of geographical, social, psychological, religious, economic and political factors,” Fieldhouse writes.
If you have ever wanted to learn more about yourself—who you are, where you come from, and so on—delving into the world of food might be the opportunity you have been seeking.
When you think of trying to master a new system to grow your own food, it might not sound like a particularly relaxing undertaking. According to a study that was published in the Journal of Health Psychology, though, gardening can have an effect on the mind that actually reduces stress—even more so than reading a book.
Now, with PUFs, that stress relief is available indoors, year ‘round.
For us and our work, this community will start with an online database. You may have heard me mention it before. It is our goal to organize a database with input from hundreds—maybe thousands, maybe millions—of people, connecting you to other PUF-enthusiasts, their mistakes, successes and valuable insight.
Imagine, too, the real-time conversations you could have with neighbors, friends and family, as you embark on this new adventure of growing your own produce. Our collective knowledge could go along way in developing new sustainable farming practices—and bettering our communities, simultaneously.
Why do you care about PUFs? How has growing your own food impacted your life — besides the practical or the obvious?