We are excited to share with you our first guest post! Woot Woot! Chris Michael from Bright Agrotech discusses his company’s sweet produce growing systems. It’s so cool to hear about new and innovative ways people are accessing fresh and healthy produce. We want to thank Chris for sharing this with us! We hope you learn something new!
“Towards a Brighter Future of Food”
It’s hard to be optimistic about the future of food in this country… But we are!
We’re growing food that feeds our local community and we’re doing it vertically, sustainably, and profitably!
The Bad News:
Let’s face it. When we look at the state of our agriculture system today, it can be very disheartening. Each day we’re bombarded by headlines about E-Coli, Listeria, and other food-borne illness outbreaks from tainted irrigation water or poor quality processing facilities.
We have no idea what’s really sprayed on the fields and how these pesticides and herbicides affect the health of our families and our environment.
It’s said the average American dinner travels an average of 1,500 miles from farm to plate. Studies are also showing that our food loses nutrients as soon as they’re picked, plucked, or harvested from the fields.
With that in mind, how on earth are we supposed to get the vital nutrients, vitamins, and nutrients that we’re trying to glean from eating “healthy foods?”
And, when we add in increasing urban sprawl, loss of precious topsoil, and a rapidly aging farmer population, things look pretty bleak, right?
But, in spite of all this gloom and doom…
We’re hopeful and excited.
The Good News:
At Bright Agrotech, we’ve seen firsthand the challenges of being in agriculture today. We’ve seen the farms of our family and friends suffer from drought and crippling debt. Doing research at the University of Wyoming, our Co-Founder and CEO Nate Storey, Ph.D wanted to invent a more efficient method of growing healthier, more nutritious food that also helps farmers live better.
Before you write us off as deviant pot-peddlers, hear us out!
While it has an unfortunate stigma, hydroponics merely substitutes soil nutrients for a more potent, concentrated nutrient solution mixed with water. It’s WAY more efficient at giving your plants what they need to grow up big and strong, which increases the productivity of your farm or garden.
The type of hydroponics we use is called aquaponics.
This method of growing food is a more organic type that simply replaces a cleverly concocted nutrient fertilizer solution with fish!
That’s right, we use fish to grow [lots] of food!
Aquaponics is by no means a new concept. In fact. it’s been around for a long time. As cool as it is though, it’s having a difficult time transitioning from a backyard hobby to an economically sustainable commercial venture. Until now.
Practical Vertical Farming
You read that right. We’ve developed some kick ass vertical farming technology that provides some serious value across all three levels of food production and distribution (i.e. farmer, grocer, customer)!
The ZipGrowTM Tower, our patented vertical farming tower that’s enabling a fresher food future, is the product of seven years of rigorous academic research.
Not only does it allow us to see some serious yields in our aquaponic greenhouse (Catch a video tour here!), we’ve designed it to transport live to market!
In the not too distant future you could be going to the store to cut the freshest produce from living walls.
Live Sales Model
About 60% of a farmer’s costs come from harvest, post-harvest labor, and packaging. Nate’s research confronted this massive cost head on and sought to eliminate it. Here in Laramie, we grow our towers and drive them a mile to the local grocer in which we have a specially designed and patented living green wall. The customer simply clips exactly what they need (helping to drastically reduce post-consumer waste), bag it themselves and take it to the checkout counter to be weighed and purchased. That means fresher food, more taste and better nutrients for the customer and the customer’s family!
Healthier food grown in YOUR KITCHEN
As you can see, we’ve been realizing the benefits of vertical farming for a few years now and we’re going even one step past the living green wall. We believe that growing and harvesting is so innately human that we want everyone to have the opportunity to grow healthier, more nutrient-dense food in their homes.
The Spring is our home version of our innovative vertical farming system that consists of everything you need to plant and grow delicious food in your home without taking up much space. You may have seen our Kickstarter project that we launched a few months back and we’re now in the final steps of bringing it to life.
But there’s more…
The coolest part about The Spring is that not only does it allow anyone to simply grow food in their kitchens and patios, it also enables an even fresher farming distribution model. Instead of your farmer taking their towers of living produce to the local grocer, they now take it directly to your home (like a milkman used to do!). To learn more about that, see our “Bright Future of Food” here!
The Future of Food
Relax! Do yourself a favor and turn off the evening news declaring another food-borne illness contamination. Put down the newspaper and the headlines about the skyrocketing price of corn.
The future of food isn’t all doom and gloom.
That said, it is a future waiting to be enacted and adopted by those who see the bigger picture. The fresh food revolution isn’t going to magically appear, sadly. We need advocates and early adopters with that innovative eye constantly looking out for the health of their families and their natural world.
We hope you’ll help us spread this message of hope to your friends, family, local Co-Op, or grocery store and demand healthier, locally-grown, nutritious food!
– Chris Michael
If you want to learn more about Bright Agrotech feel free to click on the links below! We hope you find yourself in your garden this upcoming growing season, whether it’s horizontal or vertical!
Find more from Bright Agrotech:
YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/user/BrightAgrotechLLC