BrightFarms finances, designs, builds and operates greenhouse farms at or near supermarkets, cutting time, distance, and cost from the produce supply chain.
We’ve been in urban agriculture since 2006.
BrightFarms grew out of non-profit New York Sun Works (NYSW), launched by urban farming visionary—and BrightFarms board member—Dr. Ted Caplow. NYSW created the renowned Science Barge, a prototype, sustainable urban farm and environmental education center on the Hudson River. Following its success, we were flooded with requests to build science-barge-like projects. In 2007 we created a for-profit greenhouse consultancy, BrightFarm Systems, to respond to the demand.
The Science Barge is a prototype, sustainable urban farm and environmental education center. It is the only fully functioning demonstration of renewable energy supporting sustainable food production in New York City. The Science Barge grows tomatoes, cucumbers, and lettuce with zero net carbon emissions, zero chemical pesticides, and zero runoff. From May to October 2007, the Science Barge hosted over 3,000 schoolchildren from all five New York boroughs as well as surrounding counties as part of our environmental education program. In addition, over 6,000 adult visitors visited the facility along with press from around the world.
The Science Barge: now in Yonkers, New York
The ownership of the Science Barge program has been assumed by Groundwork Hudson Valley, located in Yonkers, NY. For information about public tours, opening times and education programming, please follow this link to the Groundwork Hudson Valley website
“The Science Barge is not only an invitation to ideas and learning, but to change.”
Dr. Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University
and special economic advisor to the United Nations.
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Walk along Pacific Boulevard to Carrall Street in Vancouver and you’ll see a garden growing in a concrete parking lot in the shadow of Rogers Arena. This is SOLEfood Urban Farm’s newest (and, at two acres, biggest) project – a sure sign that urban agriculture has reached Vancouver.
SOLEfood, which received a free three-year lease on the land from Concord Pacific Developments, has been growing bok choy, spinach, eggplant, kale, peppers, tomatoes, strawberries and other fruits and veggies in nearly 3,000 wooden planters since last May.
Once harvested, 10% of the produce will be donated to Downtown Eastside (DTES) organizations; the rest will be sold to restaurants and farmer’s markets and divided among members of SOLEfood’s community supported agriculture (CSA) program (find out how you can receive fresh, locally grown produce throughout the year here).
But SOLEfood grows more than food. It also creates jobs for people that may have trouble finding employment. With several more urban gardens in the works, the organization, which was founded by Michael Ableman and Seann Dory, plans to employ up to 25 Vancouver Downtown Eastside residents to build planters and care for the plants by the end of 2012.