Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Earthday Round the Corner

On this, the eve's eve of the 40th anniversary of Earthday, we should remember to still celebrate what April 22nd, 1970 was a call for. It was a call to improve the quality of life on Earth, to engage politicians, musicians, writers, business leaders and anyone else breathing, that the planet is a prerequisite to our own lives, and that beautifying it beautifies us.

So when John Tierney of the New York Times wrote an article--"7 New Rules to Live By"--I was struck that he did not mention vertical farming. You see, vertical farming is simply a creative expression of the solution to a handful of man-made problems: climate change, hunger, water scarcity, species extinction, all of these are problems whose solutions lie in producing daily behaviors that are in line with the world we hope to produce. So the first question is, What kind of world do we want to produce?

I'll start.

Josh Tickell on Jay Leno

Josh Tickell, whose movie, Fuel, illustrates a path for discarding our nation's oil crutch for energy needs, was interviewed on Jay Leno about one year ago.  Leno seems especially enthralled by the notion of a solution in vertical farms.  So that this clip doesn't gather cobwebs, I'll share it here, where hopefully it will be something pleasant to some, and something at least remarkable to most. 

Leno Hosts FUEL Director Josh Tickell from Stacy Hess on Vimeo.
(Video courtesy of Vimeo.) 

If there's one thing to take away from this, it's that good ideas are sticky.  That means that the most important thing that supporters of vertical farming can do is tell people about it.  Tell someone a good idea, and it will stick there, like planting a seed, and then germinate when one hears the idea again and again.  If we spread this idea like gigantic wings, then it will fly.    

Monday, April 12, 2010

A Quite Right Food Panel Night

This past Thursday, on April 8th, Leonard Lopate of WNYC hosted a panel discussion on everyone's favorite topic: urban farming.  Panel members included friends of Vertical Farming Annie Novak of Greenpoint Rooftop Farm and Manhattan Borough President, Scott Stringer, as well as urban ag all star Will Allen of Growing Power in Milwaukee, and artist Fritz Haeg, who created Edible Estates: Attack on the Front Lawn, a book documenting the urban food movement around the country. 

I've got to be honest--I haven't watched the whole thing.  But I wouldn't be surprised if Vertical Farming came up in this discussion.  Scott Stringer has made it very clear that he wants to have Vertical Farms in New York, and Will Allen is actually working on a sort of low-tech Vertical Farm outside of Milwaukee.  (From what I understand, he is converting an abandoned warehouse into another of his urban food oases.) 

Watch the whole conversation (87 minutes, heads up) on the Green Space (WNYC's studio for stuff like this) website here.