Last week we featured the innovative and inspiring 'Manchester Veg People'and we were really impressed with their local approach to fresh veg and their determination to give people the opportunity to know where their food has come from.
So inspired were we in fact, that we decided to dig a little further into the public’s growing obsession with their food’s journey and we unearthed something very interesting indeed- lettuce fill you in…(ba dum tss)
Sustainable commercial urban farming
Wait a minute...commercial urban farming...surely it’s not possible? Well, actually thanks to innovative new startup GrowUp and its ingenious creators Kate Hofman and Tom Webster, it might just be around the corner! GrowUp aims to demonstrate how sustainable, commercial farming can be achieved in urban areas through the use of vertical growing systems and a method known as aquaponics.
Check out the image with the happy cabbages and fish...it really is as simple as it looks. GrowUp are able to produce veg and fish in a closed loop system where the only human input is the food used to feed the fish. In short, the fish eat the food, and then excrete nutrients into the water which in turn feeds the plants - no soil, no chemicals, no fertilisers and no pesticides - just local, eco-friendly, sustainable crops and fish. Best of all, these farms are perfect for locating in disused urban spaces such as brownfield sites or the rooftops of buildings so can even play a role in urban regeneration!
So far GrowUp has been met with great enthusiasm, evidenced by the fact that their recent crowdfunding campaign raised £16,000, which allowed them to create a 'GrowUp Box' an upcycled shipping container furnished with the aquaponic system. This box has given the pair the ability to demonstrate the potential of their system and educate local people about the processes behind commercial food production- the pair have since been showing off their fab new ideas to the public at various events including the Chelsea Fringe Festival in May/June.
We think GrowUp is a brilliant idea and we can think of at least a hundred places where this system could work really well. This is exactly the kind of thinking that we at Startacus like to see - clever people identifying a problem and finding a feasible solution which fits in with the way we live today. Best of luck GrowUp!
For more information on GrowUp, check out their website and if you want to know more about crowdfunding have a look at our previous article.
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Thinking of applying for an accelerator programme? Diane Roberts from global accelerator for tech startups StartPlanetNI, shares her experience on some of the things that startups need to consider before applying.
Join us on Tuesday 17th May 10am - 12pm when we will be hosting a Twitter chat all about startup accelerator programmes, how to create a successful application, and how to make the most of the experience.
upSTART Belfast Startup Pitch Battle
11th Apr 2016
Tech Startups wanted for our first ever 1-day pitch battle in partnership with Digital DNA to win an array of financial and support prizes. Here are all the details and info on how to apply!