The Future of Urban Farming is Here

by Daphne Dixon on February 9, 2012

in Food, GreenTowns Categories, Land & Conservation, Uncategorized

Photo credit: Heidi Geldhauser

What if we could grow healthy, natural foods locally, independent of season and without the need for synthetic pesticides? What if we could reduce the cost, energy consumption and carbon footprint of our food’s production and distribution system? What if we could add jobs and stimulate our local economy by growing and selling pesticide-free produce in urban centers? And what if we could do all this year-round while using less energy and space?

We can. The future of urban farming is here: PodPonics is changing the way we farm, one head of lettuce at a time. Combining the use of recycled shipping containers that can be stacked for urban use with proprietary technology that reduces overall energy usage while increasing crop yield per square foot, CEO and founder Matt Liotta is bridging the gap between sustainability and profitability, and the impact both have on local foods.

Liotta combines his technological experience – which includes numerous successful technology startups – with his appreciation of and desire to source locally grown, chemical-free produce, bringing high-tech farming to underutilized urban spaces. Through controlled environment agriculture, PodPonics utilizes recycled shipping containers – pods – that can be stacked for use in areas where traditional farming, both indoors and out – would be prohibited because of land limitations. This enables PodPonics to produce crops – six varieties of lettuce with plans to begin growing additional vegetables soon – all year long from a local source, with no pesticides, chemicals or carbon footprint.

Each 320-square-foot pod can produce one acre’s worth of produce; and, since the pods can be stacked, they are ideal for use in vacant city spaces that could otherwise not be utilized without expensive renovation to the area and soil.

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