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Category — Entrepreneurs

Try the Bronx Hot Sauce Supporting Community Gardens

Courtesy Aidan Grant via Small Axe Peppers.

This project has now grown nationwide, with 75 gardens participating in 15 cities.

By Max Watman
Yahoo News
January 12, 2021


Max Watman
Tue, January 12, 2021, 2:05 AM PST

John Crotty was looking for a building in the Bronx for his affordable housing development organization when by chance he spotted an empty lot with southern exposure. In a flash, he saw his future.

“What’s going on with that space over there?” Crotty thought to himself. He immediately knew the trash strewn plot was perfect for a community garden. His next thought was about what they could possibly grow there. His mind jumped to growing peppers and making hot sauce out of them, because “it was the only thing we could grow in a confined space and make more of an end product. One hundred pounds of peppers becomes 500 pounds of hot sauce. All other fresh produce for commercial purposes goes the other way—you grow 100 pounds to sell 75.”

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January 18, 2021   No Comments

Access To Big Data Turns Farm Machine Makers Into Tech Firms

Modern combine-harvesters upload reams of data directly back to their manufacturers. Dpa/Picture Alliance

Equipment makers with sufficient sales of machines around the country may in theory actually be able to predict, at least to some small but meaningful extent, the prices of various crops by analyzing the data its machines are sending in — such as “yields” of crops per acre, the amount of fertilizer used, or the average number of seeds of a given crop planted in various regions.

By Scott Carpenter
Dec 31, 2020


The combine harvester, a staple of farmers’ fields since the late 1800s, does much more these days than just vacuum up corn, soybeans and other crops. It also beams back reams of data to its manufacturer.

GPS records the combine’s precise path through the field as it moves. Sensors tally the number of crops gathered per acre and the spacing between them. On a sister machine called a planter, algorithms adjust the distribution of seeds based on which parts of the soil have in past years performed best. Another machine, a sprayer, uses algorithms to scan for weeds and zap them with pesticides. Meanwhile sensors record the wear and tear on the machines, so that when the farmer who operates them heads to the local distributor to look for a replacement part, it has already been ordered and is waiting for them.

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January 6, 2021   Comments Off on Access To Big Data Turns Farm Machine Makers Into Tech Firms

Urban farmer had the fresh produce many seniors needed during the pandemic

Rod Dodd is a chef who runs Organic Harvest Gardens in Long Beach. When the pandemic hit, Dodd started a program to provide vegetables to local restaurants; when that demand fell due to shutdowns, he converted his business to provide fresh produce to local seniors and has hand-delivered veggies to about 200 seniors a week since then. (Photo by Brittany Murray, Press-Telegram/SCNG)

“Things are going to get better,” he said. “You have to stay optimistic and hopeful.”

By Donna Littlejohn
Daily Breeze
December 29, 2020


Everything was looking up for Rod Dodd of Long Beach, the private estate chef and urban farmer who was fast building a reputation for providing fresh-grown food for area restaurants.

After about five years, his quarter-acre Organic Harvest urban farm — in the middle of North Long Beach — was on the upswing, with some of the city’s top restaurants and chefs onboard as customers. He and business partner Adam Romick, certified master gardeners, were picking up other high-end catering gigs as well.

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January 4, 2021   Comments Off on Urban farmer had the fresh produce many seniors needed during the pandemic

Heru Urban Farming wants to make fresh produce more equitable in St. Louis

Tyrean Lewis is the founder of Heru Urban Farming. Izaiah Johnson, Courtesy of Heru Urban Farming

He wants to open up farmland to retreats and teach people about growing food.

By Kasey Carlson
Dec 14, 2020


He was thinking about this all when he came up with the idea to turn three vacant lots near his house into a garden to grow food. He began leasing the land to originally grow food for his own family when others from the neighborhood kept asking him questions about the food he was growing. That was in 2017, marking the beginnings of Heru Urban Farming, through which Lewis has brought fresh produce to those who need it the most.

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December 19, 2020   Comments Off on Heru Urban Farming wants to make fresh produce more equitable in St. Louis

China: Shanghai’s first unmanned farm

Shanghai planned to create 13 high-quality urban agriculture development pilot zones during the country’s 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025), and the first is the recently launched “digital unmanned farm” in Waigang Town, Jiading District.

By Zong Shukang
Nov 27, 2020


“In the next few years, relying on new-generation information technologies such as the Internet of Things, 5G, and artificial intelligence, an unmanned production operation mode of farm production and management can be completed by remotely controlling farm facilities, equipment, and machinery”, said Zhang.

It is also estimated that by the end of 2022, five sets of unmanned tractors, unmanned rice transplanters, unmanned sprayers, and unmanned harvesters will each be modified to meet operational needs, and the demonstration area will be expanded to 1,600 Mu (264 acres), according to the base’s report.

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December 3, 2020   Comments Off on China: Shanghai’s first unmanned farm

UK: COVID-19 has transformed the gardening industry – so what are the new trends?

Craig Sam is founder of biochar products company Carbon Gold.

I’ve been heartened by the millions of new British growers who have sprung up this year – almost three million, according to research from The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA). Nearly half of these new gardeners are aged under 45.

By Craig Sams
Horticulture Weekl
25 November 2020


Not only does the gardening industry have more customers, but growers as a whole are spending more as they stock up their horticultural armoury.

The HTA Garden Retail Monitor found that sales of gardening products were up 34%, 17% and 19% in June, July and August respectively in UK garden centres, compared to the same time last year. On average, individual customers were spending 35% more on gardening products.

Sales also surged in bedding plants (29%), seeds (59%) and gardening equipment (51%), while garden leisure categories were higher than in August 2019.

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December 2, 2020   Comments Off on UK: COVID-19 has transformed the gardening industry – so what are the new trends?

Plan floated for urban hemp farming in U.S. city of Detroit

Non-profits could be set up to manage the urban hemp fields, he suggested.

Hemp Today
Nov 23, 2020


A cannabis activist and city official in Detroit, Michigan, USA said he has Mayor Mike Duggan’s ear, and the mayor’s support, for an initiative to grow hemp on vacant lots in the city.

Greg Pawlowski, a Detroit city planner, said discussions with the mayor grew out of a line-item budget review which showed the city spending $3.5 million per year cutting grass on vacant land parcels. “We were talking about using that money in a different way; using vacant parcels to grow hemp, and create job opportunities,” Pawlowski told, which covers entrepreneurship, technology and the cannabis industries in Michigan.

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November 27, 2020   Comments Off on Plan floated for urban hemp farming in U.S. city of Detroit