Marco lives in Heidelberg, Germany. In 2017, he visited New York to attend an international event on urban agriculture. From this experience, he began on a journey that changed his life.

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Marco and his 3D Vertical Farming System

He has since invented a vertical growing system that can provide multiple grow spaces in a very dense way. This vertical farming model uses lego-like parts assembled into ring segments that can be stacked to form a tower-shaped barrel. Each tower is supported by a 3D liquid-based circulation system, which provides an optimal distribution of nutrients to plants that maximize yields.

This vertical farming model offers an alternative designed…


In 2018, while visiting Dublin, I was introduced to three individuals that embody the concept of hyperlocal food. Discover the story of Martin, Jason, and Shane, aka The Gnomes. See how they’re becoming the change they want to see in their community, with their urban micro-farm on the land of the Dublin City University.

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From left to right: Martin, Shane and Jason

Urban farming entrepreneurs in their twenties, The Gnomes turned the former Dublin City University (DCU) community garden into a productive and profitable micro urban farm.

All their crops are grown pesticide-free. Since 2018, they supply the local community via farmers’ markets and restaurants. With the recent…


Find out how Sarab, a young woman entrepreneur in India, aims to make vertical farming an easy and accessible solution to grow food efficiently.

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Sarab lives in Mumbai, India. In 2017, she completed an internship in Canada at the In.Genius Farms, a small-scale vertical farm in Laval, Quebec. Mentored by Khaled Majouji, aka The Plant Charmer, she learned about the potential of vertical farming. Once back home, she decided to be the change she wanted to see in her country.

Inspired by her experience in Canada, Sarab started her own startup: Ecotwigs. With the help of her father, Gurmukh Singh…


In 2016, I was introduced to beekeeping by Martin, one of the urban beekeepers in my city involved in a pilot project. Since he started, Martin’s passion for bees has kept on growing, and so have his beehives! Selling honey helps him to sustain his hobby, but there’s way more to the story.

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Martin and me

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In 2011, Khaled had an idea about building a vertical farm in his backyard. He ran some tests and quickly realized the economic potential. In 2015–16, he was already making a living using only 1,200 sq.-ft.

I noticed Khaled’s work through his Instagram account ThePlantCharmer during the summer of 2016. At that time, I thought that the yields he claimed sounded too good to be true.

Curious to learn if it was real, my wife and I decided to pay him a visit in Montreal. We soon learned that his accomplishments were exactly as described. …


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Growing food in Space requires doing more and better with less. To achieve this, it was necessary to deconstruct the principles of agriculture and to question the importance of soil and water. NASA sponsored research showed that it can be done using high pressure aeroponics (HPA). Vertiponic has decoded some of this research and pushed it further to develop their own high-efficiency indoor garden.

This story began when I went to visit Vertiponic in Montreal, curious to learn about the Aji Charapita, a rare and expensive hot pepper they grow. I was blown away by what I discovered.

It turned…


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by Dominique Bernier, Jul 24 2018

Back from Ireland after visiting Dublin and learning about some of its urban agriculture projects and initiatives, I decided to share with you why I believe this city is becoming one of the best urban farming hubs.

The main highlight of my visit was meeting with Andrew Douglas, founder of UrbanFarm. Since 2012, he has designed and implemented a wide range of horticultural projects for communities, businesses, and educational institutions for the purpose of healthy food production, neighborhood revitalization, and community engagement. As we toured the city, Andrew introduced me to some of the…


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Nowadays, no matter what you are trying to sell, it must be fluid. At all times, it must adapt as much to people’s singular needs as to economic fluctuations or social, cultural and environmental expectations of the moment.

This means that products and services can no longer be homogeneous, as is usually the case in a classical economic model. On the contrary, they have to be increasingly singular, which means differentiated from one another. Local food is no exception. To be competitive and economically viable, this new socio-economic reality requires new ways of growing, distributing and marketing products. …


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Smart urban gardening connected to an e-commerce platform

The online and physical worlds continue to blur; this is something local food systems can’t afford to ignore.

Fortunately, the technology of the internet, big data, and the internet of things (IoT) are becoming powerful tools for a growing number of small-scale urban food producers who use them to do more and better, with less. By less, we mean less time and effort to grow, promote and sell products, less labour and distribution costs, as well as less environmental impact. …


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Demographic trends in developed economies will bring their fair share of challenges in the 21st century, but might also provide urban areas with unique opportunities to develop their own sustainable food systems.

Ideals and opinions may differ on how to achieve sustainability. Nevertheless, none can succeed without understanding the main socio-economic trends of our times. The types of trends that are fact-based and can’t be changed in the short or medium term. The types of trends that shape societies in the present and influence their future. The types of trends that bring challenges that can’t be avoided. …

Dominique Bernier

Founder of RakeAround, globetrotter and gardening amateur.

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