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The conversation about the necessity to increase the amount of food grown without having more space to grow it on is not a new one. The Yale article, “New Green Challenge: How to Grow More Food on Less Land” talks about it in March 2016. The Guardian has an intriguing article from July 2015, “We need to grow 50% more food yet agriculture causes climate change. How do we get out of this bind?

Brick Street Farms, here in St. Pete, isn’t going to solve all of the world’s food/agriculture problems, but they do have some really cool technology and mighty tasty, fresh healthy greens and herbs all grown inside with no pesticides, no water runoff, or growing seasons to worry about … and they grow vertically in less than 1/10th the amount of space a traditional farm would require. (If you really do the math, they use 7/100ths of the space of a horizontal farm that grows plants in the ground.) We’ll have another fun calculation for you a little further in.

Lori told me about the article on Brick Street Farms in Creative Loafing, but that went in one ear and out the other. (They actually made the cover of the print edition.) It didn’t register at all with me, so they were not on my radar. Then I woke up way too early one morning, at 3:30 am, and picked up my iPad and started scrolling through my food related subscriptions in Apple News, (St. Petersburg Foodies IS in Apple News by the way), and found something on Brick Street Farms, and we arranged for a visit.

Brick Street Farms is a “hydroponic, indoor growing facility that produces leafy greens and herbs year-round in highly technology based, climate controlled environments.”

This delicious, earth-friendly, techy combo is the brainchild of Shannon O’Malley. She and her husband, Brad Doyle, run the indoor vertical farm part time using an app on their phones which controls the temperature, humidity, lights and nutrients.

Shannon was at her “regular job” when we visited on Thursday, but we came back on Saturday to pick up our order of greens, and chatted with her for an hour. The business is continuing to grow (no pun intended), and it won’t be long until Shannon is running the business full time.

For full article, click here!

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