1. Success Story

A Restaurant which fetches its veggies from rooftop

Dr. Sangeeta Soi
Dr. Sangeeta Soi

Greenhouses, as the word suggests, are made to provide a shelter for plants so that they may grow in adverse conditions with all those nutrients and freshness irrespective of the season. As we all know that greenhouses are popular these days with the technology being built up to enhance the production of agriculture in order to fulfill the dream of doubling farmer’s income.

For the farmers in India, the mentioned situation is really normal. She plants tomatoes, and the crop is destroyed by pests. Months of extreme heat means that she can’t plant anything else. When she finally plants another crop, it’s destroyed by drought. After backbreaking labor, she’s still broke, or worse, in serious debt. In 2015, more than 8,000 farmers in India committed suicide, mostly because of their financial situation. Farmers make money only once or twice in a year. That income is affected by all sorts of environmental risks, including unseasonable rain, pest attacks .  That’s why they’re stuck in that poverty cycle.

The idea of starting a restaurant with its own rooftop greenhouse is worth for increasing income as it can provide own availability of vegetables at low cost and that too with hydroponics is proving to be ecosystem friendly.

To add to the story, underlined is the new idea we receive can be implemented for Indian agriculture development and increasing the income.

Businesswomen from Brunswick has planned rooftop aquaponics greenhouse to supply restaurants. The fruit of their labor is visible in a structure behind Tao Yuan on Pleasant Street, which that will eventually house a rooftop aquaponics greenhouse known as Canopy Farms.

It will also bridge the gap between being a nonprofit and for-profit enterprise.

In a recent interview, Kate Holcomb, project manager for Canopy Farms, said the most basic thing to know about aquaponics is that the process grows fish and plants “on a loop.”

“The fish waste is converted into fertilizer for the plants by beneficial bacteria,” she said. “And then the water flows through the plant beds, and the plants use those nutrients, then filter the water so that it can return to the fish. Basically what you’re doing is trying to make this little ecosystem happy.”

In the case of the Brunswick building, tanks in the basement will grow rainbow trout. Holcomb said the greenhouse will start by growing greens, primarily Asian greens, to be used in the Stadlers’ restaurants. Later, the plan is to move into growing more “experimental crops” and plants not typically found in the area.

The structure, which was approved by the Planning Board two years ago, will also feature a cafe on the first floor. Holcomb said construction crews are completing the interior, including the aquaponics systems.

It is her hope, she added, that the systems will be finished in “the next couple of months,” though she also said she’s not sure when the facility will be able to begin production.

In the meantime, the Canopy Farms team has launched a Kickstarter campaign to crowd-source funding for the project from the community.

Its goal is to raise $25,000. The campaign had raised nearly $11,000.

Each level of donation is accompanied by a “thank you” gift, the highest of which is private dining at Lio for 20 people, reserved for those who pledge $10,000 or more.

For more details, please contact; Kate Holcomb, project manager for Canopy Farms, Brunswick.

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