Podcast Episode 27: Henry Gordon-Smith – Agritecture

Henry

Our guest today is Henry Gordon-Smith of Agritecture.  Agritecture offers consulting services for entrepreneurs, companies, and cities, including feasibility studies, farm design, recruiting, and local food system planning.  Some topics we will discuss include how  architecture changed in the last few decades in agriculture, examples of international partners and what are their plans for urban agriculture and much more!

If you’re interested in international agriculture and urban agriculture, you’ll love this episode!

Links

Additional Episode Links:

Podcast on iTunes

Podcast on Spotify

Podcast on Waypoint

Talking Points:

  • Agriculture and Architecture
  • Urban Agriculture
  • Sustainable Agriculture
  • Water Wars
  • “Grow more with less”
  • Singapore food independence
  • Saltwater Asparagus
  • Agtech Solutions
  • Locally Grown In Podcast
  • Connection to Agriculture

Podcast Ep. 25: Jared Regier – Vegetable Academy

Jared

Our guest today is Jared Regier.  Jared is the creator of Vegetable Academy in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.  Vegetable Academy is designed to teach urban farming and small scale vegetable production.  We will discuss how the academy started, the impact they hope to have with sustainable agriculture, and more!

Check them out at the links below:

Vegetable Academy Website

Vegetable Academy Instagram

Additional Episode Links:

Podcast on iTunes

Podcast on Spotify

Podcast on Waypoint

Key points we will cover:

  • Start of Vegetable Academy
  • Agriculture in Canada
  • Sustainable Agriculture
  • “Ah-Ha” Moments with growers
  • How to start a small scale vegetable garden
  • Tips and Tricks with Gardening

Never compare

Ever think the grass is greener on the other side?  Yeah, me too.  Especially when it comes to other podcasts.

A few days ago, my wife and I went to a wedding rehearsal dinner and tried to mingle with some of the guests.  The first person we talked with just so happened to be a podcast creator.  What are the odds?!  Sure, more people are turning to podcasts to get various messages out there, but how crazy is it that it’s the first person you meet at a rehearsal dinner had a successful podcast!?

We quickly talked numbers and about our messages and audience.  Austin was a host of the Captains Collective, a long forum interview podcast dedicated to learning from captains, and other leaders in the fishing industry.  He stated that they’ve had around 50,000 downloads and have just gotten signed with a podcast network and various sponsors.  How cool is that?!  A new podcast that’s really gaining traction and getting a cool message out there.

As cool as it was to hear from a fellow podcaster, I certainly started to get a little envious.  They have 50,000 downloads to our modest 2,000.  They have over 600 followers on their Instagram page, to our small amount of around 270.  Okay, I was more than a little envious.  I was very much envious.

But after a good little motivational talk from Allie, the wife, and adjusting back to reality, I realized our growth has been pretty good here at the Farm Traveler Podcast.  After recording around 27 episodes as of this post (19 of which are live now), I’ve learned a ton from some awesome people who have some pretty cool lines of work.  Dairy farmers in the UK, vegetable farmers around the United States, and I’ve even been able to interview several long time friends who work in the industry.

Although the message of food production hasn’t reached as many people as I would like just yet, it has found a pretty cool audience.  Below you will see some pretty neat stats about the show like countries and cities where people have listened to the podcast.

(The below stats are for our last 5 episodes.)

img_0757-2.pngIMG_0756

UK, Australia, Denmark, California, and Washington, just to name a few?!   Our little podcast is slowly finding an audience around the country and around the world!  How cool is that?!  I can not believe it.  We have spent exactly $0 on marketing and we already achieved a great audience.  So all I can say, is THANK YOU.  Thank you for listening.  Thank you for following our little show.  Thank you for telling your friends and sharing our posts.

I hope our show continues to grow because the stories we share need to get out there.  People need to learn about the work that farmers do and the part we can all play in food sustainability.

I hope you’ve learned a thing or two, I certainly have.  I’ve most recently learned to be content with where you are.  And no matter the size of the audience, be grateful for them.  Metrics shouldn’t matter.  The conversations are the things that matter.

Thanks for listening to our show.  We’ve got some other great episodes on the way and I can’t for you to hear them!

Piece, love, and chicken grease.

-Trevor

The farm of the future

If you’re a lover of history, you’ve probably heard of the name, Nostradamus.  Nostradamus was a 16th-century French philosopher that is most famous for making scary accurate predictions about the future.  Some of those predictions include Napoleon, the Fire of London, the French Revolution, and even the JFK assassination.  For kicks, giggles, and as a good example, allow me to put on my Nostradamus Prediction Hat.  

Be it foretold that soon will come a day where the farmland becometh scarce.  Long gone will be the days of vast fields of crops.  In their wake will be warehouses as tall as the sky, filled with metal frames and metal robots.  However, these spaces will not only be filled with metal but also with greenery.  Greenery from crops and plants and money along this metal landscape.   

Ok, off with that hat.

As cities grow and more land is developed for houses, shopping centers, and amusement parks, farmland will slowly become a rare commodity.  Especially near large cities where fewer and fewer acres will be devoted to growing crops.  A shift is currently happening that is well ahead of the curb and is supplying urban areas with fresh produce that is locally grown.  That shift is warehouse farms.  These facilities are either new or old factory buildings, shipping containers, or unused space that is converted to an indoor urban farm.  These farms are built to use vertical space efficiently in order to grow as much as possible.  Most grow their produce using hydroponic systems that save 70% more water than regular crops and LED lights that give off the light waves that are specifically needed for plant growth.  Being indoors, crops aren’t affected by outside weather or pests and can grow year round no matter where the farm is located.

Take the video below for example.  In it, Bloomberg shares the story of an urban farmer and her role in creating the future of agriculture.  The growing process is just as scientific as growing regular crops and sometimes even more so.  The upfront costs are high, but once established, the steady year-round profits are well worth the initial investment.

There will always be a place for traditional farms and traditional agriculture.  Even if one day we are 3D printing steaks from home, I guarantee there will always be a market for regular beef or regular crops that are grown out in nature.  But in order for agriculture to continue into the future, it has to evolve with technology.

So what do you think?  Are you in a city that has some operations like this?  Or do you live in a rural community and don’t want to see cities encroach on your land?  Personally, I think even rural communities can and should have operations like the one above.

Now all I’ve got to do is see if Nostradamus said anything about agriculture.  And maybe even if he said anything about the decline of Justin Bieber.

Thanks and see you next time.

– Trevor