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AeroFarms and EcoVeggies Partner with St. Philip’s Academy to Pioneer Aeroponic Farming in Newark

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The partnership between AeroFarms and EcoVeggies is part of a greater plan to revitalize the city of Newark with urban farming as the centerpiece.

Aero Farm Systems LLC (AeroFarms), a provider of aeroponic technology and solutions, and EcoVeggies urban farm, today announced a joint commercial venture in Newark, New Jersey. EcoVeggies has provided the funding for the installation, AeroFarms developed the urban farming solution and St. Philips Academy has provided the location for the first aeroponic farm system in New Jersey.

Already home to a student run rooftop garden, St. Philip’s Academy has graduated into the future of urban agriculture through a new partnership with EcoVeggies, a company formed by three local entrepreneurs interested in using urban farming as part of a greater plan to revitalize the Newark metropolitan area. The school, which provides subsidized private school education to disadvantaged students in the Newark area, is now home to a one-of-a kind aeroponic growing structure, which will revolutionize the future of farming.

Through the schools much publicized EcoSPACES program, St. Philip’s Academy already uses farming as part of the curriculum, which includes a rooftop garden. There students plant, grow and harvest produce that is used in a Teaching Kitchen and healthy lunch program. Miguel Brito, Head of St. Philip’s Academy, is excited to start the school year off with a new partnership with EcoVeggies and the AeroFarms system. He said “it fits right in with our healthy lunch program, while being a wonderful teaching tool for children to think outside the box in how we grow sustainable food for the future.”

“EcoVeggies’s commitment to the renaissance of Newark was the impetus in locating our company here in Newark and striving to provide the tastiest, freshest, highest quality locally grown greens in town,” said Richard Charles, partner at EcoVeggies. “Our strategic partnership with AeroFarms Systems provides us with the necessary technology to make this happen.”

The partnership between AeroFarms and EcoVeggies is part of a greater plan to revitalize the city of Newark with urban farming as the centerpiece. As farmers markets and community supported agriculture (CSAs) have begun to take root in the Newark area, Agriculture 2.0 companies like AeroFarms and EcoVeggies are sharing resources and knowledge to bring the idea of urban farming into profitable enterprise. Farms like this one have the potential to change the definition of “local produce.” The farm of tomorrow could be in a school, an empty warehouse or distributed throughout an urban area.

“AeroFarms appreciates the opportunity to support the growth of urban agriculture in Newark with a system that grows fresh, safe, local, nutritious and pesticide free leafy greens,” said Ed Harwood, CEO and founder of AeroFarms. “As urban agriculture grows, pioneers like EcoVeggies and St. Philip’s Academy lead the way to address many of the adverse events affecting traditional agriculture: water scarcity, pesticide resistance, increasing fuel costs, more frequent and severe weather events, and persistent safety recalls of leafy greens. AeroFarms systems do this without sun or soil delivering a pristine product.”

What is AeroFarms Systems?
Aeroponics is a cutting-edge type of hydroponic technology that grows plants in a mist without soil or sun, in any location. The aeroponic mist most efficiently provides roots with the nutrients, hydration and oxygen needed.    AeroFarms has designed its aeroponic system to eliminate nozzle clogging and reduce water consumption through nutrient re-circulation. Although often categorized as an outgrowth of more conventional hydroponics, aeroponics uses less water and is more efficient than hydroponics. Compared to soil-based and traditional hydroponic methods, aeroponics consumes significantly less water due the system’s closed loop of nutrient application directly to the roots.

AeroFarms is also pioneering the use of LED (light emitting diode) lighting for growing and vertical farming systems, providing the plants with the most ideal amount and variety of lighting for optimal harvest. The controlled environment of the aeroponic farming system allows for a level of precise nurturing unavailable even to conventional or organic growing outdoors. In addition, AeroFarms has developed a proprietary, reusable cloth medium. The system employs cloth as a conveyor for plants from the seeding stage to harvesting. Cloth has a number of benefits such as durability and reusability, increased cleanliness and sanitation, and the efficient harvest of a dry and clean product.

About AeroFarms
AeroFarms provides aeroponic growing systems that grow produce without soil and without sun, all year round and in any location. AeroFarms modular, vertically stackable systems are designed for locating in old or vacant urban buildings, enabling local production of pesticide-free, fresh, clean greens. AeroFarms systems transform food production into a more sustainable, efficient, and safe process by enabling profitable, commercial-scale vertical farming in urban centers. Founded in 2004, AeroFarms is based in Ithaca, NY. More information can be found at http://aerofarms.com.

About EcoVeggies
EcoVeggies takes urban agriculture to a new level with the latest in hydroponic and aeroponic farming. Newark’s latest green endeavor is EcoVeggies, a hydroponic and aeroponic farm that will grow the highest quality, tastiest, pesticide free vegetables (greens) and herbs in eco-friendly spaces that will be constructed inside existing city buildings. Our approach to rehabilitating abandoned, vacated, and unused buildings contributes to the rebuilding of New Jersey’s greatest city by changing the landscape with green, sustainable enterprises and healthy living ingredients for the community. More information can be found at http://ecoveggies.com

About St. Philip’s Academy
St. Philip’s Academy is a co-educational independent school based in Newark, New Jersey which provides a first class education to aspiring K-8th grade students, regardless of their ability to pay tuition. More information can be found by visiting our website at http://www.stphilipsacademy.org

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