From Singapore to the USA and all around Europe, Edible Innovations profiles food makers that engage in improving the global food system at every stage, from production to distribution to eating and shopping. Join us as we explore the main trends in the industry from a maker perspective. Chiara Cecchini of Future Food Institute — an ecosystem with a strong educational core that promotes food innovation as a key tool to tackle the great challenges of the future — introduces you to the faces, stories, and experiences of food makers around the globe. Check back on Tuesdays and Thursdays for new installments.
In the previous article, we had an amazing journey thought the fermentation scene. Today, we have the chance to sit down with three food makers from around the globe who are each changing the farming world in their own way. Are you curious?
You might have heard about many food concepts that have been recently developed from crickets, as our makers-friends producing the crickets-based bolognese sauce. But there are some makers who are focusing on one step before the manufacturing process: production. Kathy Rolin and her team at Cricket Cowboys, have been working on an automated cricket bin that allows even the most novice farmer to efficiently raise crickets for human consumption without the large labor expense that has been seen in traditional insect farming. Based in Belgrade, Montana, their ultimate goal is to empower insect farmers, increase insect consumption, and ensure transparency and quality in the system.
As Kathy says:
Compared to beef, crickets are over 2,000 times more efficient with their water and 14 times more efficient with their feed. They also have twice as much iron content and are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. As the world population is set to reach 10 billion people by the year 2050, it is critical to find new ways to feed the planet. Edible insects are one of the most promising sustainable food sources available today and they are set to become even more popular in the future. We rolled up our sleeves and worked towards this direction!
Your Simple Garden
This is a totally different type of farming from a different part of the globe. Albert lives in Indonesia and he is the co-founder of Your Simple Garden. He built a platform to grow fruit or vegetable using a combination of aeroponic and aquaponic technology. The technology can be applied despite the farmer’s location. In regards to when he first started working on this project, Albert says, “My family’s resort didn’t have any good produce suppliers. I needed to do something!”
In regards to how the farm works, Albert said:
Your Simple Garden system works through the biodynamic relationships between fish, microorganism, and plants with the help of the advancement of high-technology polymers material. The organic feed provides food for the fishes on the water reservoir below the vertical towers. Then the fish waste is transformed by the various microorganisms into suitable nutrition for the plants.
At first, Albert and his family didn’t sell the system to the public. The goal was to solve their own lack of fresh food! However, after seeing interest from the people close to them, they started to open their garden to the community and sell the system. “The power of making and sharing is unbelievable!” Albert says.
The Hive Co Farm
From Indonesia, we move to Hong Kong to speak with Jaqueline, one of the co-founders of The Hive Co Farm. The Hive Co Farm is a natural extension of the Hive co-working spaces where start-ups can make use of agricultural land, water, buildings, and fishponds for pilot projects and small-scale commercial farming operations. It is a maker space for farmers. They invite Agri-tech and Green-tech makers to experiment, prototype, produce, and scale.
It is located on a plot of land near Lau Fau Shan in the Yuen Long area of Hong Kong, which is an area famed for its old farming communities. We have 6 water tanks, 2 water ponds and 6 land plots. Sharing space and facilities allows makers to reduce their costs and while also earning valuable community support. It is Hong Kong’s first community farm to engage agri-tech, organic, and permaculture farming practices on one site. We are all really excited!”
Combining urban farming with pioneering Agri-tech makers, The Hive Co Farm is the perfect example to follow to engage local generations of farmers, both current and future, on sustainable and innovative farming practices. “Seeing the reaction to the local community after our establishment last year made us even more motivated to pursue this project,” Jaqueline finished.
So, Food Makers, if you pass by Hong Kong, remember you have a new “house” to rely on!