This is Part 2 of the interview with Dr. Nate Storey of Bright Agrotech, makers of the ZipGrow Towers. In this episode, Nate talks about the big impediments to newbie vertical farmers and why Upstart Farmers was conceived. He also talks about the UpStart University, a learning-based community that offers video courses to self-driven students as well as the Jumpstart Farmers Program, which offers entry-level mentorship. Nate briefly discusses the different courses they offer at the UpStart University including organic certification, lighting courses, business planning, and marketing.
Listen in to know more about farm planning & financing, grants, Kiva loans, and how much would you exactly need to get started. Learn about the importance of understanding your market and how to go through the planning process. Nate explains why ZipGrow towers are an answer to issues concerning live sales, robust farming, and light conservation. Check out why they also reduce smog in cities!
Dr. Nate further emphasizes the importance of understanding the money value of sunlight, addressing some light limitations, understanding the value of indoor growing based on local markets, and how LEDs can be cost-effective over time. Lastly, we talk about the role of live sales in food distribution and waste reduction, and why live sales totally rock!
Read Full Show Notes
49: How Vertical Farming & Live Sales Can Transform the World of Food Distribution & Reduce Waste w/ Dr. Nate Storey from Bright Agrotech
Here’s what you’ll learn from this episode:
- Who are Upstart Farmers?
- Dr. Nate explains the big impediments to starting a farm:
- Crisis of confidence
- Crisis of competence
- Upstart Farmers as a social network vs. the Upstart University as a learning-based community
- Find out more about the university’s Jumpstart Farmers Program
- Check out the courses offered at the Upstart University
- Know more about farm planning & financing courses
- How much would an upstart farmer need to get started?
- What is the motivation for previous non-farmers to get into this kind of business?
- Let’s talk organic certification
- Hydroponics vs. aquaponics
- Dr. Nate shares some tips about really understanding your market before you begin building your business
- Find out how the ZipGrow towers differ from other vertical towers in the market
- How do ZipGrow towers conserve light?
- Discover what a ZipGrow tower is made of, and how it reduces smog in urban areas!
- How to address light limitations and the value of indoor growing
- Upstart Farming vs. media bed farming, raft farming, etc.
- Live sales are the future of food distribution!
- Did you know that 80% of Dr. Nate’s customers are willing to pay 20% more for live sales?
“Anyone can do this. It’s possible. You can make money out of it. You can feed your family. You can make a living.” – Dr. Nate Storey
“As you graduate from Jumpstart, you become a commercial farmer and we continue to support and assist you as you start a farm.” – Dr. Nate Storey
“Every market is unique. The kind of technique you choose has to be market-appropriate.” – Dr. Nate Storey
“That’s really the key. It’s not so much understanding the growing, it’s understanding the market.” – Dr. Nate Storey
“It’s still farming. It’s not an easy way to make money.” – Dr. Nate Storey
“Modern farming is good at producing massive amounts of food. But there are definitely some shortcomings.” – Dr. Nate Storey
“The goal is not to get more aquaponic farmers. The goal is to have more aquaponic farms.” – Dr. Nate Storey
“Before you even put a shovel in the ground, you have to know why you’re building your business.” – Dr. Nate Storey”
“Imagine a world where if you ordered something, an hour or two later, it was delivered to you… fresh cut, perfect, & it was ready for dinner that night…” – Dr. Nate Storey
Resources/links to websites:
Interested in becoming an Upstart Farmer? Visit www.upstartfarmers.com
Join the Upstart University
Know more about the Jumpstart Farmers Program
Get your own ZipGrow tower from Bright Agrotech
Barn Raiser Crowdfunding for Farms and Food-Based Businesses