Urban Seed Inc. is Growing Happiness and Saving the World
As Green Valley residents, we can fry an egg on the blazing black asphalt from May through September due to the heat. But did you know that here in our arid desert, just a few miles from the Las Vegas Strip, we have farms? Urban Seed is growing 25 different non-GMO fruits and vegetables year-round. Don’t feel out of the loop, though, as Urban Seed Inc. is only now booming onto the scene with brand-new technology, making the once-impossible task of growing nutrient-dense produce in a desert entirely possible.
Currently, Urban Seed Inc. is engineering solutions for humanity by growing on an A-Frame closed-loop aeroponic system. These A-frame models are purely vertical unlike most urban farming, which is done by stacking horizontal farms. The A-frame stands 6.5 feet tall, perfect for human harvesting, and can vary in length but are 80 feet long on average.
These systems are aeroponic, meaning there is no soil involved and the roots of the plants are suspended in air. A nutrient-dense, pharmaceutical-grade mist specific to each plant variety is then sprayed into these closed systems. The plant head is exposed to the outer portion of the frame, receiving light from the natural valley sun through the greenhouse glass.
From one A-frame to the next, there is an entirely different ecosystem designed for particular produce. This is currently the only aeroponic growth system being used in the world for vegetables.
The beauty of this system is that it saves 90 percent of the water used in traditional farming and saves 40 percent of the water used in hydroponics farming. This is good news, as our community has been in a drought since, well, Las Vegas was originally founded.
To put this in perspective, one head of lettuce at a traditional farm would require 14 gallons of water. Urban Seed Inc. can make the same head of lettuce with just 22 ounces of water. Communities across the globe are suffering from droughts and soil depletion, confirming traditional farming’s unsustainability. Soil depletion is the loss of nutrients, minerals and vitamins naturally found in the soil which are needed to produce nutrient-dense product. With Urban Seed Inc.’s systems, both of these issues are managed.
Henderson is a town situated in a vast desert of sand and heat but also what is called a “food desert.” Food has to travel hundreds or thousands of miles to make it to our grocery stores, and many of the nutrients in the food are lost on the journey. From harvest to purchase, this journey can take anywhere from months to an entire year.
Nevada has a trade-off with California farmers where we give them water from Lake Mead and, in return, they sell us food grown on California farms. With USDA guidelines, food is marked local if it comes from a farm within 500 miles of the Las Vegas Valley. Urban Seed Inc. has the vision to provide hyperlocal food, usually within 25 miles from harvest location and delivered within 24 hours. A head of lettuce produced by Urban Seed Inc. will expire two to three weeks after a traditionally farmed head of lettuce. Thus, Urban Seed Inc.’s produce makes it to the plate as fresh as possible.
This food will have its full genetic potential of nutrients, and, by cutting travel, will reduce our carbon footprint as a community by one-eighth compared to traditional farming and distribution.
Urban Seed Inc. has plans to build 90 more of these 750,000 plant-growth greenhouses. In no time at all, this global solution for farming will be a global incorporation, having enjoyed its start here in our beautiful desert.