Viewing entries tagged
Baltimore

Comment

Urban Pastoral Startup Soirée Podcast

J.J. had the opportunity to sit down with Patrick Rife from Startup Soirée to chat about the role of food system sustainability in Baltimore's urban Renaissance. 

Listen Here:

Startup Soirée is an incredible organization that connects entrepreneurs from across Baltimore to fuel collaboration, and build networks.

Their next event is January 27th at the Arch Social Club in West Baltimore:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/startup-soiree-raising-a-seed-round-featuring-margaret-roth-shelly-blake-plock-of-yet-analytics-tickets-20769591407

-Forward Always

Comment

Comment

BoxUP Launch: Humanim American Brewery Building

Cultivating Produce + Progress in East Baltimore

Urban Pastoral is proud to announce the launch our first modular farm, BoxUP, at Humanim, Inc. The Humanim American Brewery Building is located in the heart of East Baltimore, and serves as an anchor for a community that was once a prominent manufacturing hub. With the help of local community leaders and home grown entrepreneurs, there is an urban revival a foot in East Baltimore. Food is at the core of this moment, and will serve as a catalyst for organic economic growth.

UP partnered with prominent social enterprise, Humanim, because of the convergence of our missions and visions for what Baltimore can be. Over the past twenty + years, Humanim has played an immense role in community empowerment through workforce development. Humanim is a dynamic non-profit organization that has created a network of jobs for underserved communities by building economically  sustainable social enterprises, such as Details, a contracting business that trains individuals to deconstruct and rebuild historic houses. Humanim employees are gaining independence and empowerment, all while rebuilding the communities they live in. 

UP is thrilled to work with Humanim to create a new green job market for underserved communities through next generation farming.

Below is a photo gallery from our launch. If you are a teacher, administrator, community leader, or are simply interested in coming by, please shoot us an email and schedule a tour.

Stay tuned for more updates on our FarmUP development at Green Street Academy in West Baltimore.

Comment

Comment

USA Pavilion Innovation Program

Expo Milano 2015

Expo Milano 2015

The Urban Pastoral Team just returned from an incredible month in Milan, Italy, showcasing our company at the World Expo. Urban Pastoral was 1 of 10 teams selected to participate in the USA Pavilion's hallmark Innovation Program, "Feeding the Accelerator." The notion of how our planet will sustainably feed 9 Billion people in 2050 is extraordinarily complex. Therefore, the U.S. State Department teamed up with the James Beard Foundation, Microsoft, FedEx, and urban design firm, Atelier Slice, to leverage the forum of the Expo to pinpoint entrepreneurs from around the globe who were tackling this problem from vastly different angels. 

Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 9.12.18 AM.png

At its core, innovation is the intersection of multidisciplinary minds. It creation occurs through friction, and illusory barriers collapse. To capture this notion, Savinien Caracostea, Atelier Slice Partner, and Curator of Feeding the Accelerator directed a film titled, "Mentor Minds," which is a series of short interviews with thought leaders from a wide range of fields discussing creativity, food, architecture, and expression. 

Savinien also filmed the entrepreneurs who brought all of these concepts together in the manifestation of their businesses, demonstrating the philosophy behind Feeding the Accelerator.

Our team had the opportunity to engage the conversation around food in the global arena. We collaborated with world renowned chefs, architects, investor, government leaders, and tech innovators to better understand our business model in a multidisciplinary construct.

It was an incredible opportunity to be involved in such an incredible gathering, and the amount of work that went into this Expo was astonishing. However, the work is just beginning, and we are creating a legacy of innovation so that the Expo will not simply be remembered as an event, but a nexus for global change.   

Comment

Comment

NYC UP: TEDxManhattan 2015

Change the Way We Eat
— TEDxMan

UP had the opportunity to attend TEDxManhattan this past weekend, and interact with some of the most influential global thought leaders in food system sustainability. This incredible event has been engaging the question of how our world must "Change the Way We Eat," for the past three years. TEDxMan continues to bring together innovative and driven people who not only share a passion for food, but a belief that food and its origins can and should be a vehicle for social, economic, and environmental change. What was so special about TEDxMan was the scope and diverse backgrounds of all of the speakers and attendees. There were scientists, photojournalists, chefs, farmers, doctors, political activists, investors, students, restaurateurs, and musicians; all from vastly different fields, but all sharing the common thread of food. This global conversation facilitated by TEDxMan, illustrates how food permeates through all facets of society, and how we all, no matter what vocational or social distinction, must take responsibility in restoring health and sustainability.

The conference began with opening remarks from celebrity chef, and food activist, Tom Colicchio, on how food policy must be at the forefront of political action. He explained how it is his mission to have stances on food policy as major debates carrying tremendous influence on election day. Food impacts all, and it cannot be a side issue. He challenged the audience to leverage our collective voices to have an impact on Washington. 

Colicchio then introduced arguably the most successful restauranteur in the U.S., Danny Meyer. Starting with one small cafe in Union Square, Danny Meyer built a global food empire including iconic brands such as Shake Shack, Gramercy Tavern, and Union Square Hospitality Group. Over the past 35 years Meyer opened dozens of successful concepts, won James Beard Awards, and published renowned books. However, with success and scale, Meyer has not compromised his mission of transforming his restaurants into extensions of the community. As a restauranteur he stressed that he has a greater responsibility than profits. Restaurants provide a sense of place making in the community. 

What you ate tasted like where you were
— Danny Meyer

Meyer reminisced about traveling throughout different regions in France and Italy saying "what you ate tasted like where you were."  The flavors and atmosphere of a restaurant must be drawn from the environment that surrounds them. Without this connection a restaurant becomes an empty shell, and its food has no deeper meaning. Meyer closed with a symbolic anecdote on the origin of restaurants. He explained how the word restaurant, is a french term meaning to restore. This notion of restoration must not be lost. 

“People must be transformed from passive eaters to informed shoppers.”
— Michele Merkel

The role of women in food and farming was also a major theme that drew tremendous engagement at TEDxMan. Michele Merkel, lawyer, food system sustainability activist, and Director of Food & Water Justice, gave an emotionally charged talk on her battle with Big Ag over the detrimental pollution caused by concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), from the industrial meat and dairy industry. She explained that with the power that Big Ag has over the industry, many people feel powerless or have a sense of emotional disconnect with food. However she emphasized that every consumer makes an impact. Merkel expressed that "people must be transformed from passive eaters to informed shoppers," and that " eating is a moral act." It was this sense of individual responsibility and call to action that really resonated throughout this incredible day.

TEDxMan was a very charging experience for the UP team, because it illustrates that we are not alone in our mission. In fact, it demonstrates that we are apart of a burgeoning global movement led by bright, multidisciplinary minds that will redefine the way food is produced and consumed. This food revolution can be seen from all corners of the globe, and we see it here in Baltimore everyday. Whether it is activists protecting the Chesapeake, restauranteurs showcasing local ingredients, or the local government creating legislation to support urban agriculture, change is happening all around us. We hope to be one of many that will help rebuild our community through good honest food.  

Comment

Visiting Cylburn Aquaponics Lab

Comment

Visiting Cylburn Aquaponics Lab

UPC is in the process of working with real estate developers and local government entities to locate an ideal space for our operations. UPC has the versatility to act as both an anchor institution and a production facility. Our vision is a combined production and retail concept that is woven into the fabric of the Baltimore community.

Last Week, the UPC team had the opportunity to visit the Cylburn Aquaponics Farm, operated by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The project was developed by experts from renowned food systems think tank, The Center for a Livable Future (CLF). This initiative is spearheaded by aquaculture expert Dave Love, and farm manager, Laura Genello. Cylburn acts as both a research lab and an educational farm for the community. The farms hosts anyone from school age children to commercial growers interested in alternative growing methods. The CLF also offers a summer program, that acts as a crash course in aquaponic growing. UPC is arranging to partner with Cylburn and the CLF to test our vertical growing methods and various crop varietals in their greenhouse. Consumer education and interaction are vital as we grow our company. This opportunity will provide valuable insight into how the community interacts with our product.  

Laura lead us on a tour of the farm, and explained the intricacies of the system, and how it recycles and circulates water / nutrients to grow a wide variety of plants. Laura harvests the produce, and sells it at the Waverly Farmers Market on saturdays. The farm also raises tilapia which, and their waste serves as nutrients for the growing process. Laura explained how tilapia are an ideal fish species for aquaponic production because of their resiliency and growth rate, however, they the cost of heating the tanks for this tropical, Nile fish, is high. Below is a video of the farm and how the process worked

UPC is excited to work with Laura and the CLF to test our vertical growing methods and learn from their wealth of expertise in the field.

Comment

UPC Joins the 2014-2015 Cohort of Social Innovation Lab

Comment

UPC Joins the 2014-2015 Cohort of Social Innovation Lab

Urban Pastoral Collective was selected to be one of the 12 teams to join the 2014-2015 cohort of entrepreneurs at the Johns Hopkins, Social Innovation Lab. The cohort consists of a multidisciplinary group of Hopkins' best and brightest student innovators who seek to solve significant social, environmental, and economic issues. Social Innovation Lab is led by Director, Darius Graham, and supported by the office of President Ronald J. Daniels. 

The Social Innovation Lab is an early stage incubator located in Baltimore, Maryland that supports promising companies and organizations developing innovative solutions to local and global problems. The SIL provides funding, mentorship, and resources to transform nascent concepts into mission-driven organizations with sustainable business models. The SIL and its leaders are committed to the City of Baltimore and to a vision of inclusive economic development and community building. We believe that social entrepreneurship can serve as a transformative and empowering force capable of creating jobs, improving public welfare, and revitalizing communities. Through our programming and community efforts, we are working to:

+ Develop the next generation of (social) entrepreneurs passionate about the City of Baltimore
+ Create a flourishing environment for entrepreneurship and translation of novel ideas into tangible impact
+ Build a better Baltimore
— SIL

The incubator will culminate in March with a Demo Day, where the SIL teams will showcase their prototypes to the community. UPC is excited for their partnership with SIL, and looks forward to pursing their mission to redefine farming. 

 

Comment

UPC Featured: StartUp Maryland

Comment

UPC Featured: StartUp Maryland

The UPC team had the opportunity to present our concept to a group of social impact investors at the Johns Hopkins Innovation Factory Summit at the end of September. Entrepreneurs from a diverse range of backgrounds shared exciting business models ranging from mobile health and cancer diagnostics, to web applications and urban development. UPC received immense interest from the audience of burgeoning entrepreneurs, industry leaders, and investors, and is proceeding through the due diligence phase with several potential partners. Co-founders, J.J. and Julie also had an interview with the Baltimore Sun to share their vision of feeding America's cities through urban agricultural production. 

We believe we can feed our city in our city.
— Baltimore Sun

 

 Walking out of Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, where the Innovation Summit was held, the team stumbled upon the StartUp Maryland Pitch Bus, and was ushered on to give a 2.5 minute pitch on the fly. StartUp Maryland Launched a campaign, Pitch Across Maryland, where they drive their bright yellow bus across the state to various innovation hubs, to connect with Maryland's best and brightest entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs are thrown into the hot seat in front of cameras and reporters, and are challenged to pitch their concept in less than 3 minutes. This initiative is a part of an overarching mission to spur entrepreneurial innovation across Maryland. Michael Binko, founder and president of Startup Maryland provided his outlook in a press release today. "The diversity of industries and innovations was once again impressive and inspiring. We now begin the two separate competitions that define the next stage of the Pitch Across Maryland. The first competition is something fun we refer to as the Fan Favorite and the second competition will reveal our Great 8 Finalists." The "Great 8 Finalist" will then have the opportunity to pitch their concepts at the TEDCO Entrepreneur Expo and the 2 winners will have the opportunity to compete for $100,000 grants through the Invest Maryland Challenge.

Support UPC in our mission to redefine farming by sharing this link to our story:

 

Comment