Using a growing container to fit the community needs

Urban neighborhoods frequently deal with issues in accessing quality food, and the pandemic has only further exacerbated that for many. Cultural economist Dr. Jamie Bracey-Green believes that creating sustainable solutions in the local economy starts with empowering people in underserved communities.

Accordingly, she launched Think and Grow Farms to address food scarcity in West Philadelphia. As Generocity’s Bobbi Booker described it last month, the farm is an artificial environment that’s akin to Mother Nature on steroids. Bracey-Green can reconfigure the plants into several full harvest cycles in a single year by raising plants indoors under high-tech lighting and irrigation systems. Throughout the process, her team is tweaking the hydroponics and aquaponics, creating a symbiotic environment for plants and fish. The project employs agricultural technology and growing techniques honed in the legal compliant cannabis business.

“We have an actual, literal farm inside a shipping container growing food to show our folk the technology,” Bracey-Green told Generocity. “And I think, again, the technology — the low-tech, high-tech part of it — is easily accessible to [Black] folks. Anybody can do this, and it’s an entrepreneurial opportunity.”

In a fireside chat with Booker during Generocity’s ADVANCE conference last week, Bracey-Green — who also founded the former Center for Inclusive Competitiveness within Temple University’s College of Engineering and is currently the CEO of the National Institute for Inclusive Competitiveness — discussed how tech and science can help communities thrive by allowing consumers to become producers, and how sustainability helps everyone. 

Read more at Technical (Michael Butler)


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