Irresistible Community Builders, LLC presents: Precision Year-round Community Based Urban Agriculture

vertical indoor garden

by Tom Braford

The frost will soon be on the pumpkins and the snow will soon be flying. This is typically the time of year to hunker down and put our garden to bed for the winter with cover crops and a few hardy plants like garlic and spinach that can winter over.

For a few years now, however, James Forbes at Good Life Growing, Venkat Papolu and Matt McWilliams at St Louis Indoor Produce and their teams have kept many of those fresh salad greens, herbs, tomatoes and a variety of other items going and growing year-round.

It takes a fair amount of energy to keep that happening as well as a growing number of skilled workers so Good Life Growing and St Louis Indoor Produce teamed up with Arizmendi Ecovillage to see what else is possible. 

Our collaboration was just awarded a small grant by Missouri Department of Agriculture to build and operate a prototype urban agrivoltaic demonstration and training project on a corner of the roof of one of our buildings.

We have long known that it makes sense to grow food crops under raised solar arrays in rural areas that are close to markets for food and electricity. Our collaboration is out to demonstrate that it makes even more sense to grow an even larger variety year-round in seasonally enclosable, hanging garden courtyards and rooftops under hybrid photovoltaic and solar thermal arrays in comprehensive, energy positive, carbon negative, reconciliation and regeneration communities, like the one we are building at Arizmendi Ecovillage.

This project will serve as the first in an expanding series of workforce training facilities where we plan to train the workforce of the future in a large variety of skills needed to build out this prototype community and the network of communities that will quickly follow.

If you are looking for free training with free child care and free transportation to and from our hands-on training site while you pick up the skills you need for your next career or career advancement in the new clean green economy, please contact us.