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Urban Organics in St. Paul, MN, USA
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Author:  swanberg [ Apr 15th, '14, 09:22 ]
Post subject:  Urban Organics in St. Paul, MN, USA

Urban Organics in St. Paul, MN is a new commercial venture.
They built in an old brewery! I think this is brilliant. A building designed from the get-go to structurally hold water.

There is a brief discussion in my commercial venture thread (Howling Moose Gardens).

And there are two recent newspaper/magazine articles:
Star Tribune
Mpls St. Paul Magazine
- this last one has some awesome pics.

Image

There are a lot of systems up here in the frozen north that are using the multi-tier*, artificial lights inside a huge building model. Some (Like UO) have said they're going solar. I'm very interested to see how this model works, from a sustainability standpoint. These folks have a bit of an advantage there because the City of St. Paul has chucked a lot of money at them.

I've heard nothing but good things about these folks. Good luck, UO!

ETA:
Their website: urbanorganics.com
Twitter: @urbanorganicsmn

(*That red square bar thingie in the middle-back of the pic is a lift, to reach the upper tiers.)

Author:  Samuel L Jackson [ Apr 18th, '14, 21:53 ]
Post subject:  Re: Urban Organics in St. Paul, MN, USA

Looks like if there's anywhere to make this work, it's in areas like Minnesota! I would go crazy buried under snow for the majority of the year. Fresh produce must be such a relief when the outside temps are -20F

Author:  Stuart Chignell [ Apr 19th, '14, 07:33 ]
Post subject:  Re: Urban Organics in St. Paul, MN, USA

There situation is a bit different because they already have a building built to hold water on multiple floors but so often when you look at systems like this it is cheaper and there is a smaller environmental footprint to ship fresh produce from the south. The only problem is that it takes time to get fresh produce north.

Since they already have the building that eliminates a major part of the environmental footprint and maybe with some of the new targeted spectrum LED lighting systems their electricity might not be too high.

I guess we will see :dontknow:

Author:  Colum Black-Byron [ Apr 19th, '14, 08:05 ]
Post subject:  Re: Urban Organics in St. Paul, MN, USA

Just curious, how much would it cost in terms of lighting to keep that place running?

I'm just thinking the electricity would have to drive up produce prices when they have to compete with other states that can rely on sunlight.

Or it could be that I live in the most expensive state in the world for electricity.

Author:  Stuart Chignell [ Apr 19th, '14, 08:21 ]
Post subject:  Re: Urban Organics in St. Paul, MN, USA

What do you pay?

Author:  Colum Black-Byron [ Apr 19th, '14, 10:41 ]
Post subject:  Re: Urban Organics in St. Paul, MN, USA

Stuart Chignell wrote:
What do you pay?

$0.35 per KwH - $0.47 KwH, depending on time of day/year.

http://www.aemo.com.au/Electricity/Data ... ice-Tables

That's the averages for australia. SA is sadly topping the list :(

Author:  Charlie [ Apr 19th, '14, 16:27 ]
Post subject:  Re: Urban Organics in St. Paul, MN, USA

Yea unfortunately every business I have seen try make this work go bust and end up loosing a lot of everyone else's money. I do wish them all the best and hopefully there are knowledgeable people backing the design and development.

Author:  Slowboat [ Apr 19th, '14, 17:16 ]
Post subject:  Re: Urban Organics in St. Paul, MN, USA

Looks like a very professional setup. if they have there marketing done correctly and the locals buy the produce it might work.

I guess it depends on the Minisotians, will they buy fresh local produce either at a nice restaurant or for their home cooked meals?

Never having lived in a place with winters like that, I don't know what fresh herbs and salads are available or used in that climate.

Will the locals take to the produce?

Author:  Colum Black-Byron [ Apr 19th, '14, 18:07 ]
Post subject:  Re: Urban Organics in St. Paul, MN, USA

I was there a few years back, not in the dead of winter, but there didn't seem to be a shortage of fresh fruit and veg. Along with the 3 isles of frozen pizza. It was a lot of frozen pizza. A lot.

They can truck it in pretty easily from other states.

I'm also curious how much it'd cost for ongoing heating. It wouldn't be cheap for that sort of area.

But if they've had all the setup paid for by the government, then they might have a chance at survival.

Author:  Slowboat [ Apr 19th, '14, 18:11 ]
Post subject:  Re: Urban Organics in St. Paul, MN, USA

wow 3 aisles of pizza, might be a message there? were the pizzas cheese with extra cheese?

Author:  Colum Black-Byron [ Apr 19th, '14, 18:48 ]
Post subject:  Re: Urban Organics in St. Paul, MN, USA

Slowboat wrote:
wow 3 aisles of pizza, might be a message there? were the pizzas cheese with extra cheese?


If they could figure out a way to combine the pizza and the Aquaponics, then they'd be onto a winner there.

When I say three isles, I mean 3 double sided rows of pizza, both twice longer than what we have here. Friendly people though :)

Author:  Charlie [ Apr 19th, '14, 19:18 ]
Post subject:  Re: Urban Organics in St. Paul, MN, USA

mmmm, cheese

Author:  swanberg [ Apr 19th, '14, 22:56 ]
Post subject:  Re: Urban Organics in St. Paul, MN, USA

Minneapolis is one of the largest local food markets in the country. If it's going to work anywhere, it'll be here.

Urban Organics is already selling to the upscale grocery stores here. And another (somewhat local) AP farm is selling romaine lettuce to Chipotle (a national burrito chain which tries to source locally [and sustainably]).

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