Butler A. Foster of RSI Green Energy Network are proposing Genesis Urban Farm Initiative to deliver the Food Oasis Urban Farms. these systems allows you to produce lots of fish and produce, for schools, churches and community groups. The Food Oasis Urban Farms also offer educational, training and commercial opportunities in the production of fresh produce in urban farming. The system combines vertical and traditional hydroponics and fish farming technology for an urban setting. Each Food Oasis Urban Farm system is custom built for your space and environment. With our system, you can supplement your food source while optionally providing a source of income. This can be done by expanding into a commercial system for your community providing jobs and healthier food sources.
Grow many different food groups
Many people ask, what can I grow with these systems? Fruit producing plants and lettuce are the baseline for production and yields. Our green energy Aquaponics Gardens grow a variety of vegetables and can grow as many fish as your area can hold. You can also grow strawberries, eggplant, beans, squash, tomatoes, and much more. We have designed a vertical garden called the Space Saver Hydroponic Garden. This garden will work well where space is limited (small balconies or patios) using vertical space to maximize yields. Our RSI Green Energy Network lab has done all the work for you. No need to guess how to grow in hydroponics; we will give all the information you need. We have grown most vegetables in this system and raised tilapia and catfish, you can raise perch, shrimp and many more fish. You will benefit from our success and knowledge. Through science, experience, and very hard work, we have made growing your own food affordable which is important for you and your family’s food bill.
Space Saver Vertical hydroponics Systems
The Space Saver Hydroponic System is a nutrient film technique (NTF) that allows you to grow plants in a vertically arrangement. This can be very useful for apartment or condo living with balconies or patios. The system comes with 24 or 48 individual pots per set-up which can be used with or without a trellis; perfect for situations where space is limited. Some of the produce you can grow with this systems include: bok choi, lettuce, beans, and cucumbers, as well as fresh herbs like basil, thyme, and parsley. Your meals will taste fresher when they come from your garden; an added benefit, using fresh herbs to season food will allow you to cut down on salt intake.
Deep Water Culture Urban Farms
– Crimson Class
This modular system is interchangeable. Starting with one grow bed raft or fill and drain system and two space saver gardens, you can manage a production of 100 pounds of fish and 62 individual plants that can yield a variety of fruit and vegetables; enough to give to family and friends. When growing leafy produce there’s no need to take the whole thing just take what you need and it will regenerate to give you more for later. The system that keep on giving.
– Majestic Class
This food production system is great for schools. There are three grow beds (4’ x 6’) and two Space Saver hydroponic Gardens. This system comes with enough grow production to produce several pounds of food per month, hold 120 plants, and 200 pounds of fish of your choice.
– Emerald Class
This food production system is our commercial system holding/producing 1000 to 4000 head of lettuce per month. This system is a deep water system and will produce 1000 to 4000 pounds of fish the first year. This income producing system requires 3,000 to 5,000 square feet of space.
Systems Space saver aquaponics systems crimson class system majestic class system
Lettuce production/month 24- 62 pots 62-500 heads of lettuce 500-1000
Fish 50lb 100lb 200lb
Impact on environment 2’x5’x4/ 2x 8×10’ 20’x20’ 20’x50’
Energy requirements 1000w 2000watts 3000watts
*Water footprint 50gal month 200 gals/month 400gal/month
Labor 14hrs/wk 21hr/wk 35hr/wk
Note: water consumption may vary depending on the evaporation rate, number of plants and environmental temperature (indoor or outdoor) but our systems generally use 85% less water than conventional farm techniques or container gardening.
A greenhouse should be used to protect plants from pest and environmental conditions such as extreme heat or cold. Greenhouses are priced according to size and material such as plastic, glass, wood, or pvc. Solar panels can be used to cut power consumption cost from 1000 kilowatts to 5000 kilowatts per year and 10,000 per year for commercial systems. Wind turbines can be used for power generation to supplement power consumption as well. Our systems will also have a bee hive (optional) for honey production bees wax and pollination to increase yields where fruits are being produced, such as tomatoes, eggplant, cucumbers, squash, peppers, and others.
Impact on the community
These systems will reduce the carbon foot print, as well as reduce the transportation costs associated with delivering fresh produce to market which, in turn, reduces the price and allows us to stay competitive in the surrounding markets. Working with schools, church and community groups we will help to build and maintain community-based hydro/aqua commercial farms capable of feeding large numbers of people with the yields being sold to schools, restaurants, and farmer markets. These systems will be built at a central location which will produce jobs and awareness of urban agriculture. A community will be built around urban agriculture through processing, packaging, sales and marketing and distribution.
Church groups are the pillars and the hub of the community, not only providing guidance but also in organizing and getting the word out about developing projects in the community. We will start our education and outreach there by organizing community gardens, developing farmers markets, offering seed banks, and training bee keepers.
Elementary, middle, and high schools are great places to start to help change eating habits and introduce a new way of getting fresh food to their community. It will be a challenge changing the minds and eating habits of children but tackling the problems of obesity and childhood diabetes is of primary importance in low-income communities. The first step will be to propose a school garden on site at each school in the district. This will give them their own hydroponic/aquaponics lab and kitchen cooking class with cook books. This will allow the students to have hands-on experience in creating and maintain an urban garden .if school budgets cannot accommodate a project such as this we will look to an online fund raising platform called kickstart and indagogo to raise money for this project, also our Food Oasis Farms team will be available to assist, as needed, for training, and most importantly, to help present healthier eating habits to these children.
Community gardens have proven to be a great way to bring people together and, across the country, have produced tons of food for urban farmers. First Lady, Michelle Obama, is a big supporter of the community garden and has written a book entitled, “American Grow,” on the subject. With her interviews and appearances her goal has been healthy eating for our community .We share that goal and will work with community groups to build and maintain these gardens through training programs that will teach children and families to be successful urban farmers and gardeners. Remember, Urban farms can be grown almost anywhere including: roof top gardens, un-used and under used property, and indoors, and they can garden grow all year round.
Bringing jobs to the community is another goal of the project and this aligns with the goal of the administration of President Obama in terms of green energy jobs. As a result we are encouraged and determined, RSI Green Energy Network is bringing education, independence, and options to communities that have been hardest hit by the economic downturn, suffering low economic growth, high unemployment, and limited food choices. RSI Green Energy Network will bring jobs in urban farming, such as harvesters, food processers, office and logistics managers, urban farmers, sales team, assembly of Food Oasis urban Farms, low tech power stations such as solar systems, to make Oasis Urban Farms totally self-sustaining, and quality control inspectors.
We will start by marketing and promoting our urban farm systems to schools and churches using an introduction by mail and setting up an in-person meeting. The presentation will consist of the already proven Space Saver hydroponics, aquaponics, and deep water systems. Press releases will go out to all the major local networks. Marketing to residential home owners, your self-sustaining, food producing systems, will reach over 50,000 residential and business customers that will be endusers of your, food producing systems, on the south side of Chicago and suburbs
Food Oasis Urban Farms Marketing Strategy
Our Food Oasis Urban Farms are the backbone and center piece of RSI Green Energy Network. From the garden to the kitchen RSI Green Energy Network has developed a garden for all situations and spaces. From our Space Saver Systems to our full blown commercial money producing systems, we are bringing urban farming to food deserts, churches, community groups, and individual residents in the community. Join us and be part of the effort to teach our neighbors to fish and farm so they can eat and feed their family healthy food. As mission of RSI Green Energy Network helping to reduce childhood obesity, diabetes, hypertension.
Start –up Phases
The education curriculum will be designed to be tailored to the needs of the area we serve. There will be health education on diabetes, hypertension and the causes of obesity, as well as garden to the kitchen cooking recipes for kids using the harvest from their garden. All curriculum will be tailored to the specific audience, and of course, age appropriate. A local headquarters and quality control for any and all produce grown with our food systems. To keep a high standard of food production for the end user and /or commercial sale to restaurants and grocery stores in the community. The following is the phased approach to start up the Genesis Urban Farm Initiative.
Phase 1 Home Sweet Home
Step 1 – Acquire space in the areas that we will build community gardens by zip codes
Step 2 – Introduce share cropping to the residential community on roof tops, backyards to promote Food Oasis Urban Farms, also to acquire and use under used and unused abandoned land in the inner city.
Phase 2 Marketing
Step 1 Meeting with churches and community groups, to introduce share cropping, to churches housing our Food Oasis Urban Farm food systems. This will help them supplement their food source and act as a center for storing seeds and caring for bee hives(optional) for our Food Oasis Urban Farms to help pollinate plants in our gardens around the city.
Step 2 – Press release to all major networks and radio with an acknowledgement of sponsors of the project. Big promotions for our sponsors.
Step 3 – Contact schools to introduce schools programs associated with Food Oasis Urban Farms to build Food Oasis Urban Farms on school property.
Step 4 – Hire staff and volunteers to work Food Oasis urban Farm sites
Step 5 – Create curriculum for churches, school cooking labs and community groups in the areas of urban farming, health, running a business, creating farmers markets, and the sale and trade of fresh produce at farmers markets.
Phase 3 Food Oasis Urban Farms ( on going)
Step 1 – Order of material for RSI Green Energy Network Food Oasis Urban Farms,
Step 2 – Storage and assembly of solar cells parts into panels
Step 3 – Build Food Oasis Urban Farms in back yards, on school yards, at Churches, and on vacant lots.
How is our food grown?
Food is grown by a process called Hydroponics. Hydroponics is a process by which plants are grown without soil and sometimes in water, which is called a raft system. Hydroton, or gravel are used as a growing medium. Water and nutrients are held for a short time and absorbed by the plants, while oxygen is maximized by the roots giving the plants the best circumstance for bigger, better and faster growth. The drawback to hydroponics is that water and nutrient are not held for long. So a continuous stream of water is fed to the plants in a closed loop system. This allows for water to be re-circulated and nutrients to be reused which allows for 85% less used to water plants. This is less than conventional farming and gardening techniques, when soil is used. Hydroponics also has limited exposure to pest although there are some pest that can appear, they can be better managed in a hydroponic system which uses no pesticides. An indoor garden has a more controlled environment and can grow all year round.
Using organic nutrients through Fish farming
Fish farming is a process of raising and farming fish in a controlled environment. Fish farming is a great way of producing edible fish and provides a food source for end-user consumption. Perch, catfish, tilapia, are a few of the fish used in fish farming. The fish we choose will depend on the population we serve and the request of the customer. Fish are bought as fingerlings and raised to full maturity. The process takes eight months to a year to mature to approximately 1½ pounds 4/ 600 gallon fish pond, will be built. The fish will be feed worms and duck weed fully organic.
Hydroponics +Fish farming =Aquaponics
Aquaponics is a symbiotic relationship between fish farming and hydroponics. Created to provide a complete food source system that is organic in nature and is a natural process, the organic waste produced by the fish is routed to the plants. The plant has a natural bacteria that converts the fish waste to be absorb and used by the plants as nutrients. This process removes the organic waste from the water and returns the water with oxygen to the fish. In a closed loop system this cycle is repeated automatically. This process is called symbiosis, which is aquaponics
The first three stages are combined and happen almost simultaneously joined together when built and initiated. The plants are added to the system. There are day to day routines that happen on your way to full harvest:
Observation and maintenance
A system with less than 500 plants will require detailed observation on the plant , plant leaves for pest, over or under fertilization, water temp and water levels, fish health, if there is any fruit daily inspection. (2hrs a day after installation). A system with 1000 or more plants, considered a commercial system, requires more time a day to do the above up keepers takes 5HR A DAY details inspection of the plants, or any damage that may occur due to environmental forces such as extreme heat or cold due to temperature fluctuations, mold or not enough nutrients. In commercial systems, workers will wear protective gowns and gloves when in the green house and in direct contact with the plants or fish. Gloves are advised when handling the smaller private systems as well. Our team of gardeners will be trained in clean techniques and food handling per city and state regulation.
Harvesting will be done for all Food Oasis Urban Farms by qualified food handlers whether residential or commercial, to guarantee a uniform system of food safety and food particularly for food to be shared, bought, or sold. Food sold to restaurants and grocery stores will be of the highest quality and comparable to, if not better than, that delivered by traditional means.
Processing and packaging for our customers will be of the highest standards and quality. Produce will be washed and cleaned for food safety. Price will be effected, since the product are grown locally and limited transportation cost some produce will be sold on site while others will be sent to food stores, and restaurants in the area, making our produce affordable for low income families in poor areas where buying produce can be difficult to find and expensive to buy. Food options are important because we are serious about reducing diseases related to diet and life style. The end user: consumer/sharecropper who will receive the highest benefit of all, a supplemental food source right in their backyards processed, packaged and given to them for food safety.
Farmers markets, share cropping, grocery stores, restaurants, and schools are the markets we will penetrate. Our produce will have the advantages of being high quality produce grown locally, better pricing, providing jobs for the community, and bringing an awareness of healthy choice in food deserts and low income communities.
RSI Green Energy Network is seeking your help for Genesis Urban Farm Initiative A produce and fish production system of hydroponics, fish farming and beekeeping, gardens that can be as little as 20 to 50 plants, and as large as 3000 to 10,000 plants for commercial systems. these systems are self-sustaining by building Solar panels to power our Food Oasis Urban Farms. These urban farms are used to Grow produce, educate, enhanced, and promote healthy eating habits while saving the owner of a food producing system money or earning profit . In areas where healthy produce is either too expensive or unavailable for the local consumer. We are using vacant lots, backyards, rooftops school grounds to plant, there are enough space using vertical space for plentiful yields. Our target market, are church groups, elementary and high schools using unused lots, commercial, and schools grounds setting for our farms. The demographics include children between the ages of 5 to 17 years for our educational programs and adults young and old to work and operate our urban gardens . We are targeting our harvest to restaurants, grocery mom and pop stores, plus on site sales and farmer markets, that are local. We believe with this strategy, we will not only make a difference in urban farming, RSI Green Energy Network brings local grown hydroponic produce to wanting households. Our goal is to enable our start-phase by March 1st and to start our daily operation Stages by April 1st 2014, this system is a year round operation. Long term goal is to: eliminated Food deserts, reducing childhood obesity, hypertension and diabetes through education access to fresh produce lowering carbon footprint by reducing transportation distance from farm to plate and the cost for food.