A non-GMO, vertical, urban, startup farm that will be located underground, in a former nuclear fallout shelter,
in Rome, N.Y.
This video is a copy of my final project in ANT 303, with Dr. Stam, at SUNY Poly, during the fall 2018 semester. I detailed my family's food experiences and culture from the time I can remember until now in the video, and I believe it explains why I have such a passion to provide food resources and teach people how to grow their own food.
How it all began...
Underground Greens will reconnect the community, to their food sources through food knowledge workshops, employment, and by providing affordable, locally grown, non-GMO, specialty plant and produce options, year-round, in the middle of a food desert to help decrease food scarcity.
Our business model is simple. Grow good food, using the most sustainable (cheapest) growing methods, during the appropriate seasons. That means growing indoor crops during the worst of our winter months, and moving crops to the greenhouse and fields as it warms up. Our heating bill in the winter will be drastically less than our competitors, as the nuclear fallout shelter maintains a 42 degree temperature, even when it's well below zero outside.
Once we are in our space and fully operational, expect to be able to purchase produce like baby cucumbers, mushrooms, mini bell peppers, edible flowers, microgreens, baby leaf veggies, and multi-colored cherry tomatos all winter long. Our prices will be affordable and similar to Wallmart's prices. After 20 years of experimenting with indoor growing, I have been able to develop production methods that will allow us to sell products at reasonable prices. So, you will never see a $10 bag of lettuce offered for sale at Underground Greens.
In addition to produce, we will be selling live plants and conducting a series of workshops. Bi-monthly workshops will be free and open to the public, on a first come first serve basis. Other workshops will require a small fee to cover materials.
If we add members of the community, living in the food desert, to the Underground Greens team, through workshops and critically listen to their insights, we can establish localized food production, provide local jobs, and create new food knowledge that will eliminate our food desert.
Christina Carambia's business plan for Underground Greens won 1st place in the Energy/Sustainability track at the Mohawk Valley Regional Business Plan competition in 2015 & 2016, and she went on to win 3rd place, both years, at the New York State Finals Competition. Christina was also awarded the first M.W.B.W. award in 2016, as well. She is currently enrolled, as a senior, at SUNY Polytechnic Institute,as an Interdisciplinary Studies major, where she continues to improve her business plan for Underground Greens.
Like most startups, Underground Greens is still looking for a good funding opportunity to build out the facility to suit our needs. Financial requirements include the cost of building a kitchen, additional restrooms, and a big enough space for community workshops. Until then, I will be gearing up to offer a line of microgreens in 2019, along with seasonal produce grown in the green house and fields. More details to follow.
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