Earlier this month, Aquaponic Modular Production Systems (AMPS) debuted the first aeroponic farm in New Orlean at Hollygrove Farm and Market.
AMPS is an urban agriculture development company formed by Founder and CEO Doug Jacobs while involved with Tulane’s Changemaker Institute. AMPS team members also include CFO Kevin Morgan-Rothschild, Stephanie Stefanski, and Melissa Hew. The team notably won the crowd favorite award at Pitch NOLA and is currently participating in the 2012 IDEAxcelerator class.
Hollygrove Market is hosting the AMPS design to showcase an innovative way to grow fresh produce for the community in a sustainable fashion via recirculating farming. Recirculating farms use clean recycled water in place of soil to grow food. “Aeroponics” is one type of these farms, where plants grow in vertical towers. AMPS plans to build many other recirculating farms throughout New Orleans to provide more local sources of healthy food.
Doug Jacobs said, “When I came to New Orleans, I thought: how could a city so well-known for its cuisine source so little of its produce locally? We can help New Orleans sustainably grow fresh produce and make it more accessible for consumers. We could grow all of the vegetables and herbs used here in a variety of farms throughout the city.”
Kevin Morgan-Rothschild (left) and Douglas Jacobs cut the ribbon on the AMPS installation at Hollygrove Market. Photo courtesy of Marianne Cufone of the Recirculating Farms Coalition.
The new aeroponic farm is already providing vegetables for Hollygrove Market and Farm to sell to the community- upwards of 40 pounds of greens weekly.
AMPS is partnering with the Recirculating Farms Coalition, a national non-profit headquartered in New Orleans and the New Orleans Food and Farm Network, a food justice group, to reach out to locals about the benefits of building recirculating farms.
“Recirculating farming methods, like aeroponics, are becoming very popular worldwide,” said Recirculating Farms Coalition executive director Marianne Cufone. “These efficient, eco-friendly farms create green spaces that provide food for the community; they are ideal for New Orleans, where growing areas may be limited or paved. We are excited to be part of bringing recirculating farms more into the urban farming movement.”