David Goldstein Farm.One NYC, urban farming, urban agriculture, vertical farming

Re-Nuble Grower Series - David Goldstein, Farm.One

David Goldstein, Farm Manager at Farm.One, recently tried our Booster Shot! product in a recent grow. At Farm.One,  David is responsible for carefully overseeing the farm, managing technology, quality and production from seed to harvest. Here's what he had to say about topics near and dear to our team:

1. What led you to the urban farming and and what is your ultimate vision for the company?

I've always had a reverence for nature. I grew up tending to my Sicilian grandparents' extensive suburban garden and cooking with the fresh ingredients. After college, I spent a few months on a small organic produce farm in New Hampshire -- this experience profoundly shaped my perspective on work lifestyle. Rather than pursuing a lockstep career track in management consulting, I decided to revisit my first loves of growing plants and cooking. After moving to NYC, I began studying vertical farming and hydroponics with the goal of offsetting grocery expenses and reducing food waste with apartment-scale hydroponic food production.

The ultimate vision for Farm.One is to create a scalable farm model for hyperlocal production of rare and exotic culinary herbs, flowers, and microgreens for sale to restaurant and home chefs.
2. What does urban agriculture look like for you in 3-5 years, both for Farm.One and the overall landscape in NYC?

In the coming years, I think more people will be familiar with the principles of controlled environment agriculture (CEA), more food vendors will be sourcing produce from urban farms, and overall the distance between producer and consumer will be reduced. City dwellers in particular will have more options to buy more locally grown produce varieties year-round, independent of seasons and local climate conditions. Within the CEA industry, advances in LED lighting efficiency will open the doors for more people to grow their own produce and will help create more urban farms that need to compete with high real estate and utility costs.
3. "Impact" carries multiple meanings. What does it mean for you when related to growing in the city?

The impact that vertical farming has on urban environments is multifaceted. When the source of production is moved closer to where crops are actually used, the transportation distance and time are decreased which will reduce carbon footprint and increase freshness. Fresher crops last longer on the shelf, have more vivid flavors and colors, and provide greater nutritional value. Moreover, I believe that raising the general consciousness to the advantages of CEA impact food purchase decisions and reinforce healthy dietary habits.
4. How do you think farms can be more sustainable and how do you try to practice it at Farm.One?

At Farm.One, our model for hyperlocal food production means we can deliver produce via bike courier, rather than contributing to city traffic and fossil fuel carbon footprint. By harvesting same-day, we eliminate the need for refrigerated storage and we can offer a product that is more flavorful, vibrant, and nutritious than something that has been shipped thousands of miles.
In the future, accessibility to sources of clean, renewable energy will help vertical farms offset the high energy needs with environmentally responsible alternatives to fossil fuels. At Farm.One, we use 99% reusable or renewable packaging.
5. What would you like to see done differently in the vertical farming, urban farming community/industry?

I would like to see greater involvement on the part of city regulators to addressing the policy gaps that restrict the growth and funding of new urban farm ventures. NYC, put your money where your mouth is!

Farm.one Hydroponic Indoor Farm
Farm.one Hydroponic Indoor Farm
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