Food Inspiration Magazine is the online magazine for foodservice professionals in search of inspiration and innovation.
The free subscription digital magazine is published eight times per year and is an abundant source of inspiration for professionals in the world of food and hospitality. Our first readers can be found in the U.S., Northern Europe and parts of Asia.
Foodies that have a more than average interest in food & drinks relate strongly to the content and style of the online publication as well. With the magazine we collect, enrich and spread inspiration.
INT21 No waste
INT20 Plant centric
INT19 Food and healthcare
INT18 Reach of the chef
INT17 Vote food
INT16 Menus of change
INT13 Future cooking
INT12 Understanding the millennials
INT11 Ownership to Usership
INT10 Plant Based
INT08 Reinventing Traditions
INT05 Shift Happens
INT04 Food & Responsibility
INT03 Food & Trends
INT02 Food & Farming
INT01 Food & Tech
Beekeeping on top of an office building, feeding chickens on the balcony and gardening in the neighbourhood vegetable patch or in empty fields at the edges of built-up areas. Urban farming brings the countryside to the city. In the past few decades, we’ve shown such little interest in the countryside that some city kids have forgotten where milk comes from, or are unaware of the fact that carrots grow under the ground. The antithesis, urban farming, takes the city dweller back to nature. Urban farming has many advantages: it provides fresh and affordable fruit and vegetables. Local produce reduces produce CO2 emissions.
Sow it forward
What’s needed to create a rooftop urban farm?
Check out this video:
Brooklyn Grange Farm
The Brooklyn Grange Farm is considered to be one of urban farming’s major players in the United States. By making the most of the space New York has to offer, the organization wants to produce tasty and healthy local food for its inhabitants. ‘Head farmer’ Ben Flanner has only been on the job for three years, but he’s already surrounded himself with an impressive network of investors, farmers and partners. Together with his team, he’s managed to transform a huge chunck of land over New York into a field garden that’s evolved beyond growing greens. They also have chickens running around laying eggs and bees buzzing overhead to make honey. The largest plot can be found in Brooklyn, on the roof of the Brooklyn Navy Yard. This roughly 6000 m2 rooftop garden was partly funded by the state, as it blends in perfectly with New York’s new environmental policy .
Today, Flanner’s noble initiative has grown into a professional organisation, and serious work is being done on top of these buildings: several restaurants are already ordering their produce and they offer romantic rooftop dining in the evenings. You can even get married among the lettuce and tomatoes.
Beehives on the roof
When it comes to work, Vancouver’s Fairmont Waterfront eco-hotel tries to be as environmentally conscious as possible. Their entire work method is centered around a responsible approach towards tourism and the preservation of our natural environment. To ensure this, the hotel uses herbs from their sizeable herb garden, grows its own vegetables and fruit and has at least 500.000 bees flying around on the roof.
In 2008, to combat the decreasing number of ‘wild’ bees, the hotel teamed up with the Honeybee Centre in Cloverdale, B.C. In summer, the insects collect nectar from their very own flower garden to do what they do best: making honey. From March through to September, the bees supply around 300 kilos of honey, enough to last a full year. To make sure they survive the winter, the bees are transferred to their indoor habitation at the Honeybee Centre every September.
The hotel menu lists a surprising amount of honey-inspired dishes. They also organise Bee Hive Tours for the real fans.
video: Sow it Forward
Educational program Edible Schoolyard Berkeley focuses on health, environmental issues and our natural surroundings. Kids are taught how to wield garden tools in a giant organic garden (4000 m2!), where they’re allowed to grow their own vegetables, fruit and herbs. Cooking classes are held in the kitchen - a former classroom - but most importantly, the kids are shown the effect certain foods can have on their bodies at a young age.
Alice Waters conceived of this educational program seventeen years ago. She used to drive past Berkeley’s Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School every day, and the school’s dilapidated state got her thinking. Today, the same school and the program Waters initiated, tours the entire country and is considered a model for edible education. People at home and abroad are inspired by its success.
Guerilla gardener Ron Finley claims we ourselves are the root cause of today’s food problems and health issues. Finley, a fashion designer, co-founded LA Green Grounds , an organisation that plants gardens in low-income Los Angeles suburbs. He aims to greenify the neighbourhood and he wants to create opportunities for people to truly share their food.
According to Finley, cities like Los Angeles have become food deserts. His community vegetable gardens are meant to offer a healthy alternative in areas where drive-thru fast food chains are causing an alarmingly high number of health problems. Finley discussed his plans at a TED conference. He concludes: ‘If you want to meet with me, don’t call me if you want to sit around in cushy chairs and have meetings where you talk about doing some shit. If you want to meet with me, come to the garden with your shovel so we can plant some shit.”
This map shows how urban farming has started to spread.
Vertical office buildings
It has already appeared on the streets of Tokyo: ‘vertical farming’. The office of recruitment company Pasona HQ is covered in it. The firm cultivates vegetables and fruit for their employees on its walls. From broccoli to rice and tomatoes. Not only does it look cool, but the plants’ isolating properties saves energy as well.
Jack Ng, entrepreneur and founder of Sky Greens is a regular ‘vertical farming’ pioneer. He has invented an installation that allows you to grow crops anywhere: A-Go-Gro . The plants come in an aluminium frame and are rotated which makes sure they all receive the same amount of sunlight. The installation houses a larger amount of plants and doesn’t take up much space. However, the crops’ growth is a little slower and the ‘vertical fruit and vegetables’ are slightly more expensive than their horizontal counterparts.
As the global population is steadily growing, an increasing number of people need to be fed. This means more land needs to be cultivated. While such land is absent, we need to start looking into other options. Vertical farming could be a solution.
Text: Annemarie van Ulden and Babette Rijkhoff | Music: Bigfoot - Cayucas
Beekeeping on top of an office building, feeding chickens on the balcony and gardening in the neighbourhood vegetable patch or in empty fields at the edges of built-up areas. Urban farming brings the countryside to the city.
In the past few decades, we’ve shown such little interest in the countryside that some city kids have forgotten where milk comes from, or are unaware of the fact that carrots grow under the ground.
The antithesis, urban farming, takes the city dweller back to nature. Urban farming has many advantages: it provides fresh and affordable fruit and vegetables. Local produce reduces CO2 emissions. The vegetation results in a cleaner and healthier city climate and organic waste does not need to collected by trucks but can be instead be processed as compost. Furthermore, community gardening is an easy way to meet locals, and teaches children about the origins of their daily meal.
Green initiatives are blossoming everywhere. From local communities planting fruit- and nut trees in parks and along pavements, to companies exploiting private gardens to feed an entire neighbourhood. Food Inspiration lists a few inspiring examples.
on the roof
Sow it Forward