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Posts Tagged ‘tim faulkner’

In October, Tim Faulkner of ecoRI wrote that for the local celebration of National Food Day, “there was plenty to celebrate about Rhode Island’s food industry. During a downtown food festival, leaders and pioneers in the local food movement explained how they are connecting Rhode Island’s restaurants and culinary arts sector with farming, education, environmentalism, entrepreneurism and social justice.

“This effort was best demonstrated by Julius Searight, founder of a new food truck and mobile soup kitchen. Searight’s Food4Good held its grand opening during the Oct. 24 Providence Food Day Festival, selling chicken waffle sandwiches and baked potatoes. Proceeds from food sales are expected to fund about 400 meals a week for the needy.

“Searight, 26, grew up as a foster child in Providence and graduated from Johnson & Wales University in 2013. He got the idea for the hybrid food operation after volunteering at local nonprofits and wondering what it was like for his biological mother to get fed.

“ ‘I really just saw the need to give back to those in need,’ he said.

More here.

Photo: Tim Faulkner/ecoRI News
Julius Searight is the founder of Food4Good food truck and mobile soup kitchen. Every $5 dollars earned buys two meals for people who need them.

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Tim Faulkner at ecoRI has been covering Rhode Island’s newest food initiatives. Recently he wrote about the unusually advanced greenhouse of Boston Greens. in Kingstown.

“Lewis Valenti, CEO and founder of the greenhouse and the Boston Greens line of leafy green vegetables and herbs it produces, spent five years studying how to start a business that grows produce indoors and year-round. …

“The result is what Valenti describes as the most technologically advanced greenhouse in New England. The 8,400-square-foot glass barn relies on advanced computer programs to manipulate light, feeding and humidity.

“All plants are fed a fertilizer-rich water that recirculates in a system of troughs at the base of the plants, a process known as hydroponic growing. The water alone goes through several filters and processes that strip it of minerals and all non-water elements. A nutrient mix is then reintroduced before it is fed through the hydroponic system.

“The benefits are an ability to control the nutrients in the plants and increase their overall health benefits. There are no pests and therefore no need for pesticides or herbicides, according to Valenti. The process conserves water, using 1,200 gallons a day compared to 28,000 gallons for a comparable outdoor field, according to Valenti. The yield is higher, too. The greenhouse will grow 250,000 heads of lettuce throughout the year, producing the equivalent of a 4-acre farm. …

“So far, the $1.3 million project has been privately funded, and it’s already generating revenue. All future harvests of lettuces and herbs have been pre-sold to a handful of restaurants and eight grocery stores in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

“Valenti, who went to college in Rhode Island and keeps a home in East Greenwich, said Rhode Island is a foodie state with top restaurants, culinary schools and a burgeoning agricultural movement. But with limited space for farmland, the new greenhouse is the best way to keep the local food movement sustainable while creating jobs, he said.

“ ‘I can’t think of a better place to grow food than Rhode Island,’ Valenti said.”

More here.

Photo: Tim Faulkner/ecoRI News photos
The new greenhouse is expected to grow 250,000 heads of lettuce annually.

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We all have ambitions, and it seems that there are people in Providence whose ambition it is to hold the tree-hugging record. If you can help, the date is April 25.

According to Tim Faulkner at EcoRi, the goal is to be greener than Portland, Oregon.

“In an effort to establish its green cred and presumably give a big thanks to the environment, the city will attempt to wrest a unique world record from the undisputed champion of green cities: Portland, Ore.

“What’s the record? The largest tree hug. Portland set the benchmark in 2013, with 936 people hugging trees at one time.

“Providence and the Rhode Island Tree Council will host the group hug during its Earth Day Spring Cleaning on April 25. The record attempt will take place at Roger Williams Park, after some 40 neighborhood cleanups across the city. Last year’s cleanups drew about 2,200 volunteers, and organizers hope the Portland record will fall if at least half of them join the after party in the park.

“Registration for the after-cleanup party at Roger Williams Park will be held from 1-2:30 p.m. All tree huggers must register, and early registration is recommended. To register, click here. The event begins at 3 p.m., and all participants must hug a tree for a minute.”

More here on solar power, composting, bike sharing, Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza’s sustainability proposals, and plans for energy-saving streetlights.

Photo: Momma on the Move

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