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the power to create F.R.U.I.T.

What is F.R.U.I.T.?

F.R.U.I.T. is an acronym meaning Food Resiliency Urban Infrastructure Tools.

F.R.U.I.T. is a set of analytical instruments developed for improving food availability, accessibility, and affordability and reducing food waste; thereby improving the economic viability of adopting urban agriculture as a sustainable local food production and distribution practice.
 

F.R.U.I.T. is essentially an Artificial Intelligence (AI) research & development accelerator and food security incubator.


Simply put F.R.U.I.T. is an opportunity for UGW to collect base data on everything we do from a farming perspective. Data that can be shared with our partners, globally. This allows UGW to continue our efforts towards collectively working with farmers to collect grow data that can help them find markets, maximize profits, consolidate growing schedules, and reduce food waste by managing production for need rather than growing food as a commodity, alone.

At F.R.U.I.T.’s core, is a big data platform that has established a back-end set of computational algorithms that connects the dietary requirements of a sample population, with spatial opportunities of their urban environments and the food required to be consumed by minimizing food waste, accessibility issues, and affordability concerns. The applied combination of specialized data and a set of computational algorithms that assess the technological, political, economic, real estate and social impacts of urban agriculture to generate self-sufficient net-zero food-energy-water solutions for a specific site and/or target population.

That specialized data set is just one of UGW's contribution to F.R.U.I.T., the foundation grow data necessary to power F.R.U.I.T. Our work with F.R.U.I.T.  is in collaboration with Studio James Brazil.

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MDD: FROM A ROOFTOP NEAR U (PARTNERSHIP)

FROM A ROOFTOP NEAR U is UGW Global's post-pandemic response to food security in the City of Miami. The goal has always been the creation of a Critical Mass in Miami-Dade County around the local food movement and healthy nutrition. So in an effort to rethink how we farm in the City of Miami, UGW decided to take on bold partnerships. We did this in Richmond (the largest food desert per City size in the continental US), Kenya (our partners in Kitui help us to help them as we study the arid climate and look at ways that can help them help us avoid a similar fate), and here in Miami, we partnered with True Tree Services (TTS) & Studio James Brazil (SJB), as we saw an\ golden opportunity to expand our 360 GreenPrint for Food Security by leveraging partnerships high above Miami's skyline. So, "UGW took it to the roofs!"

We started the planning stage in the summer of 2020, with a 3000 sq. ft. pilot that was modeled from UGW's micro-SPIN farming technique. Countless hours were spent sitting with SJB adapting UGW strategies and solutions into a viable rooftop grow plan and guide, ,that can be integrated into F.R.U.IT. This plan was then presented to several restaurants in MDD, including but not limited to Itamae, Michaels' Genuine, & L'Atelier. When we received enough feedback on the grow guide, the game was afoot.

At the implementation stage, we got busy with the science of farming, applying 10+ years of soil-regeneration, permaculture, fertilization & pest management, seed planting/propagation, and other applicable techniques 3-stories above ground-level in the heart of the Miami Design District (MDD). Our goal was to grow the most nutrient dense produce in Miami, with the end goal of collecting grow data through the integration of the F.RU.I.T. into the project. By the end of the Spring of 2021, we had a new 3-year arrangement with MDD to farm 60,000 sq. ft. of underutilized, rooftop green space. But the journey was just beginning. Any experienced farmer knows that one year does not produce a farmable site. This is a 3 year experiment. And while some may see dollar signs, we see food quality, food safety, nutrient density, etc.

As we slowly, rounded out the first growing phase of the pilot, we started to implement our farm to plate training program that links young inner city youth and residents to the high-end restaurant industry in the MDD. Here we partner urban farming trainees with a participating restaurant for training in the field of high-end restaurant management & service. 

 

This eventually evolved into a new arm of the UGW Training Academy - a community outreach program based on engagement, education, and entrepreneurship within the food system. The aim is to create viable solutions to the social determinants of health that plague marginalized communities, through a partnership with local businesses, residents, and government agencies, with a focus on food security issues i.e., increasing food production and reducing food waste. Our main purpose is to incubate initiatives and projects that move us towards a food secure City, reducing carbon footprint, and restoring an overall sense of stewardship for our food supply. 

 

The Academy looks to foster cross-community coalition-building by accelerating and connecting a network of underutilized private and public green infrastructure opportunities initially between Liberty City, Key Biscayne, and Miami Design District.

 

The Miami Design District offers several blocks of upscale dining yet lacks any stores which provide fresh produce. There's almost 2 acres of underutilized green roofs above the Miami Design District, an opportunity to revitalize a stable underutilized extensive green roof infrastructure for urban farming by introducing lightweight hurricane resilient rooftop-supported agricultural practices. The immediate objectives of the Academy are to develop the rooftops into farm training spaces, establish a Farm Training Workshop Program to train and mentor youth and residents in project protocol and management, expand our community composting programs to include local restaurants, and establish a coalition of partnering restaurants as host locations for Food Entrepreneurship Workshops.

 

This program is housed under Urban GreenWorks as the fiscal entity to receive donations and is designed for Urban GreenWorks to partner with other aligned non-profit entities.

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