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 Resilient Urban Initiatives & Training.
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 self-sufficient and 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.
F.R.U.I.T. is UGW's attempt at redefining modern agriculture (M.A.P.) and 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.
Simply put F.R.U.I.T. is a community outreach program based on engagement, education, and entrepreneurship within the food system, locally, regionally, & globally. The aim is to create viable solutions to the social determinants of health that plague marginalized communities, through partnerships with local businesses, residents, and government agencies.
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.
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.
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 a 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 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 Impact Academy (UGW IA) - a youth development program, aimed at middle school aged boys and up, with a focus on literacy, math, and nutrition education. We are looking to train the next generation of socially responsible leaders. The program looks at entrepreneurship and its connection with the food system.
The immediate objectives of F.R.U.I.T. are to develop open green spaces ( such as, Cerasee Farm & other partner sites) into farm training, community building spaces; establish a new & beginner Farm Training Workshop Program to train and mentor youth and residents in urban farming protocol and management; expand the community composting programs through partnerships; nd establish a coalition of partnering CBOs and local businesses that strive for new solutions to youth development, community economic development, community building, and community ownership.These objectives mesh well with the goals & objectives of the UGW IA.
The goal 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. The main purpose of F.R.U.I.T. is to incubate initiatives and projects that move UGW closer to its mission while reducing carbon footprint and restoring an overall sense of stewardship to our communities, food system, and the planet.
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, in support of their innovations and processes towards successful solutions to the SDOH that afflict the communities we serve.
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