Our mission is to provide educational opportunities to learn more about sustainability, the value chain for food production and urban farming methods. We also produce great tasting fresh vegetables using urban farming techniques, renewable energy production, and sustainable methods. e3garden is located in the Philadelphia Metro area. The project began in 2013.
Planet: we live in a finite, highly inter-connected system. People systems are coupled with ecosystems in complicated ways. The production of food is one example of where the two systems meet. Numerous business opportunities exist that enable organizations to grow while preserving, protecting, and utilizing natural resources. The solar energy industry is one example of a fast growing industry that provides net benefits to the planet by decreasing the carbon footprint of homes, businesses, and industrial buildings.
People: people take jobs for two reasons – for satisfaction in the means of production or because they value the ends of the organization. For example, one can love one’s job (e.g., boss, peers, type of work, etc.) but not subscribe to the ends of the organization (e.g., weapons production). On the other hand, one can work for an organization that serves noble ends (e.g., fighting cancer) but not be stimulated by day to day activities. Jobs and organizations that serve both ends by being well-run, offer creative and stimulating environments, and that serve multiple stakeholders fulfill this goal.
The goal is to prove sustainability activity by:
- Implementing advanced technologies to grow high quality food in urban and rural environments.
- Pioneering synergies between alternative energy production and advanced agricultural techniques.
- Teaching others how to do the same.
E3 stands for Edibles, Energy and Education.
e3garden is committed to implementing advanced technologies to grow good tasting and high quality food in urban and rural environments. We recognize the need to maximize the yields of farm production. The only way to do that is to stack vertically and to use new technologies. Vertical gardens and farms, conceived in the late 1990’s, are now being increasingly developed in the US, Europe and Asia. For example, a large-scale project is underway in Sweden, which is dubbed the Plantagon. Plants can be grown in water without the use of pesticides using hydroponic methods.
e3garden uses the latest techniques and technologies in hydroponics and vertical planting structures to achieve high yields.
e3garden is committed to renewable forms of energy production to sustain the production activities of the project. Consequently, a portion of the space is devoted to renewable energy production. These include solar, wind, and geo-thermal. The optimal mix of one or more of these sources are developed based on prevailing conditions and climate. The goals in the energy component are to meet the electricity needs of the project.
The final goal of the project is educational. There are three ways this end is served:
- Through the learning in action that accompanies the project development;
- Through specific programs geared to teach others how to set up similar projects;
- Through specific programs geared to teaching students K-12 and college the design principles, the business model, and technologies that enable the projects to succeed.
Partnerships with local schools, environmental groups and agriculture groups will be a springboard for educational initiatives.