e3arden’s mission is produce great tasting fresh vegetables using urban farming techniques, renewable energy production, and sustainable methods. Our secondary mission is to provide educational opportunities to learn more about sustainability, the value chain for food production and urban farming methods.
e3garden is located in the Philadelphia Metro area. The venture began in 2013.
e3garden values the benefits of creating an enterprise that adheres to the demands of the Triple Bottom Line: Profits, Planet, People.
Profits: if an organization can not operate in a way such that revenues exceeds costs, then it is not sustainable. No matter how noble the cause, any enterprise that violates this economic principle is doomed to a short life.
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 enterprises 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 triple-bottom line sustainability: profits, planet, and people. To do that, we are:
- Implementing advanced technologies to grow high quality food in urban and rural environments.
- Pioneering synergies between alternative energy production and advanced agricultural techniques.
- Running a profitable enterprise.
- 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 venture. 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 of the venture are to:
- Meet the electricity needs of the venture;
- Sell energy products or electricity to customers by agreement or through market mechanisms;
- Send electricity back to the grid in order to receive credit.
The final goal of the venture is educational. There are three ways this end is served:
- Through the learning in action that accompanies the venture development;
- Through specific programs geared to teach others how to set up similar ventures;
- Through specific programs geared to teaching students K-12 and college the design principles, the business model, and technologies that enable the venture to succeed.
Partnerships with local schools, environmental groups, business groups and agriculture groups will be a springboard for educational initiatives.