A community place for sustainable food and farming education and solutions.
RegenAg and CEA work together, side by side, at Arcola Farms.
RegenAg: Our first Minnesota farm builds on the lessons we learned on our multi-generational Wisconsin family farm. Future local food production now uses a combination of low tech and high tech farming. Regenerative agriculture in the fields allows us to transform degraded land into diverse food crops and tree cover. Regenerative agriculture practices work to restore soil and ecosystem health, leaving our land, water, and climate in better condition for future generations. Diligence to rebuild degraded soil into a rich, bio-diverse place where plants and the land retain moisture and thrive, is the key to growing food in what was once chemically treated and tilled soil. The majority of our 80 acre farm focuses on RegenAg.
CEA: Using technology and climate controls, we supplement the field grown foods with controlled environment agriculture (CEA); the greenhouses. We replicate the AgTech and plant science work originated by the Dutch, to grow wholesome, pesticide-free food, in our northern climate, 365 days a year. Research will lead us to incorporate soil and soil mediums, so that any plant can be grown.
Minnesota is the pioneering state in American agriculture, and the home of pioneering food companies like Pillsbury, General Mills, and Cargill. The University of Minnesota is a leader in agricultural research and education. Arcola Farms bridges private, public, and university partnerships to develop the future of climate-smart agriculture.
Historic farming roots, with the technology of today and tomorrow, will grow food sustainably, with no chemical inputs, using a fraction of the water for irrigation. One acre of glasshouse agricultural land can grow more than 20 comparable acres of open-field agriculture, year-round, regardless of outside environmental and weather concerns.
Production and food supplies are increased exponentially by the fact that crops are grown every day of the year. The ability for the Midwest to grow food 12 months a year, instead of 4 months in an outdoor growing season, changes the future of food production and accessibility.
“Indoor agriculture grows less than 10% of the U.S. food supply. That number will steadily increase in the coming decades. Growing food locally, with fewer resources, every day of the year, allows us to have the best food available without shipping it from Mexico and California,“ said David Stennes, Arcola’s founder and CEO.
“For consumers, there is power in knowing where your food comes from. I believe we need to have a connection with the people that grow our food”.
“Food science and agricultural technology can help us meet the future food needs for human and planet health. We can ensure a stable, safe, sustainable food supply chain of the nutrient-dense, healthy, nutritious food that an increasing population wants to eat for their health".
Agriculture Technology: Technology and indoor agriculture already combine to create the future of sustainable food production. It’s the fastest growing segment in agriculture worldwide. Our improved focus on supply chain allows us to build a better food economy. Increased output, significantly reduced food waste, and the drive to reach a NetZero carbon footprint creates the opportunity to grow more local food, more effectively.
Netherlands science and technology, at home in the Midwest: The Netherlands, as an inspiration for farming, is a global leader of innovation. This tiny country embodies the future of sustainable farming, and is the #2 producer (behind the U.S.) in food exports. With its world-class research institutes for food innovation and public-private partnerships, the Netherlands is a leader in R&D agri-food investment. The nation has been a pioneer in greenhouse horticulture since the 1940’s.
Dutch farms, in partnership with agricultural Universities, lead the world in innovative methods that result in producing more food with fewer resources. These methods are increasingly relevant as climate change and more dramatic cycles of drought and flooding wreak havoc on traditional farming, coupled with a global population on target to reach 10 billion by 2050. It is this spirit of leadership that drives the Arcola Farms vision.
Now the country has added knowledge and technology to its extensive list of exports. The government, universities, research institutes, and private growers and breeders are involved in food systems projects around the world, including our Minnesota based operations.