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The Many Faces of Climate Change

The Many Faces of Climate Change

Climate Change is happening today. We are past the theoretical and philosophical discussions of what a changing global climate means to our planet. Here is some food for thought: we know that historically wars have been fought, and great migrations of people have taken place, due to lack of water and food. When populations are denied, by man or nature, the most basic needs of food, water, shelter and human rights, civil unrest ensues. History gives us a lens to see the dramatic impact of such cataclysmic events. Events that unfold in the present are more insidious.  We are past...

Why Food?

Why Food?

I was asked the other day why First Light Project is building a farm in West Philadelphia. I said; “it is because it serves our mission”. They replied; “Yes, but why food?” When we look at the greater Philadelphia community, we see deep pockets of poverty and inequity. There are families that lack adequate shelter, food, employment, education and healthcare. We are driven now to find sustainable solutions for those who live in our own communities, just as we are driven to help those in need around the world. First Light Project was conceived with a mission to improve community...

A Case for Vertical Farms

A Case for Vertical Farms

Two days before the biggest food holiday of the year the CDC warned North Americans not to eat romaine lettuce. So what did I do yesterday? I threw away three heads of lettuce and headed out into grocery store madness to find a suitable salad substitute. Think of all the Foxy, Dole, and Andy Boy hearts of romaine that went into the trash. Think of all the Fresh Express and Earthbound Farms bags of mixed lettuce that got chucked. I went to the grocery store and employees were frantically pulling any product with compromised content from the shelves. This is happening all too...

Why Vertical Farms Are Able to Avoid the Current Romaine Debacle

Why Vertical Farms Are Able to Avoid the Current Romaine Debacle

Are we witnessing the fall of the Romaine Empire? Probably not, but most Americans are heeding CDC warnings and staying away from romaine lettuce. Lettuce growers are taking a hit all across North America because some industrial-scale Ag growers screwed up again. The unfortunate part of this debacle is that not all lettuce is affected by the CDC recall, but how is the public to know? I previously wrote that this latest outbreak argues a case for vertical farms. It’s true, hydroponic growing technology eliminates many of the potential health hazards that we face when we eat industrial lettuce. Plus, hydroponic vertical farms...

Tackling the Wicked Problems Philadelphia Faces

Tackling the Wicked Problems Philadelphia Faces

For those of you who are following our journey, it’s been a whirlwind week for First Light Project. Tuesday night culminated a week of preparation for competition between five finalists for the Inaugural Full City Challenge sponsored by The Economy League of Greater Philadelphia and Billy Penn. Unfortunately, our project was not chosen for the prize, but we walked away with an experience that is much more valuable to us. The intensive idea accelerator workshop, the connections and introductions, the feedback from advisers, and all our new friends was a prize in and of itself. Congratulations to the winners; Hospitality Together, to my personal favorite; The Rebel...