About Eduponics Institute
Eduponics Institute USA is dedicated preparation of teachers, non-profit organizations and businesses in the techniques, technology, and economics of indoor urban gardening. Our goal is to cultivate not only fresh, locally grown food but also a cadre of professionals who can produce food and teach others.
Our motivation is the inequality that has created urban food deserts in too many cities around the world. Be believe that together, all of use can live better lives by building systems that serve everyone. MORE
Why we do this
We seek to expand and diversity food sources for all people,
with particular emphasis on cities. We thought we should explain why.
Who eats? Growth, obsolescence, deprivation and the urban food desert
Agriculture: Traditional and future
- In the USA: the urban model since 1920 has emphasized peripheral growth due to the automobile.
- Suburbs have absorbed most new growth, and older housing has declined and decayed.
- Resulting price differentiation has led to concentration of the elderly, the poor and the very poor in
central cities, and social segregation follows price and obsolescence.
- As cities becomes segregated by class and race, it becomes possible to live one's life completely
within a narrow and deprived sub-population or social group.
- Geographically, this also means that the distance to commercial, educational, medical and
nutritional supply points can become ever greater.
- In the case of nutrition, this can create urban food deserts in which only the most basic, highly
processed foodstuffs are available, and the missing options turn out to be fresh, locally grown, fruits and vegetables, accompanied by a litany of malnutrition, obesity and low performance, which reinforce the social segregation that caused them.
- None of this is helped by an economic and political system focused on growth and capital accumulation. Negative stereotypes of the old, the poor and the minority are not necessary to these processes, but they do make them worse.
- Perhaps we should ask not "who eats," but "who eats well enough?" If the answer is not "nearly everyone," then we're not doing it right.
Urbanization: Now and again, and again
- For 10,000 years humans have grown crops and brought them to central places to exchange them for goods and services, first for tools, clothing and shelter, now for ideas and stimulation. This worked really well for centuries, allowing most of us to prosper and expand our numbers. Few would choose to return to an earlier time.
- Much current agriculture is organized on profit models that place decision making in the hands of very few and depend on extensive techniques that can harm the environment.
- The land area of Earth is 57 sq mi or 147 sq mi total land area. Of that, 36.7 million sq km is available and suitable for agriculture. There will be no more forever.
- Depending on whose estimate one chooses, somewhere between 50% and 85% of humanity now lives in urban communities.
- Cities occupy about 3.6 million sq km (about 10%) of all land. Most cities are on former agricultural land, and most growth reduces the availability for agriculture.
- Some time in the present century, a man and woman will be born who will deliver the ten-billionth living human. Between 85% to 95%—perhaps more—of those billions will live in cities. That's at least eight and one-half billion people, about as many as are now alive. They will be concentrated on about five percent of the earth's surface (assuming that future cities will be more like Shanghai than Los Angeles).
Conclusion: We must adopt urban vertical farming to increase food production and feed our future population. Vertical farming allows more production on less land with less environmental impact.
You can be part of the solution.
Download Full Prospectus
Michael E. Twiggs
Co-founder, Senior Gardening Guru
Michael Twiggs is a former systems administrator who returned to college after retirement to study environmental engineering and later founded a non-profit organization, Garden of Eden Urban Farming. Eduponics is an outgrowth of that beginning, with emphasis on preparing young people to address global issues of hunger and food justice.
A., Rees Clark, Ph.D.
Co-founder, Senior systems analyst
Dr. Rees Clark is a former geographer, city planner, university professor, and systems analyst who just cannot decide what he wants to be when he grows up—despite almost 60 years experience and experimentation. His long-time friend Michael Twiggs dragged him kicking and screaming into indoor farming, and together they have created this small effort aimed at alleviating issues of hunger and food distribution.
Systems analyst, web developer
Gavin Clark brings 25 years of web development to the service of Eduponics Institute, building our website and associated technical applications in training and garden management.
Garden manager, business liaison
Kade Eckert is a recent graduate of both university and our urban indoor gardening program. Like Nanki-poo he's our Lord High Everything Else and is charged with keeping us from taking ourselves too seriously. He's currently something of a black box, but we plan to open him up and see what's inside soon.