When it became clear that CFCs, a class of halocarbon refrigerant, were degrading the layer of ozone which protects us from ultraviolet radiation, the industries manufacturing the halocarbons began to turn their gears:
On February 20th this year I seeded a 20ft. garden bed mulched with 30lbs of wheat straw with two quarts of Pleurotus ostreatus (Oyster) mushroom spawn. Less than 8 weeks later on April 13th I harvested my first flush of mushrooms, about three ounces. This is how I did it with some notes on you too can easily incorporate tasty mushrooms into your home garden.
Once we've built SPORE v2 we will be able to begin considering the application of similar kinds of systems to post-disaster recover scenarios, but I can't help myself from considering the possibility right now after hearing what has happened in Japan.
The original hoophouse designs for the ArkFab farm have an estimated lifetime of only four years... and they don't stack. I took the multistage bioconversion process from these first designs and incorporated it into a standard repurposed shipping container structure with an estimated lifetime of 10 years.
Great news! ArkFab is a finalist in the Georgia Tech Ideas 2 Serve Business Competition. This makes us eligible for a $2,000 prize that could help us move on from our garage. Like many start-ups we're using the space and resources we have to make our way. ArkFab currently operates a small wet lab and a few garden plots where my fellow collective members Nicole Bluh, Vincent Castillenti, and I are experimenting with natural and intensive mushroom cultivation. Here is a photo tour of our "garage" facilities:
We're developing a vertical farming capacity building program in Atlanta. Our greenhouses can provide the Truly Living Well Wheat Street Garden, a training center for urban agriculture in downtown Atlanta, with capabilities for mushroom cultivation and eventually, through integrating systems, aquaponics production. Our multistage bioconversion process cultivates gourmet mushrooms, vegetables, and fish by upcycling organic waste streams from local businesses.
Living machines are conventionally known to be engineered biological systems that treat waste water. ArkFab living machines extend this definition to convert any kind of organic waste into value-added products, like food, fuel, biomaterials, or ecosystem services like wastewater treatment.