Meet the farmer who found happiness in an ancestral way of life - BBC News
Meet the Farmer Blogs from Nick Turnbull, Michael Tait and Douglas Wilson. Todd Ramos comes from a family of extraordinary farmers. His grandfather took a leap of faith at age He traveled by himself from Spain to Cuba, then Mexico. Ever wondered who the faces are behind California Beans? Meet the bean farmers that provide this great California food source.
The San Carlos warehouse is only a proving ground for Iron Ox's long-term goals. It plans to set up robot farms in greenhouses that will rely mostly on natural sunlight instead of high-powered indoor lighting that sucks up expensive electricity. Initially, though, the company will sell its produce at a loss in order to remain competitive. During the next few years, Iron Ox wants to open robot farms near metropolitan areas across the U. Most of the vegetables and fruit consumed in the U.
That means many people in U. There are bigger stakes as well. The world's population is expected to swell to 10 billion by from about 7. Iron Ox, Alexander reasons, can be part of the solution if its system can make the leap from its small, laboratory-like setting to much larger greenhouses.
The startup relies on a hydroponic system that conserves water and automation in place of humans who seem increasingly less interested in U. Nearly half of U. The heavy lifting on Iron Ox's indoor farm is done by Angus, which rolls about the indoor farm on omnidirectional wheels. Its main job is to shuttle maturing produce to another, as-yet unnamed robot, which transfers plants from smaller growing pods to larger ones, using a mechanical arm whose joints are lubricated with "food-safe" grease.
It's a tedious process to gently pick up each of the roughly plants on each pallet and transfer them to their bigger pods, but the robot doesn't seem to mind the work. Iron Ox still relies on people to clip its vegetables when they are ready for harvest, but Alexander says it is working on another robot that will eventually handle that job too.
I want to make farming my livlihood. For me farming is a way of life. I started farming with a desire to work with my hands, be outside, and be of service to people and the planet. As a farmer there is never has a dull moment. I feel priviledged to be involved in growing flowers and taking care of the soil, waterways, land, air, and people.
My family are all Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe. My grandparents survived in hiding in Poland. My Mother was born in a Displaced Persons camp in Munich just before the family received visas to come to the U.
Meet a Farmer | California Grown
They quickly settled in Farmingdale New Jersey where other Jews and survivors landed. For some time they were chicken farmers as well as Christmas tree farmers. But with the advent of the refrigerated trains small egg producers couldn't compete with the large farms.
The family could no longer make a living from the egg production as the bigger producers could charge significantly less for their product. They also tried to make farming work but ultimately they could not sustain the family on the farm. My Grandfather Isaac Silber kept a large garden.
This was my first exposure to plants and farming.
It was these memories that helped bring me into the farming world. My grandparents on both sides had hoped to make a livelihood off of farming.
Now I'm taking up that torch of farming. In Europe farming was something most families did at least on the kitchen garden scale.
Meet the farmer who found happiness in an ancestral way of life
Growing plants was normal for my grandparents. In much of our culture in the U.Hay Day: Meet the Farmer! Season Finale: Ümit from Istanbul, Turkey
But growing plants and food is coming back into focus with urban farms popping up around the country. I studied History and Human Rights in College.