Ignite Buffalo recently selected 27 small local businesses to receive a combined $1 million in grants as part of a program funded by Facebook, M&T Bank, Intuit, Amazon, WordPress, and WooCommerce in partnership with 43North, a startup accelerator in Buffalo. The program is aimed at helping promising operations take their next step. A number of these businesses receiving awards are involved in urban farming.
A $100,000 recipient, Gro-operative aims to help create a food hub in an East Side building, raising plants and fish in an interconnected, sustainable ecosystem while training students for urban agriculture jobs. They are currently raising tilapia and ornamental goldfish in tanks using the fish waste to nourish plants like basil, microgreens and collard greens, grown under LED lights.
Groundwork Market Garden
Groundwork is an organic farm which sells its products at a stand, the North Buffalo Farmers Market, and to restaurants. It also supplies vegetables to members of its community supported agriculture program, which is a farm subscription.
“We’ve turned a vacant lot into a productive USDA-certified organic urban farm in an area that’s a certified food desert,” said Mayda Pozantides, partner in the farm with Anders Gunnersen. “The people in this area lack access to healthy fruits and vegetables.”
Others receiving $25,000 grants include:
- Always Something Farm – a small sustainable family farm, and
- Rooted Locally – a Williamsville-based microgreens grower. Microgreens are vegetable greens, harvested after sprouting as shoots that are used both as a visual and flavor component or ingredient in meals.
Ignite Buffalo is a business grant and mentorship program that promotes sustainable growth, job creation, and ongoing education to local small business owners.