Latest Musk venture: urban farming?

SUBSCRIBE to our fortnightly e-newsletter to receive more stories like this. Checking the microgreens in Square Roots' Brooklyn container-based vertical farm_

Brooklyn-based startup Square Roots' website doesn’t waste time on unnecessary verbiage. The company’s not big on wasting time – or on waste, generally.

Billing itself as “an urban farming accelerator… powered by human ingenuity, technology, and a love for local, real food”, the smart New York City start-up is a productive collaboration between farmers, foodies, marketing pros and green-leaning entrepreneurs.

The nine men and women who form the core of the company include co-founders Kimbal Musk (tech guru Elon’s brother and fellow entrepreneur) and British artificial intelligence whizz Tobias Peggs, and Master Farmer Phil Cuddeback, formerly of Freight Farms and a trio of organic ag ventures.Square Roots co-founder Kimbal Musk at a recent Fortune Brainstorm E event.

They’ve joined forces to realise a shared vision: that of growing fresh, nutritious GMO-free greens close to the city consumers who want them, cutting costs and saving thousands of food miles in the process.

Check out the CNBC interview below, in which Musk contends that the industrialised food system "has totally failed America".

The Square Roots model: 'farm to fork', fast-tracked

“We build urban campuses of vertical farms,” explains the company’s suitably spare website.

“Our farms squeeze the equivalent of a two-acre field into a shipping container and grow GMO-free greens.”The company's Brooklyn HQ and container farming complex.

Along with servicing this one, Square Roots aims to empower the next generation of ‘real food’ entrepreneurs by “coaching passionate people to grow real food, sell locally and build sustainable businesses”.

To find out more, visit the Square Roots website or check out the company's Facebook page

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