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Black farmers create community of urban growers to diversify Kalamazoo Farmers Market

Black farmers create community of urban growers to diversify Kalamazoo Farmers Market

KALAMAZOO, MI — A new farm and food network is looking to bring more representation to Kalamazoo’s food ecosystem.

Remi Harrington created Zoo City this year to fill the racial gap left in agriculture. The most recent Census Agriculture report from 2017 shows that Black farmers make up 1.4% of the country’s 3.4 million producers.

Similarly, Black farmers in Michigan make up less than 2% of statewide producers.

Harrington sees Zoo City as a pathway for the Black community to participate in both land ownership and the food economy — something she says is part of their cultural history.

“Black people came to America to tend the land, to be stewards of land, and we come from agrarian culture,” she said. “The fact that we cannot participate in the industry ecosystem in that way, it’s a travesty.”

For Harrington, being a steward of her own land isn’t just about the historical roots of her ancestors but also her immediate family and the agency its given her as a single mother.

Being able to literally get her hands dirty and grow her own food while teaching her daughter about the environment has been both empowering and therapeutic, she said.

In 2014, she began work on Tegan’s Hopeful Storybook Garden, named after her daughter. The Jackson Street community garden came to life two years later as a project of Harrington’s nonprofit The Urban Folk Art Exploratory.

The Storybook Garden is no longer operational but Harrington’s vision for the land and the neighborhood has taken new shape in the Zoo City project.

Throughout the Edison neighborhood Harrington has plans for a food cooperative, an educational space and a micro-nursery with raised planter beds for rent.

Through Zoo City, Harrington is looking to tackle equity in the food industry from a neighborhood, city and

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Using electric planes and UAVs, this startup wants to redefine urban mobility in India

Using electric planes and UAVs, this startup wants to redefine urban mobility in India

Increasing population, encroachments, traffic problems, and infrastructure problems are major concerns for Indian roadways. In a bid to solve issues related to inadequate road infrastructure, Chennai-based The ePlane Company is looking to take the aerial route.

Ubifly Technologies Private Limited, better known as The ePlane Company (TEC), was founded in 2016 by Pranjal Mehta and Satyanarayanan Chakravarthy to provide aerial delivery services. The startup ideated out from the National Centre for Combustion Research & Development Lab (NCCRD).


TEC designed Ek Hanz to deliver payloads up to six kg, developed especially to deliver goods and packages. [ Image Credit: The ePlane Company]

Speaking with YourStory, Satyanarayanan, Co-founder and CTO, explains that the startup is building electric planes and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) for short-range intracity travels and is aimed at redefining urban mobility.

He adds that the products developed by the startup are unique in nature because they are a hybrid mix of drone and electric aeroplane technology.

Satyanarayanan has been teaching Aerospace Engineering at IIT Madras since 1998. He is also the head of the National Centre for Combustion Research & Development Lab (NCCRD) and the Centre of Propulsion Technology at IIT Madras.

His study on propulsion was one of the reasons that led to the launch of TEC. On the other hand, Pranjal, an alumnus of IIT Madras, was previously involved in building short distance daily flying vehicles.

“Electric cars are now more expensive than traditional combustive vehicles and the major reason for this is the cost of the battery. Users expect similar mileage from both the vehicles and thus, EV cars need to pack up batteries to match the mileage of an ICE car, thereby increasing the cost of the vehicles. However, that will not be the case for aeroplanes as it is not

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This May Be What Real Electric Urban Air Mobility Looks Like At First. It’s Both Familiar And A Little Weird.

This May Be What Real Electric Urban Air Mobility Looks Like At First. It’s Both Familiar And A Little Weird.

Almost all of the hundreds of urban air mobility startups currently active around the world are pitching radical electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft for a “revolutionary” transportation future.

Their unconventional multi-rotor designs require time-consuming testing, decade-long paths to certification, and the buildout of a ground and air infrastructure to support them. Investors are spending, and will have to spend, billions just to see if their business plans will work.

Palm Springs, California-based Eco Helicopters thinks there’s another route to eVTOL UAM. It’s vastly cheaper, developed by someone else, possible on a far shorter timeline, and looks pretty familiar.

Eco Helicopters is seeking to bring what it calls the “EcoMax”, an electrified version of the ubiquitous Robinson R44 light helicopter, to the market, combining operational aspects of traditional helicopter air taxi services with the on-demand surface transport model pioneered by Uber
and others.

Basically, that means pairing an on-demand app with an electric helicopter. Eco Helicopters plans to launch its on-demand UAM service with a conventionally-powered R44 in the second quarter of 2021, while the certification process for the EcoMax goes forward.

The company is owned by Richard Webb, who is also the owner of its parent, Orange County Helicopters, which arranged the helicopter flight last January on which NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others were killed.

If all goes according to plan, the company will begin operating the electric R44 following FAA approval for a supplemental type certificate (STC) for the helicopter. That could be in 18 to 24 months. The relatively

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