Technology and Nature Rebalanced.
This is Project Ninety10
Project Ninety10 is an innovative agriculture-based climate change mitigation model, the core of which is hyper-efficient four-season Controlled Environment Agriculture. A carbon-neutral system, it grows crops year-round under cover and can run on 10% of the energy and 10% of the land normally required to operate a farm. Based on unique greenhouse and land-use technologies, the 90% savings allow for a range of integrated benefits, including:
On-site solar and geothermal energy sources
Off-site wind and hydroelectric energy sources
Restorative farmland practices
Permaculture-based farming practices
Forest preservation and rewilding
Reduced energy and equipment loads
Sunlight, living soils, and purified rainwater fed Certified Organic cropping practices
Local four-season job creation
Mindful incorporation of natural processes ("nature first" strategies)
Mindful incorporation of appropriately scaled technology (rejection of "too much tech")
Reduced upfront development costs
Investment-worthy 1 to 3 year ROI.
A mash-up of advanced agriculture, architecture, engineering, and soil biology, our mission proposes that re-localized and restorative farming can be a critical component of climate change mitigation while engendering healthy communities.
Project Ninety10 core technologies comprise new approaches to indoor climate controls, productivity, and automation. Ten years in the making, they directly address the two biggest problems of four-season farming in disadvantageous and rapidly-changing climates: high energy and labor costs. By re-balancing, the relationship between technology and nature we are creating sustainable, resilient and adaptive practices for an uncertain future.
And that is good news for our communities, our farmers, the air, water, and soil, and planetary systems.
Our Mission and Technology
Proof of Concept: Tongore Brook Farm
Our Experience and Affiliations
Project Ninety10's proof-of-concept work takes place on Tongore Brook Farm, a climate-resilient small family farm in an extreme North American climate – the historic Uplands of the Rondout Valley located within the Hudson Valley of New York State. Winters on the farm can be colder than Moscow, Russia, summers can be hotter than Cairo, Egypt and more humid than Jakarta, Indonesia. The farm has operated in outdoor temperatures ranging from -10 degrees to +90 degrees Fahrenheit at up to 100% humidity without crop failure. Technology here is never "tech for tech's sake." Rather, it is always in service of growing as close to nature with the lowest energy inputs as possible. We grow USDA Certified Organic crops in sunlight, soil, and filtered rainwater, and all our crops are harvested and packed by hand. We are NY State Grown and Certified, USDA Good Agricultural Practices Certified, Real Organic Project Certified, and members of the Rondout Valley Growers Association, The Farm Bureau, and Pure Catskills.
The Project Ninety10 team is headed by Michael McDonough, AIA, an award-winning architect with over 40 years of international experience. Also an organic farmer, McDonough conceived of and designed the earliest iterations of the project, and worked with mechanical engineers, lighting engineers, soil consultants, custom fabricators, materials consultants, master gardeners, and neighboring local farms to refine it. In addition to running Tongore Brook Farm, he also active in his local farm community, and continues to design buildings and consult on climate-resilient farming.
The project's underlying technology was supported by research grants from New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA), and current research partners in industrial hemp are in cooperation with Cornell University, Signify Lighting and New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets. Core indoor climate control technology engineering, headed by Dagher Engineering, won multiple awards, including the prestigious American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) Diamond Award for Engineering Excellence in Building Systems. McDonough has lectured on sustainable greenhouse history and technology at the American Institute of Architects/ New York City Chapter Center for Architecture. Tongore Brook Farm USDA organic certifications are by NOFA-NY.