Podcasts Fields

Jonas Günther on Falling in Love With Microalgae

Episode: 3

Melissa and Wythe catch up with their friend Jonas Günther, co-founder of the Brooklyn-based food startup, We Are the New Farmers (WATNF). The New Farmers don’t grow lettuce and tomatoes, however: they grow a fresh superfood called Spirulina—a fast-growing microalgae (clump of tiny water-living plants) that looks like a beautiful dark green foam, has no taste, and can be used to add nutrients to almost any dish. 

Jonas walks us through the history of his company, starting at NYU, where he first met Wythe and Melissa, and moving into the fraught world of ag tech startups and packaged goods, where you have to find a way to very quickly tell the story of your food product’s health benefits and sustainable production cycle. We learn a little about microalgae and a lot about ‘farming’ in steel bioreactor-tanks in a major city.

Tune in for some weird science, and consider trying some fresh Spirulina in your next smoothie or bowl of noodles!

Heritage Radio Network is a listener supported nonprofit podcast network. Support Fields by becoming a member!

Fields is Powered by Simplecast.

Latest Episodes

The Farm Report Episode 4: What’s the Future of Urban Agriculture?

The Farm Report Episode 4: What’s the Future of Urban Agriculture?

4

6

Melissa and Wythe were honored to join The Farm Report team for this special and important series on the Farm Bill and the politics of food. Please check out the interview, and follow The Farm Report for more critical news and analysis of what's happening across all of agriculture.Despite an increasing number of farmers growing ...
Vicki Sando on Green Roofs at Schools

Vicki Sando on Green Roofs at Schools

4

5

Wythe chats with NYC educator Vicki Sando about her years of research into green roofs—especially those on schools—and her creation of the illustrated book What is a Green Roof? Vicki created the book to help kids and adults understand the benefits of green roofs, including to urban farmers. We talk about her own work to green the roof of one ...
Henry Obispo on the Resilience of the South Bronx

Henry Obispo on the Resilience of the South Bronx

4

4

Melissa and Wythe host the inspiring food and urban agriculture entrepreneur Henry Obispo. Henry is founder of Born Juice, the United Business Cooperative, and ReBORN FARMS. We talk about Henry's background, the importance of the South Bronx in inspiring him, why he started a juice company, and how he started organizing other Bronxian food ...
Henry Gordon-Smith on the State of Indoor Farming

Henry Gordon-Smith on the State of Indoor Farming

4

3

Following up on their review of recent bad news in the field of vertical farming, Melissa and Wythe catch up with an expert: Henry Gordon-Smith, founding CEO of the urban and controlled environment agriculture consultancy Agritecture. Henry relates his thoughts on recent shifts in commercial indoor and urban agriculture, reflecting on some of ...
Catching Up with Wythe: The Recent Troubles in Vertical Farming

Catching Up with Wythe: The Recent Troubles in Vertical Farming

4

2

Melissa and Wythe catch up with each other regarding a recent trend in urban agriculture: the closure or financial restructuring of several high-profile indoor farms in urban areas. We look at recent news articles on this topic, theorize why the indoor ag-tech sector is struggling, and speculate about what could happen next. We'll return to ...
Catching up with Melissa: Harvest Time at the NYU Urban Farm Lab

Catching up with Melissa: Harvest Time at the NYU Urban Farm Lab

4

1

To kick off a new season of Fields, Wythe and Melissa chat about Melissa's current work as both an instructor of urban agriculture at New York University and the manager of the school's Urban Farm Lab on Houston Street. Recorded in October 2023, just before harvest time, this informal conversation covers a range of subjects, from the crops ...
Michael Treglia on Green Roofs, Birds, and Pollinators

Michael Treglia on Green Roofs, Birds, and Pollinators

3

14

To round out Season 3, Melissa and Wythe talk about the concept of the 'urban forest' in NYC with scientist Mike Treglia of The Nature Conservancy. Mike was trained as a herpetologist (reptile scientist), but he now focuses on the total ecological systems of cities, especially trees. The Nature Conservancy itself works to study and protect ...
Joseph Charap on the Ecosystems of Cemeteries

Joseph Charap on the Ecosystems of Cemeteries

3

13

In what ways are cemeteries like parks? How tall should the grass in a cemetery be allowed to grow? Following up on some of the themes from our discussion with NYC Microseasons about urban plants, animals, and fungi not typically thought of as farms or gardens, Melissa talks with Joseph (Joe) Charap, Vice President of Horticulture at the ...
SERIES
SUBSCRIBE

PARTNER