ATOM HOUSE x ATOM FARM x ATOM FACTORY - Modular Growing Systems - Affordable Homes -Local Farming Community & Networks
Simple to install smart planters and micro greenhouses. Housing for farm families and students. Food processing and local sharing networks.
Our mid range 2200 sqft home including 3 br residence, greenhouse/sunroom, 40' container docking area with attached honey production system.
Short video showing potential of our modular farm housing to reverse desertification by forming green walls, acting as wind breaks and moisture condensation and redistribution channels.
Lead Applicant Organization Name
Lead Applicant Organization Type
Small company (under 50 employees)
If part of a multi-stakeholder entity (i.e. team), provide the names of other organizations and types of stakeholders collaborating with you.
Cube Style - Modular home manufacturing company. Gotemba, Japan /
Kirin Beverage Company, Ltd - International beverage manufacturing and food technology corporation /
Future Access - Consulting and strategic planning group. Tokyo /
Century 21 Real Estate - Kawaguchiko /
Alishan Organics - Food import and distribution company. Hanno, Japan /
Himawari Farms - Mushroom production in shipping container company. Yamanashi, Japan /
Nonohanakai - Local Women's Cooperative Farm Group, NGO /
Earth Embassy - Sustainable Living Education and Resource Group, NGO /
OMG "Oh My Greens" - baby leaf and micro green home delivery and subscription company /
Kasamatsu Farms - International volunteer farm education center /
Yokomura Eco Lodge - Antique Minka Home Restoration and Guest House /
Black Powder - Coffee roasting company. Niseko, Japan /
Akaike Komuten - Design & Build housing company. Tsuru, Japan /
Farmers Inc - Hydroponic vegetable company. Handicapped employment
Website of Legally Registered Entity
How long have you / your team been working on this Vision?
Lead Applicant: In what city or town are you located?
Mt Fuji Five Lake District, Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan < >
Metropolitan Tokyo, Japan
Lead Applicant: In what country are you located?
Your Selected Place: what’s the name of the Place you’re developing a Vision for?
Mt Fuji Five Lakes Region and Central Tokyo. Connecting rural and urban farming communities with housing and growing resources. 10,000km2
What country is your selected Place located in?
Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.
On visiting Japan I fell in love with the craftsmanship, beauty and efficiency of the farms and homes. Working for years with local farmers, tech start-ups, modular home companies and real estate developers, I saw the potential to package this knowledge and quality into modular scalable units as affordable homes and growing systems, for Japan and export to developing nations.
In 2000 I founded the Earth Embassy around a small farm-to-table cafe and education center at the base of Mt Fuji with close access to central Tokyo as a way of bringing the city folk back to the farm. We have hosted international volunteers and college interns from over 40 countries and taught farming to dozens of schools groups around Japan.
In 2006 we established Eden Homes to build passive solar homes and restore abandoned Japanese traditional Minka farm homes as a way of breathing life into the fading rural communities. We have saved 10 traditional minka farm homes by creating collaborations with local owners and outside investors to restore the homes and resell, bringing both capital and new residents into the villages.
Connecting urban and rural communities has been a core of our work through establishing weekend rentals, farm internships, young farmer housing and land assistance, elderly mentor-ship programs, cooperative farm-to-table cafes, and various organic packaged food products sold in Tokyo markets; Mt Fuji Mint Tea, MashUp frozen fruit bars, Fuji All-Natural Dressings.
RESOURCE BRIDGE: NGO x CORPORATE x LOCAL GOVERNMENT
Our broad team works across all levels of Japanese society and economy, acting as a bridge to connect local community needs with capital investors, government grants, corporate initiatives and a new generation of farmers.
A big part of our work is outreach and education. Interviews on Japanese TV and mentions in The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Sotokoto, etc. https://www.earthembassy.org/news
Describe the People and Place: Provide information that would be helpful for an outsider who has never been there and may have no context about this Place to better understand the area.
Interview and Tour of our prototype food producing home from Japanese TV
Team member Byron distributing local chickens...
Volunteer pipe benders helped us get the frame up! Thanks guys....
Volunteer Andy from Arizona, eating very local dandelions!
Our local mentor Akaike-san supervising the framing
Before & After - The first house we did in 2006-2009 ( We got faster with the next one )
Article regarding under valued Japanese homes and rural depopulation.
URBAN DESIRE TO FARM - Japanese people are agrarian at heart and would like to keep small farms alive, but 70% of the population lives in Tokyo and lack access to land and growing space. Community garden rental allotments can have 3 year waiting lists.
RURAL DEPOPULATION - The country side in Japan is full of unused homes and fallow farms. A trend of young farmers is developing, but needs start-up support and training.
RURAL RENAISSANCE - Inbound tourism has increased dramatically in the past 5 years. Vacation rentals are providing farm communities with a new financial base.
What is the estimated population (current 2020) in your Place?
Challenges: Describe the current (2020) and the future (2050) challenges that your food system faces.
CLIMATE EFFECTING CROPS - Extreme temperatures and winds are already beginning to effect crop production, food distribution and energy reliability.
NEED - INDOOR FARMING - Affordable, energy efficient, small-mid scale systems that can be spread widely to feed homes and communities need to be developed and deployed.
Factory farms are not viable. Despite $200M USD investment from Softbank, vertical farm start-up Plenty withdrew plans to expand in Japan due to high energy costs for their LED based system.
Compact, Solar Powered, Distributed Growing Systems are needed ASAP. Affordable systems for localized food production will become key for meeting the nutrition needs of Japan and the world as water, energy and transportation systems are stressed by climate change.
2019 - Chiba, Japan. Hurricanes destroyed 80% of fruit orchards and greenhouses in some farms.
2019 - California. Wild fires prevented electricity delivery to 940,000 homes (3,000,000 residents) for more than a month.
2020 - Factory Farms, Japan. Major vertical farming start-ups are scaling back due to high electricity and warehouse rental costs.
2035 - Kofu Winery Region, Japan. Temperatures predicted to be too hot for grape production.
2050 - Global crop production in outdoor environments may be dramatically reduced from current harvests.
Address the Challenges: Describe how your Vision will address the challenges described in the previous question.
The solution to food production in 2050 will be largely be dependent on small scale systems for indoor growing in controlled climate.
PRODUCTS TO HELP PEOPLE GROW FOOD - Simple to install and operate planters and hybrid LED micro greenhouses. Compact home growing systems which can be scaled for small to mid sized commercial agriculture. Our extreme-weather durable greenhouses with hybrid LED/sunlight illumination and our shipping container based growing and processing systems allow for secure growing in challenging environments.
HOMES FOR FARM FAMILIES - brings the Atom Farm compact agricultural systems together in a line of affordable pre-fabricated homes. We also operate as a real estate development company and have a construction team that is retrofitting under utilized homes and properties with our sustainable food producing systems.
FOOD PROCESSING, STORAGE & DISTRIBUTION - Micro factories for food processing and storage.
RURAL SOLUTION - Our compact food production systems can be retrofitted to rural homes, schools, apartments and hotels. We have a track record in increasing local village populations by renovating unused properties, bringing in new residents and providing farm land and start-up support. Access to land is an ongoing challenge, and greenhouse space more so.
URBAN SOLUTION - Our systems can be integrated into city buildings, apartments, restaurants and small available spaces to allow residents and food professionals to grow locally.
FEEDING THE WORLD The housing, farming and factory units are built in 20' and 40' shipping container components and can be delivered globally. We are working with partners in New York, Hawaii and Africa to launch pilot projects and establish sales and distribution channels.
High Level Vision: With these challenges addressed, now provide a high level description of how the Place and the lives of its People will be different than they are now.
By launching ATOM HOUSE - ATOM FARM - ATOM FACTORY, we provide:
PRODUCTS for increasing Japan's local-indoor food production in an unstable environment.
EXPORT PLATFORM We are bringing together the best technologies from Japanese agricultural companies into simple affordable packages that can be exported and delivered globally in shipping container sized units. Designed in Japan - Delivered globally
COLLABORATION PLATFORM Our planters, homes and processing systems are assembled through collaboration with various companies. Thus we are able to incorporate new products and support start-ups by providing marketing and sales channels by plugging their products into our construction process and catalog.
Example: Mt Fuji Natural Farms was a 6 acre farm project we produced for a Japanese/Chinese investment group, supported by Japan Ministry of Agriculture grant, which converted an unused farm to a water bottling plant. The proceeds from the water operations established a cooperative farm and housing program with local elderly farmers providing training for international university interns. The farm produces an organic salad dressing, herb dried trout and 30,000 bottles of water monthly for high-end organic supermarkets in Shanghai and Tokyo.
Full Vision: How do you describe your Vision for a regenerative and nourishing food future for your Place and People for 2050?
We facilitate establishment of sustainable homes and farms by combining our three core businesses;
Real Estate - a catalog of available homes for restoration, land for new construction, and modular prefab homes with planting systems.
Planting Systems - a catalog of compact vertical farm systems and building integrated greenhouses, servicing both rural homesteads and urban apartments.
Tourism & Weekend Rental - AirBnb property management for home owners; from licensing to guest services, catering and outdoor activity guides.
We address Environment, Diets, Economics, Culture, Technology, and Policy by providing a business model that combines:
- increased income and cultural exchange to local farm communities through real estate development and inbound tourism services
- technology collaborations
- investment in agriculture through farmer training and small business establishment
Recent Work :
Alishan Organic Foods - Warehouse Renovation. We are adding a vertical greenhouse to the SE corner of the existing warehouse to provide a light filled interior for packing room staff and a relaxation loft and 2F meeting room. The gardening wall will grow product for the Alishan Cafe while giving employees a chance to get their hands in the dirt and break from repetitive work.
Solar Cafe & Farm - Community Hub. Operating since 2000 as an organic farm-to-table restaurant, a training center for Japanese and international interns, and a development site for our vertical planting systems. The location serves as a small business support center by promoting local products, producing Mt Fuji Mint Tea and hosting various education and NGO activities: Maria International Kindergarten - Soba Farm, Greenpeace Non-Violent Communication Seminar, Tokyo University Farm Camp.
Eden Grow Home - Prototype Sustainable Home. An affordable passive solar home that produces its own fresh food & renewable energy. The construction was a collaboration by our staff with international volunteers and local builders, and operated as a weekend rental where guests could pick and cook their own food from the greenhouse. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/eden-grow-home-portable-sustainable-living#/
Shroomzilla - Mushroom Farming Containers. All weather production systems in controlled environment 40' shipping containers. Currently operating 10 kikurage "cloud ear" units in Yamanashi, Japan and working with a Dubai based client on a climate suitable model for Khartoum, Sudan. https://www.earthembassy.org/shroomzilla
Fuji Sky Farm - An Agri Resort converting 20,000m2 abandoned farmland into a boutique farm hotel.
Tokyo Crazy Mint - We are funding construction for ATOM BOX vertical mint farm and mohito bar at Commune 246, a trendy outdoor food court in Tokyo's fashionable Omotesando neighborhood, where their staff will operate a mint delivery for local restaurant and bars.
MashUp Vegan Ice Cream Factory - Compact fruit-to-freezer micro factories in 40' shipping containers producing rice and coconut based frozen sweets.
LeapsIn / Kirin Beverage Ltd - Development consulting for Kirin's efforts to revitalize underused food processing facilities across Japan.
Working Goal -
SMART CITY IN A BOX - Sustainable Living Units, delivered globally.
Our products are simple and affordable, and our process is inclusive, connecting grass-roots home farming enthusiasts with secure homes and growing spaces by working with farmers, housing manufacturers and real estate developers. By empowering people to "Grow Their Own", we increase local production and food security which is a vital resource needed to offset the future food instability.
"Grow early, Grow often, Grow everyday at home"
How did you hear about the Food System Vision Prize?
recommended by an advisor