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Topic Summary

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: November 09, 2017, 02:01:58 pm »



ORGANIC VALLEY GOES 100% RENEWABLE THROUGH COMMUNITY SOLAR

November 8, 2017  |  By Laurie Guevara-Stone

SNIPPET:

Almost 30 years ago, seven organic farmers from the U.S. Midwest, unhappy with the state of American agriculture, decided to band together and form a cooperative to continue farming sustainably.

Today, the Organic Valley agricultural cooperative, headquartered in La Farge, Wisconsin, is made up of over 2,000 farmers in 36 states. And the cooperative just became part of a unique community-solar partnership that will allow it to become the largest food company in the world to source 100 percent of its electricity from renewable energy.

Full article:

https://rmi.org/news/organic-valley-goes-100-renewable-community-solar/



Posted by: AGelbert
« on: November 08, 2017, 12:57:55 pm »



Farming without glyphosate — how would that work? 
 

November 2017

SNIPPET:

EU member states have again put off a decision on renewing the controversial weed killer glyphosate. Could Europe really be close to banning glyphosate — and what would a possible ban mean for farmers and consumers?

Full article:

http://www.dw.com/en/farming-without-glyphosate-how-would-that-work/a-41104393#

Agelbert NOTE: What articles like the above do not seem to GET is that the question is ACTUALLY, "WHY don't farmers accept that farming WITH glyphosate is NOT WORKING?"!

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: November 02, 2017, 01:57:50 pm »

A great cause – Restoring local grain production in America

Posted on November 1, 2017 by Ken


Rice is a grain, a staple for billions and the staff of life. True.

And it only grows in Asia and in tropical climates. False.   

The amazing - and untold history - of African rice.
Video:


This is one of the most fascinating and promising local sustainable food projects I’ve ever seen. Please help take it to the next level.

http://plantwisdom.org/a-great-cause-restoring-local-grain-production-in-america/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 15, 2017, 04:18:05 pm »

Agelbert NOTE: Yes, a large part of US wine country is toast due to fires. But that does not detract from the value of Biodynamic Farming.

Biodynamic Certification is a Step Aboves Organic in food quality



Story at-a-glance

Food quality is determined by how it was grown. Certified organic food helps you avoid pesticides. But even organic foods may be lacking in important nutrients if grown in nutrient-poor soils

Biodynamic farming is a spiritual-ethical-ecological approach to agriculture initially developed by Rudolf Steiner in the 1920s. It’s an approach that can provide far superior harvests while simultaneously healing the Earth

The Biodynamic view is that a farm is a living organism — self-contained, self-sustaining, following the cycles of nature, and able to create its own health and vitality out of the living dynamics of the farm

The organic standard is the base of the Demeter standard, which then goes much further, taking into account the core idea of the farm as a closed system; solutions to disease, pest and weed control comes out of the farm system itself

Demeter is a global Biodynamic certification agency. Formed in 1928 in Germany, it’s the oldest ecological certification organization in the world. In Germany, 10 percent of the organic farmland is Biodynamic

Full article with eye opening historical information:

https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2017/10/15/biodynamic-farming-effects.aspx
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 21, 2017, 03:27:35 pm »


Solar Plants Are Cropping Up On Farms 

August 19th, 2017 by Guest Contributor

Originally published on Nexus Media.
By Jeremy Deaton

If the United States wants to kick its coal habit, it will need to install a lot more solar power. That raises an important question: Where should all those panels reside? 


They could always go live on a farm upstate.


Full article:

https://cleantechnica.com/2017/08/19/solar-plants-cropping-farms/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 04, 2017, 06:51:15 pm »

 

Why Sunflowers   Are So Green for the Garden 

Jonathon Engels

August 4, 2017 

Sunflowers are not the typical crop that newbie gardeners think of growing, but this might be a mistake. The fact of the matter is that sunflowers are really easy to care for, and they can also lend a notable hand in the garden. Then, of course, there are all those sunflower seeds that make a delicious snack and quickly nullify the need to ever buy sunflower seeds (to sow) again.

Since long before chemical fertilizers and GMO seeds, sunflowers have been a part of agriculture, dating back to at least 3000 BC, and they have been used for all sorts of handy stuff: seeds, oil, medicine, fiber, as well as beauty. Amazingly, sunflowers can sprout up to six feet high in a matter of three months, and seeds are usually harvestable around the same time, possibly extending on to four months.

Besides being a valuable crop in and of themselves, the Helianthus — or sunflower — family is also used to help out the garden as a whole.

Easy-Growing

Any time a productive plant requires little to no inputs and virtually no care, it’s got to make it into the garden somehow. Sunflowers are prairie plants, which has made them very tough, not greatly affected by pests or by drought. They grow in just about any type of soil, and they can survive in both acidic and mildly alkaline pH levels. Once they get themselves established, they are likely there for the long haul, so gardeners won’t be using resources to get (and keep) those sunflowers up. Now that is green gardening.


Living Fences

Many people choose to grow living fences. This is sometimes done with cane berries or nitrogen-fixing trees, but sunflowers are another viable option. The great thing about living fences is that they don’t require milled, often virgin wood and steel production. They are just plants, providing more beauty for the garden while defining borders and providing protection.


Just remember not to completely block the sun from the other crops. Putting tall sunflowers on the south side of the garden might not be a great idea. Otherwise, planting them about six inches apart will supply a living fence around the garden or even between beds.

Free Garden Stake  ;D

Another popular sunflower function is acting as a free garden stake for climbing vines, such as cucumbers and tomatoes. Unfortunately, sunflowers and green beans — the original garden stake dweller — are known to not be so great of friends. Regardless, sunflowers, like corn, are tall and spindly, so they make great garden stakes for other plants, and they don’t require any extra material. In fact, they can just be composted after the harvest. On the flip side, lettuce likes to grow in the shade of the towering sunflowers.

Natural Repellent

Beloved (and recently departed) permaculturist, Toby Hemenway, authored a great book — Gaia’s Garden — in which he recommended using Helianthus maximaliani, or Maximilian sunflower, as a deer repellent. Otherwise, despite being beautiful animals and welcomed by many into their yards, deer will gladly ransack a garden and strip it down to nearly nothing.

Pest Distraction

More than a repellent, sunflowers are often grown for the quality of distracting pests, specifically aphids, away from other, more tender crops, like tomatoes.


Ants , which feed on the aphid-produced honeydew, will encourage and protect aphid colonies to live on sunflowers. It’s one of nature’s outstanding things. No pesticides required.


Beneficial Attraction


Sunflowers are also a new green option because they are particularly attractive to bees and other beneficial, pollen-collecting insects and hummingbirds.


As most of us are aware by now, the bees need all the help they can get, so if planting sunflowers did nothing more than that, it’d be worth it. Of course, we know that they do much, much more.

Lady Bug Convention

Soil Cleansing

Sunflowers are noted as being allelopathic , which means that they emit a chemical that prevents other plants from propagating nearby. In the garden, potatoes and beans are particularly susceptible, so be aware of that. But, this is what makes them so good for garden borders, as they’ll block weeds from growing in. Sunflowers also aid phytoremediation, which is a process that cleans contaminated soils. It’s even been used as an effective soil cleaner in really damaged sites like Chernobyl and post-Katrina New Orleans.

Of course, many people grow sunflowers for the simple fact that they are stunning, massive flowers that brighten up the scene. Whatever your reason, get them in the garden after the last spring frost and expect to harvest into the fall. Lots of people, especially in areas with long frost-free seasons, will plant a new crop every two weeks to have continuous blooms in the fall. Ain’t it grand when being green just works out so well.   


http://www.onegreenplanet.org/lifestyle/sunflowers-are-food-for-garden/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 01, 2017, 07:28:47 pm »

The Future of Food

Have they really patented nature? ???

For 200 years, congress and the patent office did not allow for the patenting of life, for any part of nature. Food crops were deliberately excluded from patenting on moral grounds. In 1978 a patent on a genetically engineered microbe did go through for the first time-- because the corporation (General Electric) took it all the way to the Supreme Court after it was denied by the patent office. It passed by a majority of one vote.

This opened the floodgates for genetic engineering. Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the Center for Food Safety explains that companies like Monsanto now have the power to own and control the species of the earth. They have patented genes- and this means they legally "own" for example, the animals being modified. They own the patents on seeds which of course means that they control the food.

This video puts a spotlight on all the surrounding issues- for ex:, the government has a seed bank, that is kept for the purpose of insuring the continuation of all our plant species. Whatever seeds are not patented- Monsanto goes in and patents them! Then they can control that crop in perpetuity. Now Monsanto has spent 8 billion dollars buying up the seed companies.

Much to learn here-- and much to fight for. Nothing less than the future of our food.... and the genes of ALL plant and animal species, including, yes, humans...

--Bibi Farber

http://www.nextworldtv.com/videos/what-isnt-working-1/the-future-of-food-.html
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 03, 2017, 08:45:08 pm »

German Nonprofit Creates New Open Source License for Seeds 

Friday, June 30, 2017

By Nithin Coca, Shareable | Interview

SNIPPET:

Why is having a special license with definable rights so important to protecting seeds and promoting diversity in global agriculture?

Our license is quite radical. It says that if a seed is licensed, this seed, and all further developments and modifications [of that seed] fall under this license. So this means you start a chain of contracts -- if the person who has got the seed is giving further developments of this seed to a third person, he becomes a licenser, which means he or she is licensing a new variety

In theory, this can be indefinite. There is no way back to private domain. [Our license] does not allow any seed company to take the seed, use it for breeding, and put a patent on it. You can work with us, you can earn your money with it, but you have no exclusivity.

This is important because we are living in a time of not only privatization of genetic resources, but the monopolization of genetic resources. Big companies, they are interested in producing few varieties and extending and distributing these varieties for large acreages -- the larger the acreage, the larger their return through royalties.

But what we need is diversity in production, diversity in genetic resources, and we need diversity in breeders. It is a danger if you are depending on a few companies -- because they tend towards uniformity, their energy for creating innovation is decreasing because competition is getting less and less. They are also producing variety that do not respond to the needs we have. For example, these big seed companies do not provide what is needed for adaptation to climate change.

Monsanto and Bayer, for example, you will have a concentration of a company which has dominating position in producing pesticides and herbicides, and dominating the seed sector -- they will link these two businesses together. They will produce seeds that correspondent with sales of agrochemicals. But in agriculture we need less pesticides, more agroecology. We need genetic resources and plants that fight pest and diseases by resistance, not by chemicals.

Can you tell me a bit about what it means if a farmer uses an open-source seed rather than a private, or corporate alternative?

License, first all of all says, there is no limitation to the use of this seed by the farmer. The only limitation is to refrain from privatization. Commercial seeds have become extremely costly, but the other point which is more important, the characteristics of a variety are not fully meeting the needs farmers have today.

And this applies, in particular, to small farmers in the world who are not able to pay the high costs of seeds for seeds from the big companies, or who may not need the varieties which are offered.

Full interview:   

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/41118-german-nonprofit-creates-new-open-source-license-for-seeds
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 05, 2017, 02:00:33 pm »

BIOPLASTICS are REPLACING PETROCHEMICAL-BASED PLASTICS

In the years 2000 to 2008, worldwide consumption of biodegradable plastics based on starch, sugar, and cellulose – so far the three most important raw materials – has increased by 600%.[32] The NNFCC predicted global annual capacity would grow more than six-fold to 2.1 million tonnes by 2013.[30] BCC Research forecasts the global market for biodegradable polymers to grow at a compound average growth rate of more than 17 percent through 2012. Even so, bioplastics will encompass a small niche of the overall plastic market, which is forecast to reach 500 billion pounds (220 million tonnes) globally by 2010.[33]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bioplastic

Agelbert NOTE:The "NICHE" that bioplastics are occupying will grow to destroy the fossil fuel based plastics plastic poisons simply because bioplastics are sustainable AND cheaper now.


Cost

At one time bioplastics were too expensive for consideration as a replacement for petroleum-based plastics.The lower temperatures needed to process bioplastics and the more stable supply of biomass combined with the increasing cost of crude oil make bioplastics price [34] more competitive with regular plastics.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bioplastic


Applications

Biodegradable bioplastics are used for disposable items, such as packaging and catering items (crockery, cutlery, pots, bowls, straws). They are also often used for bags, trays, containers for fruit, vegetables, eggs and meat, bottles for soft drinks and dairy products, and blister foils for fruit and vegetables.

Nondisposable applications include mobile phone casings, carpet fibres, and car interiors, fuel line and plastic pipe applications, and new electroactive bioplastics are being developed that can be used to carry electrical current.[5] In these areas, the goal is not biodegradability, but to create items from sustainable resources.

Medical implants made of PLA, which dissolve in the body, save patients a second operation. Compostable mulch films for agriculture, already often produced from starch polymers, do not have to be collected after use and can be left on the fields.[6]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bioplastic


Bioplastic Car Parts

In constructing the Prius, Toyota used a new range of plant-derived ecological bioplastics, made out of cellulose derived from wood or grass instead of petroleum. The two principal crops used are kenaf and ramie. Kenaf is a member of the hibiscus family, a relative to cotton and okra; ramie, commonly known as China grass, is a member of the nettle family and one of the strongest natural fibres, with a density and absorbency comparable to flax.
Toyota says this is a particularly timely breakthrough for plant-based eco-plastics because 2009 is the United Nations’ International Year of Natural Fibres, which spotlights kenaf and ramie among others.[56]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_Prius

Prius bioplastic parts

Polylactic acid (PLA) plastics can replace petrochemical-based mass plastics (e.g. PET, PS or PE)


Mulch film made of polylactic acid (PLA)-blend bio-flex

Polylactic acid (PLA) is a transparent plastic produced from corn[12] or dextrose. It not only resembles conventional petrochemical-based mass plastics (like PET, PS or PE) in its characteristics, but it can also be processed on standard equipment that already exists for the production of some conventional plastics. PLA and PLA blends generally come in the form of granulates with various properties, and are used in the plastic processing industry for the production of films, fibers, plastic containers, cups and bottles.

A pen made with bioplastics (Polylactide, PLA) 

Tea bags made from PLA

Packaging air pillow made of PLA-blend bio-flex

A bioplastic shampoo bottle made of PLA-blend bio-flex

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bioplastic

Biopolymer BHP can replace petroplastic polypropylene

Poly-3-hydroxybutyrate (PHB)


The biopolymer poly-3-hydroxybutyrate (PHB) is a polyester produced by certain bacteria processing glucose, corn starch[13] or wastewater.[14] Its characteristics are similar to those of the petroplastic polypropylene. The South American sugar industry, for example, has decided to expand PHB production to an industrial scale. PHB is distinguished primarily by its physical characteristics. It produces transparent film at a melting point higher than 130 degrees Celsius, and is biodegradable without residue.

Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA)

Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) are linear polyesters produced in nature by bacterial fermentation of sugar or lipids. They are produced by the bacteria to store carbon and energy. In industrial production, the polyester is extracted and purified from the bacteria by optimizing the conditions for the fermentation of sugar. More than 150 different monomers can be combined within this family to give materials with extremely different properties. PHA is more ductile and less elastic than other plastics, and it is also biodegradable. These plastics are being widely used in the medical industry.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bioplastic

How to tell if plastic was made from fossil fuels or plants: Fossil fuel derived plastic has NO carbon-14!

Biobased – ASTM D6866

The ASTM D6866 method has been developed to certify the biologically derived content of bioplastics. Cosmic rays colliding with the atmosphere mean that some of the carbon is the radioactive isotope carbon-14. CO2 from the atmosphere is used by plants in photosynthesis, so new plant material will contain both carbon-14 and carbon-12. Under the right conditions, and over geological timescales, the remains of living organisms can be transformed into fossil fuels. After ~100,000 years all the carbon-14 present in the original organic material will have undergone radioactive decay leaving only carbon-12. A product made from biomass will have a relatively high level of carbon-14, while a product made from petrochemicals will have no carbon-14. The percentage of renewable carbon in a material (solid or liquid) can be measured with an accelerator mass spectrometer.[41][42]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bioplastic

Plastic made from plants is NOT a guarantee of biodegradability

There is an important difference between biodegradability and biobased content. A bioplastic such as high density polyethylene (HDPE)[43] can be 100% biobased (i.e. contain 100% renewable carbon), yet be non-biodegradable. These bioplastics such as HDPE nonetheless play an important role in greenhouse gas abatement, particularly when they are combusted for energy production. The biobased component of these bioplastics is considered carbon-neutral since their origin is from biomass.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bioplastic

Agelbert NOTE:[/b] As I've said before, products from corn for plastics or biofuel are a bad deal. At the end of the wikipeda bioplastics article, a "study" from scientists in 2010 cautions against corn based bioplastics because they are so polluting from the pesticide and CO2 releasing properties  (as if petrochemical fuels and plastics weren't measurably MORE polluting... ??? ).

Sure. That's why BIG OIL wants us to keep using that corn for ethanol and bioplastics!  ;) It's never going to be competitive! Corn uses pesticides and plowing. The plastics made from the corn starch will have pesticide residue. Growing corn is an excellent way to ruin top soil and is second only to fossil fuels (because it uses so much of them) in biosphere damage. :P  >:(

This is stupid when, duckweed, hemp, sugar cane, switchgrass, Kenaf , a member of the hibiscus family, a relative to cotton and okra and  Ramie, commonly known as China grass, a member of the nettle family and one of the strongest natural fibres, with a density and absorbency comparable to flax are all available, easier to grow WITHOUT PESTICIDES and provide a much higher EROEI.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 21, 2017, 07:54:10 pm »

What You Didn't Know About Soil...But Should     
 


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 17, 2017, 04:44:17 pm »

Argentina’s Rising Grains Production Strands Vessels in River Traffic

February 16, 2017 by Reuters

Ships used to carry grains for export are seen next to a dredging boat (L) on the Parana river near Rosario, Argentina, January 31, 2017. Picture taken January 31, 2017. REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci (at article link)
[/color]
Reuters By Hugh Bronstein

ROSARIO, Argentina, Feb 16 (Reuters) – When a boat carrying soy oil destined for India ran aground on the Parana River near Buenos Aires in late January, ships loaded with most of Argentina’s grains exports were blocked for hours.

It was the latest accident on one of the world’s great food highways, which is straining to carry rising volumes of Argentine agricultural products embarking on the first leg of the journey from the fields of the Pampas to the feeding troughs of cattle, pigs and chickens worldwide.

Increasing congestion on the Parana, which carries 80 percent of Argentina’s grains exports, could hamper President Mauricio Macri’s efforts to expand farm output and pull the country out of recession.

Macri wants Argentina to grow 25 percent more grains to boost rural income and has cut export taxes to attract more investment in the sector. But to haul all that grain to market, Macri needs the log jams on the river to end.

The government is studying how to accommodate the growing flotilla plying the waterway without driving up shipping costs – which could cancel out the benefits of the export tax cut to farmers and agricultural businesses.

“The entire river system is at its current limit,” said Koen Robijns, Argentine operations manager for Jan De Nul, the privately-owned, Luxemburg-based company that operates the Parana and is responsible for dredging.

The grounding in January made commerce grind to a halt, Robijns said in an interview aboard one of the company’s dredging vessels near Argentina’s main grains hub of Rosario, some 300 kilometers northwest of Buenos Aires.

“Every ship behind it, all the way up to Rosario, had to stop or slow down for more than an hour,” he said.

Efforts to develop the waterway to carry more of Argentina’s burgeoning exports, however, could be delayed by negotiations between the channel’s operator and the traders that ship grain along it.

Jan De Nul favors dredging the channel deeper. The firm declined to provide an estimate on how much that would cost, but the shippers say the bill would be billions of dollars. That would likely mean an increase in the toll, currently $3 per net tonne, which the shippers would pass on by paying the farmers less for their grains.

The world’s largest bulk grains traders Bunge, Cargill, Louis Dreyfus Company and ADM – who together ship much of the grain exported via the Parana – would prefer the less expensive option of widening the river at trouble spots, said two industry groups representing the shippers and traders using the waterway.

The industry groups declined to give an estimate on how much cheaper it would be to widen rather than deepen the river.

“Rather than dredging deeper, we need wider curves in places where vessels have run aground,” said Guillermo Wade, a spokesman for the Rosario-based maritime chamber.

Macri’s government says it aims to cut the cost of exporting grains by 30 percent, including lowering tolls on waterways. But the government has not said yet which option it favors, and is unlikely to do so until a report on the project is completed.

Bunge, Cargill and Louis Dreyfus declined to comment. ADM, in a statement, said it “supports the expansion of the Parana River and Paraguay-Parana waterway to meet the growth needs of the entire region.”

The company did not specify how the river should be expanded.

PUSHING THE LIMIT

Argentina is the world’s top exporter of soymeal feed for animals  :o, key to global meat production and meeting the protein needs of a global population growing toward 9 billion. The South American country is also the world’s third-largest supplier of corn and soybeans and the seventh largest supplier of wheat.

Macri’s government expects farm output of 130 million tonnes this season, up from 123 million before he took office. Macri is targeting 150 million tonnes by the end of his first term in late 2019.

Groundings are becoming more common as exporters, under pressure to haul as much grain as possible, often overload vessels. There were 15 groundings on the waterway last year, up from 12 in 2015 and nine the previous year, according to port data.

The January accident took place in the Mitre section of the Parana, just north of the capital city Buenos Aires.

Theresa Success

The same vessel, the Theresa Success, ran aground near Rosario several days earlier. That time, it took longer for tug boats to pry the vessel loose, but traffic was able to move around the blockage as the river was wider there.

Baltzer, the vessel’s Rosario-based shipping agency, declined to comment on the groundings.

Other incidents have seen ships stuck for days while floating cranes arrive to unload cargo until vessels are light enough to float.

TOLLS AND TOP OFFS

Jan De Nul has had the Parana concession since 1995. The contract ends in 2021, and the company wants to renew it.

The toll it charges for plying the waterway is negotiated by Jan De Nul, the port terminal owners and the government.

The Parana’s shipping canal is maintained at 34 feet from the ocean to the port of San Martin, 35 kilometers north of Rosario, said Pieter Jan De Nul, an area manager for the company and son of its owner.

The firm could easily dredge to 36 feet, he said.

The additional two feet of depth would allow larger vessels carrying several thousand tonnes more cargo to load in Rosario before heading out to sea, he said. Larger cargoes would reduce shipping costs.

Currently, traders have to load part of their cargo in Rosario and then stop to add more in deep-water Atlantic ports before heading into international waters. That means additional port and loading costs, as well as longer shipping times.

The privately-owned Rosario Grains Exchange favors deepening, because larger ships could load and therefore fewer vessels would be needed to carry the rising volume of grains.

“Everyone wins with the deepening of the Parana River,” analysts for the exchange said in a report.

Deputy Transport Secretary Jorge Metz said the service on the river needs to improve, as delays can cost shippers $40,000 to $50,000 a day, a cost that is eventually passed on to farmers.

Decades of underinvestment in roads and rail have made transportation one of the biggest costs faced by growers, said Martin Fraguio, executive director of the Maizar corn industry chamber.

“Argentina has the possibility of increasing its farm production enormously,” he said. “We need the Parana to be as competitive as possible, as soon as possible.” (Additional reporting by Caroline Stauffer; editing by Simon Webb and Brian Thevenot)

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2017
http://gcaptain.com/argentinas-rising-grains-production-strands-vessels-in-river-traffic/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 17, 2017, 06:36:03 pm »

World’s Last Intact Forests Are Becoming Increasingly Fragmented
by Susan Minnemeyer Susan Minnemeyer, Peter Potapov and Lars Laestadius - January 17, 2017

http://www.wri.org/blog/2017/01/world%E2%80%99s-last-intact-forests-are-becoming-increasingly-fragmented
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 10, 2017, 08:48:38 pm »

Regenerative Agriculture Can Help Solve Many of Our Problems

SNIPPET:

Around the world, farmers are waking up to the many adverse effects of industrialized agriculture. While chemicals and machines have allowed farms to expand and increase production, there's growing awareness about how these strategies harm the soil, ecology and, ultimately, human health.

As a result, a growing number of farmers are transitioning over to more sustainable and regenerative methods that do not rely so heavily on chemical and technological means. While regenerative strategies may appear "novel" to born-and-raised city slickers, it's really more of a revival of ancestral knowledge. In the video above, Dr. Joel Gruver demonstrates sustainable agriculture techniques taking place at Allison Farm, the largest organic research farm in Illinois.

Regenerative agriculture — which includes strategies such as crop rotation, diversification, cover crops, no-till, agroforestry and integrated herd management — can help rehabilitate land turned to desert, improve water management and protect water quality. It also eliminates the need for toxic fertilizers and other agricultural chemicals, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions like carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide.15 Importantly, by improving soil quality, regenerative farmers can produce more nutrient-dense foods.

You can also consider attending a Regeneration International event of webinar. Regeneration International is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving soil fertility and biodiversity through regenerative agriculture techniques. Click below for a list of upcoming events.


Lengthy article:

Industrial Farming Threatens Food Security in the US

January 10, 2017 | 72,055 views

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2017/01/10/industrialization-versus-regenerative-agriculture.aspx
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 09, 2017, 05:29:56 pm »

Quote
"Drive-ins are more dangerous than drive-by shootings."

America's inner cities are "food deserts"


Food is the problem and food is the solution
     
If I picked a video of the year, this would be it.

 A simple solution to many, many problems.

 Los Angeles owns 26 square miles of vacant lots . That's the equivalent of 20 Central Parks.

 So what are they doing with them?

 Nothing - but they will "cite" you if you try to grow anything useful or beautiful on them.

 Take aways:

 "If kids grow kale, they eat kale."

 "Growing your own food is like printing your own money."

 So basic. So sane. 

http://www.nextworldtv.com/videos/health-and-wellness/drive-ins-are-more-dangerousthan-drive-by-shootings.html
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 29, 2016, 01:18:31 pm »

Urban Rooftop Farm Sells Shares ;D

Here's a rooftop garden that's feeding about 10 families.

They are called Community Growers in Milwaukee, WI. They are operating as a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) meaning they sell shares of the harvest on a subscription basis throughout the growing season. They even sell to the local health food store across the street.

Owner Erik Lindberg is on a mission: To grow organic vegetables and fruits in an urban environment, to promote local food production as an alternative to agri-business and corporate food distribution, to innovate new and better methods for urban farming, to provide leadership in urban farming and inspire others to grow their own food, to provide successful models of local business, to advise and coach other aspiring urban farmers, to install additional urban farms and gardens, and to green his city wherever he can.

Water is an issue because of the additional heat on the roof, and the lettuce may wilt early. But the rooftop tomatoes came up a week before all the land grown tomatoes! It's all a learning process.

Most important: this was previously useless space, now growing food.     

 --Bibi Farber

http://www.nextworldtv.com/videos/urban-initiatives/urban-rooftop-farm-sells-shares.html
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 11, 2016, 07:20:31 pm »



Call for new dairy model in Vermont sparks debate

Dec. 9, 2016, 5:51 pm by Mike Polhamus 11 Comments

SNIPPET:

The letter calls for the state to “support and facilitate the necessary statewide transition to regenerative and organic dairy production,” although several signers said that wouldn’t necessarily involve every farm practicing fully organic methods.

Rather, they say, they seek to model a program after what’s been done with organic products, where some set of higher standards differentiates Vermont’s milk and commands a premium.

https://vtdigger.org/2016/12/09/call-new-dairy-model-vermont-sparks-debate/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 07, 2016, 07:43:53 pm »

Organic Pest Control

Strike The Balance 

 80% of the bugs in your garden are good bugs. They are beneficial because they eat other harmful bugs, like the ones eating your crops.

 Scott Myer, the editor of Organic Gardening Magazine explains in this video that you don't need to panic when you see pests. They are not all doing harm.

 Some simple products he shows us to target specific pests are peppermint oil and garlic oil. Learn about his great secret for grub control. Great tip: you can use a synthetic fabric called a row cover -- they're light enough to rest on the plants and allow light, water and even fertilizer to get through.

 Why not attract more birds to eat the bugs? Just offer them a bird bath! You can also plant more flowers to attract the good bugs.

 Of course using chemical pesticides does nothing but harm everything in it's path- along with the bugs it's successfully killing.

 As the study of permaculture teaches us -- it's all about observing and helping our growing environments achieve optimum balance and symbiosis. So maybe you don't have a bug problem - but perhaps you have a bird shortage?

 -- Bibi Farber

 This video was produced by Howdini.com

http://www.nextworldtv.com/videos/growing-food/organic-pest-control.html
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 04, 2016, 04:09:34 pm »


We Can Now Grow Food Anywhere 
 

 The High Density Vertical Growth (HDVG) system seems like space age farming. The crops grow on something that looks like large plastic panels used to store shoes vertically in a closet.

 They're indoors a controlled environment, moving on an overhead conveyor system that is designed to provide maximum sunlight and precisely correct nutrients to each plant.

 Glen Kertz, CEO of Valcent Products explains that this system only uses 1/20th the amount of water needed for conventional agriculture.

 "We do intensive agriculture that is renewable and sustainable in an urban environment... this system can work in the desert in Las Vegas, rooftops in New York, it can be in a building or a basement."

 His company operates year round production. No pests and no weeds-- so it's easy to skip the fertilizers and pesticides.

 They can even grow potatoes, beets and carrots in these futuristic sheets of rotating vegetables! And indeed, they can grow them anywhere...

 --Bibi Farber

http://www.nextworldtv.com/videos/growing-food/futuristic-indoor-farming.html
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: November 20, 2016, 01:16:44 pm »

Liquid Gold: Why Flushing a Toilet Is a Colossal Waste   

It’s not just a misuse of water; nitrogen and phosphorus are also squandered in the process.
By Jaimie Seaton

https://psmag.com/liquid-gold-why-flushing-a-toilet-is-a-colossal-waste-fe656731956f
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 14, 2016, 01:54:06 pm »

As a non-expert armchair theorist, I still believe the best purification method for compost is through solar ovens to bake the compost and break up any complex polymers that might be biologically harmful into smaller constituent parts, which then can be reassembled into new molecules by the given organism that ingests them.  Adjusting the temperature and how long you bake would make it possible to only break down as far as necessary and still have good precursors to work with and not have to synthesize everything from scratch.

Most if not all pesticides would be rendered harmless this way.  About the only harmful things that would remain are heavy metals that got into the process in some way, mercury, lead etc.

RE

   

Sunflowers are a proven way to leach the soil of heavy metals. They have done it in inner city lots now used to grow veggies in Detroit. For heavy metal polluted stagnant water bodies like ponds and lakes, Lemna minor (duckweed) has also been successfully used.  8)
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 14, 2016, 01:51:26 pm »

No disrespect intended, Doctor, but I think Geoff Lawton knows a bit more about this than you. In the 2 minute video which I hope you watched,  ;), he specifically said that this was conditional on the amount of toxins present (he referenced pesticide sprayed vegetable residue being added to a compost pile). Obviously, if the percentage is high, it would not be effective in removing all the toxins. So, you are partially right. But Geoff is totally right. Some time ago I learned that horse manure is much poorer than cow or chicken manure for composting. I hope you are aware of that. I suggest you watch the full soils movie. It will help you expand your knowledge on this subject. 8)

[embed=640,380]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_-fPGcnDyE[/embed]
Watercress

Nasturium officinale
Watercress is one of the most sensitive crops when it comes to toxins.  If you can grow watercress in your compost, you should have no trouble growing anything else with it.  If a small batch of watercress dies when apply some compost/tea, you probably want to let it mature longer before using it.

 

Smart people will listen to you. But there are always those with over inflated egos who do not take correction gracefully.

Proverbs 17:

9 Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends.

10 A single rebuke does more for a person of understanding than a hundred lashes on the back of a fool.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 13, 2016, 07:46:22 pm »

What to look for when you're buying land for permaculture

Sami Grover (@samigrover)
Design / Resilience
 October 12, 2016

Some of the most popular posts I write feature people who have purchased land and transformed it into small-scale farms and permaculture small holdings. From chicken tractors to food forests, these stories tend to focus on what people have done once they have purchased the land.

But what about while you're still looking? ???

Permaculture legend Geoff Lawton  has just put out another video, this time looking at the question of what to look for when you're on the hunt for suitable land. Points to look out for, says Geoff, include water holding capacity in the landscape, access routes, and how contours or other geographical features may impact maintenance. It's hardly a comprehensive guide, but it provides a useful starting point. And I get the sense it's probably a teaser for a longer, full length video. I would keep an eye on Geoff's website for future updates.

The other big topic, of course, which isn't discussed in this short video is finance. Every time I post about an idyllic smallholding, usually I receive comments from aggrieved would-be farmers complaining about ex-hedge funders who are now living the good life. So it would be interesting to see guidance, not just on what types of land to buy, but alternative financing models like the Slow Money movement. Similarly, I would imagine location—distance to any day jobs, likely markets for produce sales etc—would also be a major factor. (Don't forget that rural living brings a heavy transportation footprint!)

Still, this is a useful addition to the arsenal. I'd love to hear from folks on other things to look out for when thinking of buying land.


http://www.treehugger.com/resilience/what-look-when-youre-buying-land-permaculture.html



Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 11, 2016, 06:05:06 pm »



Market seen for Vermont food that’s going to waste

Oct. 10, 2016, 1:17 pm by Mike Polhamus

Vermont farms produce 14 million pounds of unused food every year, according to a recent report by a Morrisville-based nonprofit called Salvation Farms.

The report also found that most of that food gets harvested and discarded; only about 16 percent remains on farms to be tilled under the earth or fed to livestock.

Salvation Farms
A Lamoille Community Food Share client helps Theresa Snow, at center, and Laurel Ferland of Salvation Farms unload potatoes from a Black River Produce truck. Courtesy photo (at article link)

Several groups of Vermont volunteers already handpick around 600,000 pounds of produce annually from selected farmers’ fields after harvest and recover what’s edible from the remnants, most of which suffer from blemishes and other aesthetic deficiencies that don’t affect the food’s nutritional value.

Salvation Farms Executive Director Theresa Snow said the report gives her confidence that a market might exist for this produce, and she’s trying to scale her organization’s efforts up to a point where Vermont institutions make use of it. Snow said the study was undertaken to find out whether the amount of Vermont agricultural produce that goes to waste is enough to affect the state’s food supply.

Snow said it’s important to recognize that it’s not Vermont’s farmers who are causing the food to go to waste, but rather market forces beyond their control that make imperfect foods too costly to use.

Snow’s organization exists to increase the resilience of Vermont’s food system through better management of agricultural surpluses like those the report describes.

The practice of salvaging leftovers after a harvest is known as gleaning  , and it’s not a new idea, said Rachel Carter, communications director at Vermont Food to Plate.

Quote
People have gleaned farmers’ fields for thousands of years, Carter said.

“It’s actually a really old practice that Salvation Farms has been spearheading to bring back to Vermont,” she said.

The food is entirely safe, but unmarketable, Carter said.

Carter’s organization is helping Snow figure out a way to expand gleaning in Vermont from a volunteer effort to a sustainable business, she said.
Quote
Of the more than 14 million pounds of Vermont produce that goes unused each year, she said, 68 percent has been harvested already.

“As discouraging as this loss may be, the 68 percent of harvested food that does not get sold or donated represents a potential untapped market opportunity,”
Carter said in an email. “The Farm to Plate Network … will examine the areas of market opportunity for surplus and seconds, namely institutions and processors, and begin to problem solve around the key factors limiting the amount of surplus and seconds making it from farm to plate: price, volume, labor, and logistics.”

There’s no downside for farmers, said Evan Harlow, a manager at Westminster’s Harlow Farm. Volunteers from the Vermont Foodbank glean from Harlow Farm fields after harvest, Harlow said, and they’ve done so since he found out about the service five years ago.

“We just show them what field to go to,” Harlow said. Volunteers bring knives, bags and trucks to get the produce and haul it away.

“There’s a little bit less organic material we’re tilling back into the soil, but it’s negligible,” Harlow said. “I don’t really think there’s any downside to it.” 


Industrial food production is extremely profitable and generally efficient, Snow said, but it’s also very wasteful, and gleaning recovers only a portion of what goes unused.

Across the country, she said, 60 billion tons of food gets wasted every year, with only 16 percent of that number representing produce and other agricultural products.

The 14 million pounds of unused Vermont produce every year, Snow said, “seems like a lot, but I think it seems like a lot because we don’t think about our food system.

“The amount the average person participates in wasting foods is more significant than what’s left on farms,” she said. “We’re wasting food all the way along the food supply chain.”

Although her efforts will capture only a small part of that food, it’s still important to the vulnerable and disadvantaged people who currently benefit from much of Vermont’s gleaned produce. If she succeeds, the 14 million pounds of produce Vermont farmers don’t use each year could also benefit the state, Snow said.

Quote
“Vermont institutions spend $11 million each year sourcing fresh food from outside Vermont,” Snow said. “Meanwhile, 14 million pounds of Vermont fresh foods … is sitting unused on farms.” ]

Snow said she hopes to sell what farmers reject to institutions like nursing homes, veterans’ homes, schools and prisons. She said that along the way it’s important not to compete with farmers’ development of markets, since that could hurt the viability of the entire venture.

Salvation Farms’  goal of increasing the resilience of Vermont’s food system comes into play here, she said. Even though gleaning doesn’t typically profit farmers, the money it saves would otherwise go to exploitative industrial farms around the globe, she said, “and we don’t invest it in the local economy or local communities.”

“That’s why an independent, strong food system ultimately builds stronger communities,” she said.

http://vtdigger.org/2016/10/10/market-seen-vermont-food-thats-going-waste/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 10, 2016, 09:50:54 pm »

Proverbs 17:

9 Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends.

10 A single rebuke does more for a person of understanding than a hundred lashes on the back of a fool.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 10, 2016, 07:58:59 pm »

Does Composting Remove Toxins?


Bad Turns To Good in the Compost Pile   

Geoff Lawton, one of Australia's premier permaculture experts, explains how it is that fruits, vegetables and plant waste that has been sprayed with a toxin will still come out perfectly clean on the other end of the compost cycle.

 "All the life- potentially 50 million genus of bacteria and 50 million genus of fungi lock up the toxins to the carbon molecule - and it becomes inert."

 So 100 million entities, potentially, are hard at work in the compost pile to make small amounts of toxin... just disappear!

 Learn about this marvel of earth's healing ability in this video!

 --Bibi Farber


This video was created by Permaculture.org.au and WorldwidePermaculture.com

http://www.nextworldtv.com/videos/permaculture/does-composting-remove-toxins.html

I don't believe this is completely true, actually. If cows and horses eat hay grown with the typical herbicides used in meadows these days, it takes at least five years for it to leach out of their manure. That's why I had to give up on my plan to use manure from horse farms to build soil on the stead.

No disrespect intended, Doctor, but I think Geoff Lawton knows a bit more about this than you. In the 2 minute video which I hope you watched,  ;), he specifically said that this was conditional on the amount of toxins present (he referenced pesticide sprayed vegetable residue being added to a compost pile). Obviously, if the percentage is high, it would not be effective in removing all the toxins. So, you are partially right. But Geoff is totally right. Some time ago I learned that horse manure is much poorer than cow or chicken manure for composting. I hope you are aware of that. I suggest you watch the full soils movie. It will help you expand your knowledge on this subject. 8)

Proverbs 18  (NIV) 1 An unfriendly person pursues selfish ends and against all sound judgment starts quarrels. 2 Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions.
 
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 10, 2016, 07:36:40 pm »


Geoff Lawton - Soils (FULL MOVIE)    

Published on Jul 30, 2016

www.EarthCraftPermaculture.com - Geoff Lawton presents his outstanding movie, "Soils", helping you to have a better understanding of soil creation and maintenance, making soil healthier and optimal.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 10, 2016, 07:23:35 pm »

Does Composting Remove Toxins?


Bad Turns To Good in the Compost Pile   

 Geoff Lawton, one of Australia's premier permaculture experts, explains how it is that fruits, vegetables and plant waste that has been sprayed with a toxin will still come out perfectly clean on the other end of the compost cycle.

 "All the life- potentially 50 million genus of bacteria and 50 million genus of fungi lock up the toxins to the carbon molecule - and it becomes inert."

 So 100 million entities, potentially, are hard at work in the compost pile to make small amounts of toxin... just disappear!

 Learn about this marvel of earth's healing ability in this video!

 --Bibi Farber

This video was created by Permaculture.org.au and WorldwidePermaculture.com

http://www.nextworldtv.com/videos/permaculture/does-composting-remove-toxins.html
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 19, 2016, 06:13:31 pm »

700-year-old West African soil technique could help mitigate climate change

June 16, 2016

A farming technique practised for centuries by villagers in West Africa, which converts nutrient-poor rainforest soil into fertile farmland, could be the answer to mitigating climate change and revolutionising farming across Africa.

A global study, led by the University of Sussex, which included anthropologists and soil scientists from Cornell, Accra, and Aarhus Universities and the Institute of Development Studies, has for the first-time identified and analysed rich fertile soils found in Liberia and Ghana.

They discovered that the ancient West African method of adding charcoal and kitchen waste to highly weathered, nutrient poor tropical soils can transform the land into enduringly fertile, carbon-rich black soils which the researchers dub 'African Dark Earths'.

From analysing 150 sites in northwest Liberia and 27 sites in Ghana researchers found that these highly fertile soils contain 200-300 percent more organic carbon than other soils and are capable of supporting far more intensive farming.

Professor James Fairhead, from the University of Sussex, who initiated the study, said: "Mimicking this ancient method has the potential to transform the lives of thousands of people living in some of the most poverty and hunger stricken regions in Africa.

"More work needs to be done but this simple, effective farming practice could be an answer to major global challenges such as developing 'climate smart' agricultural systems which can feed growing populations and adapt to climate change."

Similar soils created by Amazonian people in pre-Columbian eras have recently been discovered in South America - but the techniques people used to create these soils are unknown. Moreover, the activities which led to the creation of these anthropogenic soils were largely disrupted after the European conquest.

Encouragingly researchers in the West Africa study were able to live within communities as they created their fertile soils. This enabled them to learn the techniques used by the women from the indigenous communities who disposed of ash, bones and other organic waste to create the African Dark Earths.

Dr Dawit Solomon, the lead author from Cornell University, said: "What is most surprising is that in both Africa and in Amazonia, these two isolated indigenous communities living far apart in distance and time were able to achieve something that the modern-day agricultural management practices could not achieve until now.

"The discovery of this indigenous climate smart soil-management practice is extremely timely. This valuable strategy to improve soil fertility while also contributing to climate-change mitigation and adaptation in Africa could become an important component of the global climate-smart agricultural management strategy to achieve food security."

The study, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, entitled "Indigenous African soil enrichment as a climate-smart sustainable agriculture alternative", has been published in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and Environment can be found here.

 http://phys.org/news/2016-06-year-old-west-african-soil-technique.html#jCp
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 18, 2016, 08:25:27 pm »

Agelbert NOTE: Finally! Somebody realized how cost effective and environmentally friendly feeding duckweed to fish is! Excellent!

Duckweed is the tiniest angiosperm known to science. It is the fastest growing macroscopic plant there is. It can double its mass in a couple of days and is a nearly perfect photosynthetic machine that, because it floats, spends very little energy on woody roots or stalks. This mean that the low lignin, high starch content makes it great, not just for food, but also as ethanol biofuel feed stock, far more cost effective than corn.
These Brooklynites are on a ROLL!
  They are going SMART, SUSTAINABLE bonkers with DUCKWEED  (plus some supplemental feed) fed tilapia aquaponics to grow tuned LED lighted and fish poop fertilized veggies in low to no water demand (it's almost 100% recycled!) for New Yorkers!


Aquaponic Farms in Brooklyn Killing It   

Lorraine Chow | June 17, 2016 1:16 pm

Aquaponics is an emerging urban farming trend that’s ideal for big cities since it’s relatively low-maintenance and can be set up just about anywhere, from rooftops to formerly abandoned lots and buildings.

And Brooklyn is now home to not one, but three aquaponic farms: Verticulture, Edenworks and OKO farms.

Aquaponics, simply, is a combination of aquaculture and hydroponics. Fish waste becomes a nutritious fertilizer for the plants growing in a soil-free, recirculating water system. In turn, the plants help purify the water for the fish. This agricultural method has plenty of sustainable attributes. Because the water recirculates, it uses 90 percent less water compared to conventional farming methods and eliminates the need for pesticides and other synthetic chemicals.

“The only input into an aquaponics system is food which the fish consume, resulting in a completely organic system,” Oko Farms points out. “As the fish grow and the system ages, the number and variety of crops you can grow also increase so long as you maintain a neutral pH, maintain high oxygen levels, and honor temperature requirements for both fish and plants.”

Oko Farms is located on a formerly vacant lot in Brooklyn’s Bushwick neighborhood and, at 2,500 square feet, is the largest outdoor aquaponics farm in New York City. The farm raises edible fish (tilapia, catfish) and ornamental fish (koi and goldfish) and cultivate vegetables, herbs and flowers, co-founder and farm manager Yemi Amu told the GRACE Communications Foundation. The fish are raised at a ratio of 1 fish per 5 gallons of water and eat a combination of commercial pellets and duckweed cultivated on the farm.

For dwellers living in the trendy NYC borough, getting fresh local food is as easy as looking up. Edenworks is a such sky-high farm operating off the roof of a East Williamsburg metalworking shop, as TechCrunch reported.

The farm utilizes vertical farming methods—in which tomatoes, arugula, basil and more leafy greens grow in stacked tiers. (picture at article link)

The plants are nourished from the nutrient-rich waste food created by tilapia and freshwater prawns swimming nearby in 250-gallon water tanks.

What’s unique about Edenworks is its “LEGO, or Ikea-like” infrastructure that’s prefabricated and can be flat packed and shipped to site, according to TechCrunch.


Edenworks will be moving to Long Island City to launch a full-scale commercial growing system, and Green said he’s in talks with a number of international institutional clients who are looking to install their own modular greenhouses.

Quote

We can deploy in New York and we can deploy in Saudi Arabia,” Green said.   

At an old Pfizer manufacturing plant in Bedstuy, Verticulture is raising food such as kale, micro basil and Brooklyn-born tilapia and looking to tap into the Big Apple’s $600 million in unmet demand for local produce.

According to The Verge, the startup is producing about 30 to 40 pounds of basil a week thanks to the help of 150-180 tilapia.

The venture is currently in pilot mode and has been experimenting with blue, red, and white LED lights which consume less energy than fluorescent lights and help the plants grow faster, The Verge explained.

The goal of the project is to make aquaponics a sustainable and profitable way to provide local produce to cities all over the world, as co-founder Miles Crettien told The Verge.


“I believe strongly in the ecological design,” he said. “We can build this anywhere. We can build it in the desert. We can build it in Antarctica.”

Crettien told Edible Brooklyn that the harvest is being sold to retailers such as Foragers, Brooklyn Kitchen, Fresh Direct and Farmigo.

http://ecowatch.com/2016/06/17/aquaponic-farms-brooklyn-killing-it/


And those party hounds in Brooklyn are figuring out ways to party on their roofs UNDER solar panels! 

Brooklyn SolarWorks PV Canopy

http://www.treehugger.com/solar-technology/solar-canopy-allows-even-most-crowded-city-roof-go-solar.html
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 29, 2016, 08:36:24 pm »

Methane Capture and Use

Because methane can be captured from landfills, it can be burned to produce electricity, heat buildings, or power garbage trucks. Capturing methane before it gets into the atmosphere also helps reduce the effects of climate change.

Methane can also be captured from farm digesters, which are big tanks that contain manure and other waste from barns that house livestock such as cows and pigs.


Putting waste to good use.
More than 500 landfill–to–energy projects are currently operating in the United States, and another 500 landfills are good candidates for turning their methane into an energy resource, which would produce enough electricity to power nearly 688,000 homes across the nation.

Top producer. In 2009, Germany produced enough electricity from biogas to power 3.5 million homes.

A world first! Sweden has been operating a biogas-powered train since 2005. It shuttles passengers between two cities that are 75 miles apart.

https://www3.epa.gov/climatechange/kids/solutions/technologies/methane.html


There is a HUGE difference between Renewable Energy based methane and the highly polluting fossil fuel industry produced methane. Renewable Energy BIOGAS based methane IS, when all the carbon cycle math is done, Carbon Neutral.


Methanogenesis: The Biological Production of Methane Gas

Half of all species on Earth are microbial, and many of these organisms inhabit anaerobic environments such as in soil, freshwater and ocean sediment, and the digestive tracts of eukaryotes. Studying anaerobic prokaryotes represents a technical challenge. However, the payoff is great: their genomes contain a high proportion of unknown genes that belie exotic biochemistry, and they produce unusual secondary metabolites that could be used for human benefit.

Currently, European countries (Switzerland, Germany) use renewable methane extensively, and are projected to steadily increase their use of biologically-produced methane in order to phase out consumption of fossil methane derived from geological sources.

The Buan Lab is interested in the physiology of strict anaerobes in order to understand how these organisms grow, what role they play in the environment and in the human microbiome, and in the unique or unusual metabolites and enzymes they produce.

We use methane-producing archaea (methanogens) as a model system to understand biological methane production. methanogens are strict anaerobic archaea that obtain all their energy for growth and reproduction by reducing fermentation endproducts like acetate, H2 CO2, formate, methanol, methylamines, and methylsulfides to methane gas.

Methanogens are the dominant archaea in anaerobic sediment where sulfide concentrations are low, and are also dominant archaea in the rumen of cattle, in the termite hidgut, and in the human digestive tract.

Methanogens produce 2 gigatons of methane gas annually, representing 4% of the global carbon cycle. Methane produced by methanogens can be harvested and used as a heat and energy source.

Large dairy farms and wastewater treatment plants commonly harvest methane produced in anaerobic digesters and offset nearly all of their heat and energy needs using renewable methane.

http://unlcms.unl.edu/biochemistry/buanlab/research-overview


Yes, we know there are a lot of termites doing their thing out there and capturing their methane is not very cost effective.

HOWEVER, city dumps and animal feces based methane harvesters ARE COST COMPETITIVE with fossil methane.

One gigaton equals one billion tons.

The conversion calculator below gives you a figure in hundreds of cubic feet. You must multiply that by 100 to get cubic feet, then divide the product by one million.

http://www.convertunits.com/from/tons/to/hundred+cubic+foot+of+natural+gas

One gigaton of methane equals 3,848,417,954 million cubic feet. That's HALF of what those microbes produce worldwide each year. We CAN harvest that efficiently.

In 2015, approximately 29,000,000 million cubic feet of fossil fuel methane was produced in the USA.
https://www.eia.gov/dnav/ng/hist/n9050us2a.htm

As those who can add and subtract can plainly see ;D, Natural Processes are quite capable of supplying Renewable Energy NATURAL methane without the "help" of our "dear loyal servants" in the fossil fuel Industry.

You can see why the fossil fuel industry is not in any hurry to have methane digesters adopted on a worldwide scale in every city dump and farm animal location.

 

Below is an example of fossil methane that CAN be captured WITHOUT flaring and other assorted pollution piggery the oil and gas corporations love to engage in.

The Germans are capturing methane from abandoned coal mines.

Production of Coal Bed Methane in Germany - Springer 
by O Langefeld - ‎2013 - ‎Related articlesProduction of Coal Bed Methane in Germany ... Abandoned Mine Methane (AMM) and Coal Mine Methane (CMM) projects are now prevalent in several sites in ... Energy Harvesting · Geoengineering, Foundations, Hydraulics · Hydrogeology ...

http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-642-37849-2_15#page-1

Finally, as you can read about below,
the Germans have figured out a way to strip methane collected from digesters from producing ANY CO2 whatsoever.

The fossil fuel industry is probably trying to jump on this with both claws, of course   . The problem for them is that Fracked gas wells LEAK methane into the atmosphere, along with FLARING about one third by volume of toxic and carcinogenic poisonous gases just to get their methane.

Also, every single hole drilled into the ocean bottom that has produced oil and gas LEAKS methane.     

Truly NATURAL gas from methane harvesting is the only practical use of this new German technology.

German researchers crack the code for carbon-free methane to hydrogen conversion

12/07/2015 under News, Renewable Energy

German researchers have “****” the code for breaking down methane from natural gas without creating carbon dioxide, and in the process dealt a blow to climate change. Gizmag reports scientists at the Institute of Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have created a process that lets them extract the energy content from methane, in the form of hydrogen, without emitting any CO2.

The process, known as “methane cracking,” separates the hydrogen and carbon elements found in methane by subjecting them to temperatures of more than 1,382 degrees Fahrenheit and avoids previously problematic carbon emissions via a unique design.

http://inhabitat.com/german-researchers-crack-the-code-for-carbon-free-methane-to-hydrogen-conversion/

Apart from capturing the methane at unused fossil fuel drill sites and abandoned coal beds to capture it before it leaks into the atmosphere,  we need fossil methane like a hole in the head.






Eddie, this is relevant to the methane harvesting operation. STEP ONE in all farming operations, even those that are more about animal husbandry, is environmentally friendly soil microbes. We HAVE TO HAVE THEM if we are to have a carbon neutral or carbon negative civilization. The fossil fuel and chemical industries have been busy killing soil microbes sine qua non for sustainable soil for over a century. This is stupid.



Soil testing, for over a century, has WRONGLY used a chemical analysis approach instead of a biological health approach. :o The reason they went that way is because chemical analysis is SIMPLER and favors MONOCULTURE and INDUSTRIAL FARMING destructive soil management. IOW, PROFIT OVER PLANET agricultural practices ARE RUINING THE SOIL. AND THE SCIENCE HAS BEEN TAILORED TO FAVOR THAT DESTRUCTIVE MODUS OPERANDI.   

Instead of using a host of acids the soil NEVER ACTUALLY SEES to test soil, WATER should be used and ORGANIC ACIDS should be measured. WHY? Because THAT is what the soil microbes ACTUALLY interact with to aid plants in growing.

IOW, the LIFE of the microbes is the LIFE of the soil and the KEY to soil productivity, sustainability AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, the sine qua non for restoring degraded soil. USABLE carbon, phosphates and potassium (K) have also been measured incorrectly.

In 1935 they were on the right track. But the industrialized monoculture agriculture of profit over planet twisted soil testing methods which overruled the soil LIFE approach.  >:( As an example of how faulty the tests are, since 1965 HALF the biologically available nitrogen has been ABSENT from the soil tests.

They had to try to mimic natural systems in the lab. They didn't.  The abysmal stupidity of that approach is that INORGANIC minerals were being measured as "assets"  for the soil  when plants cannot do SQUAT with inorganic minerals when a depleted soil microbe population cannot turn them into ORGANIC minerals.    

Cover crops (land without a crop for sale but grown with some type of plant - not bare soil - in order to enhance microbial life proven to restore the soil) are a BIG DEAL in soil restoration. This has been proven by the proper soil testing science as detailed in the video.


Here is the PROPER way to measure soil health:


[embed=640,380]<iframe width="640" height="390" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/behAQzwdnzs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>[/embed]

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