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Author Topic: Sustainable Farming  (Read 2438 times)

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AGelbert

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Re: Sustainable Farming
« Reply #15 on: March 12, 2015, 03:31:04 pm »
Look Out Cotton, These 3 Fruits Are Shaking Up the Textile Industry
Lorraine Chow | March 12, 2015 1:47 pm


The U.S. is the second largest cotton producer in the world behind China. According to the Organic Consumers Association, about 75 percent of the cotton and cottonseed in the U.S. is genetically modified. Photo credit: Shutterstock

From fabric, to food, to feed, cotton has thousands of uses. Its ubiquitous presence, however, is entrenched with a long, brutal history that tremendously affects our world today. The Organic Consumers Association said that cotton is the most toxic crop in the world, using more than 25 percent of all the insecticides in the world and 12 percent of all the pesticides. The World Wildlife Fund says it takes 20,000 liters of water to produce one kilogram of cotton, the equivalent of a single T-shirt and a pair of jeans.

About half of all textiles are made from this environmentally unsustainable source, which is why the cotton industry could use a little competition. The good thing is there are plenty of eco-friendly choices to add to your wardrobe. In an article last week in The Guardian, three surprising fruit fabrics are featured that could not only contend with the cotton industry, but also uses up parts of the plant that would normally be left to rot.




1. Pineapples leaves:
We usually think of pineapples as a healthy snack or even a pizza topping, but Ananas Anam is using pineapple leaves to make a sustainable and cheaper alternative to leather called Piñatex, The Guardian reported. With a Cradle-to-Cradle approach, the textile company enlists pineapple farming communities to extract fibers from leaves in an extraction process called decortication. The resulting biomass from decortication can also be converted into organic fertilizer or biogas as an extra source of income to the communities.

Pineapple waste can also be useful for the food industry. In a study published in the journal Food and Bioproducts Processing, researchers found the enzyme bromelain (used to tenderize meat, baking and brewing) can be extracted from all parts of the pineapple, especially from the peel and the crown. As Food Navigator reported, the researchers said that bromelain extraction from pineapple waste would not only add revenue through increased bromelain supply, it would also reduce the impact of waste disposal.

Found in abundance in the Philippines, piña fabric is already used in traditional Filipino clothing for its fine and lightweight qualities. It’s ideal for warmer climates, and as Ecosalon wrote, the “glossy surface of the material also eliminates the need for toxic treating agents, since it acts as a protective layer for the fabric in itself.”

There’s plenty of supply for the luscious fabric. The Philippine Information Agency announced that the country’s 59,000 hectares of pineapple plantations can yield 55,483 tons of pineapple fiber, adding that this agricultural waste can be alternative materials for apparel, home textiles, upholsteries, non-woven and industrial fabrics.

Watch here to find out how pineapple fabric is hand made:



Agelbert NOTE:
I dug up this U-tube video on machine decortication of Pineapple leaves (and other plant fibers too) for your enjoyment:  ;D

https://youtu.be/aXeVwojvHJk


2. Coconut husks: Approximately 50 billion coconuts fall from trees annually but the husks and shells are typically tossed. But a coconut is a terrible thing to waste—its milk, meat, shell and even its fibrous outer layer can have a second life. Also known as coir, this versatile coconut fabric can be turned into many things, from common items such as door mats and brush bristles, as well as not-so-common items.

Specialty weavers Belton Industries spins this sturdy, biodegradable fabric into logs and fencing for landscaping and erosion control. Its absorbent nature is also being applied for for oil spills on land and water, as well as aiding re-vegetation along stream beds and on river embankments. Coir pith, a waste byproduct from coir production, can be used for mulching, soil treatment and a hydroponic growth medium, as Made How pointed out.

Essentium Materials, a bio-composites company, is producing automotive trunk liners, load floors (battery pack covers in electric cars) and living wall planters out of coconut husks and recycled plastics. The researchers said that replacing synthetic polyester fibers with coconut husk fibers will reduce petroleum consumption by 2-4 million barrels and carbon dioxide emissions by 450,000 tons annually.

In terms of clothing, cocona fabric is made of coconut husks that have been recycled into activated carbon. When incorporated into fibers and fabrics, the result is a garment that dries fast, absorbs odor, stays cool and offers UV protection, which makes it ideal for sports wear.


This Tog 24 men’s fleece jacket is made of 55 percent polyester and 45 percent cocona. Photo credit: Shutterstock/TOG24

3. Banana stems: Another versatile fabric comes from banana plant stalks, a part of the plant that’s usually dumped or burned once the fruit is cut off, causing pollution. As The Guardian wrote, approximately one billion tons of banana plant stems are wasted each year, even though “it would only take 37 kilograms (about 81.571 pounds) of stems to produce a kilogram (about 2 pounds) of fiber.”

The fabric is already used in Japan and Southeast Asia, as the course outer layers of the stem can be used for baskets or table cloths and the fine inner layers can be used for delicate kimonos. According to eco-textile company Offset Warehouse, “Banana plants often do not require pesticides or fertilizers when grown in the tropics. Being a waste product of the food industry, these stalks that were once often just thrown away are being used as a new valuable resource with very little extra cultivated acreage being required.”

In India, paper manufacturing firm Eco Green Unit the NGO Chaitanya Mandal are buying banana stems directly from banana farmers to manufacture paper, The Indian Express reported. “Earlier the farmers had to pay Rs 3,000 (about $50) per acre to get their fields cleared,” Dileep Kulkarni of Chaitanya Mandal told the publication. “Now, if they decide to supply banana stem to the processing units they would not only save on that amount but instead they would be paid well for it.”


This thick basket weave banana fabric can be used for tailored jackets and skirts, as well as cushions, throws and blankets. Photo Credit: Offset Warehouse

As a side note, if you are looking for cotton clothing, look for organic varieties that are grown without toxic, synthetic chemicals. Seek out natural dyes to further reduce the amount of chemicals dumped into our ecosystem.
http://ecowatch.com/2015/...king-up-textile-industry/
« Last Edit: August 10, 2015, 03:11:56 pm by AGelbert »
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Re: Sustainable Farming
« Reply #16 on: April 08, 2015, 10:30:56 pm »
https://youtu.be/K5QYZ-LRXW4

Quote
Getting to know the soil 

 This is an excerpt from a feature film which uncovers the source of all the food we eat and the nutrients we need: soil.

 Soil is more alive than you might think it is. It's "times-square" in the soil all the time, for when you look at it under a microscope, you see a plethora of living bacteria and tiny creatures which work to sustain the plants we need to survive.

 In order to plant good food, you simply need good soil
.

http://www.therealfoodcha...od-really-comes-from.html
« Last Edit: August 10, 2015, 03:10:19 pm by AGelbert »
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Re: Sustainable Farming
« Reply #17 on: April 25, 2015, 06:44:30 pm »

What Do We Want To See? 

 The vision behind the Transition Town movement is that every community can engage its collective creativity to unleash an extraordinary and historic transition to a future beyond fossil fuels; a future that is more vibrant, abundant and resilient; one that is ultimately preferable to the present.

 What does that look like? What do the people who are active in the Transition Network really envision for the future of their towns, if the transition they are working to create becomes reality?

 They all envision something much more humane. Cities that are much quieter, much cleaner, much slower, more people working closer to home. They talk about strong bonds around food, knowing your local farmer, growing your own food. Everything is much more decentralized. Alternative energy supplies the grid. The whole economy is much more local and society is more equitable. Quality of life skyrockets.

 The Transition approach is very much a study of permaculture in itself. It asks not: How can we make sure people take action the way we know they ought to and grow food, start composting, install solar panels, etc?" No, it asks: what is already going on in this town and how can we maximize the interchange and benefit of all the commerce and activity already in motion - regardless of people's views, politics, awareness of energy issues and so on?

 Ben Brangwyn, co founder of the Transition Network says he believes "When we look back, having reached that transition point, we will say: How on earth could we ever have conceived of living any other way?"

 --Bibi Farber

 For more information on the Transition Town Movement, visit www.transitionnetwork.org

http://www.nextworldtv.co...isions-of-transition.html
« Last Edit: August 10, 2015, 03:09:30 pm by AGelbert »
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Re: Sustainable Farming
« Reply #18 on: May 24, 2015, 03:36:12 pm »
https://youtu.be/-kZTLHEPrMc
 

 A quick reminder that the rest of the world grows hemp, and profits from an amazing array of uses.


 What are the uses for industrial hemp? Clothing, nutritious food and beverages, paper, building supplies, plastics, fuel, ropes -- hemp is even used in cleaning up soil contamination. This is just the beginning!

 Hear Roger Johnson, who was the Agricultural Commissioner of North Dakota until 2009, explain that the US "ought to be in this business" to say the least. He feels it is almost criminal that the US does not take advantage of this extremely profitable crop.

 Dr. Andrew Weil says: "If Americans ate more hemp, it would help correct the imbalance of essential fatty acids. I think we'd see a reduction of inflammatory diseases, lowering heart attack risk, cancer risk...the omega 3's are necessary for proper brain function."

 There is so much potential for profit, and we are missing all of it. There are thousands of uses for hemp and the time has come for the U.S. government to legalize the growing of hemp so that we may benefit economically from this truly amazing plant.

 --Bibi Farber
- See more at: http://www.nextworldtv.co...html#sthash.iMPbHkg3.dpuf
« Last Edit: August 10, 2015, 03:08:22 pm by AGelbert »
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Re: Sustainable Farming
« Reply #19 on: May 30, 2015, 02:42:48 pm »



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:


https://youtu.be/behAQzwdnzs
« Last Edit: August 10, 2015, 03:07:10 pm by AGelbert »
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Re: Sustainable Farming
« Reply #20 on: August 10, 2015, 03:01:35 pm »
NASA Astronauts Grow Vegetables in Space for First Time

Lorraine Chow | August 10, 2015 12:56 pm

Goodbye freeze-dried space food. NASA’s astronauts aboard the International Space Station are taking a giant leap with its menu: fresh-grown vegetables.

Expedition 44 crew members, including astronaut Scott Kelly who’s on a special year-long mission in space, will be dining on a crop of “Outredgeous” red romaine lettuce from the Veggie plant growth system that’s sitting on the station itself.

Called the Veg-01, the experiment aims to “study the in-orbit function and performance of the plant growth facility and its rooting ‘pillows,’ which contain the seeds,” according to a NASA press release.

The Veggie unit, which is expandable and collapsible, contains a light bank that features a flat panel red, blue and green LEDs for plant growth and crew observation (which explains why the plants are glowing pink in some photos). Half of the harvest, which was plucked 33 days after it was initially planted, will be eaten. The other half will be packaged and frozen on the station until it can be sent to Earth for analysis.

http://ecowatch.com/2015/...10/grow-vegetables-space/

Agelbert Comment: The importance of this is not that they can travel to mars or establish space colonies. What is REALLY important is that LED photon frequencies have been fine tuned (for over 5 years now) so they can grow plants indoors.

That means that with a Renewable Energy source like PV, CSP, wind, tide, etc. plus efficient battery storage, we can DOUBLE (or more) our plant food production by growing underground or in multistory farms. 


These farms will be able to grow plants all year and, in some cases, 24 hours a day. They will have climate control to deal with our increasingly hostile climate due to global warming visiting us from the stupidity of burning fossil fuels. As the video ( https://youtu.be/c1Gxn_nfgWA) points out at the end, hot sandy deserts can now grow plants underground in order to eventually avoid the need to import vegetables. 

Also, tuned LEDs will enable humans to get vitamin D in low to no sunlight conditions like winter near the poles.   


Google "LED tuned for plant growth" for more information.  8)
Quote
"Technical knowledge of Carrying Capacity will not save us; only a massive increase in Caring Capacity will." -- A. G. Gelbert

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Re: Sustainable Farming
« Reply #21 on: September 18, 2015, 02:09:06 am »
Biodynamics Farmiing
Quote

The first person in the modern era to speak out for "organic" agriculture was Rudolph Steiner.

 But he went a lot further than just saying no chemicals.

 Steiner had deep respect for the soil, plants, nature and the accumulated wisdom of ancient people.

 These are extended interviews taken from the film "The Challenge of Rudolf Steiner" -
http://www.nextworldtv.co...html#sthash.R1INe1kz.dpuf
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Re: Sustainable Farming
« Reply #22 on: September 19, 2015, 01:28:59 am »
https://www.youtube.com/w...mbedded&v=CCRFSAxGeJs

New Farms Of The City   


 Bryant Terry, the eco chef, food justice activist and author speaks about the importance of a welcome trend: growing food in the urban environment.

 "I've seen amazing examples where people have taken their own front yards and backyards and created these edible landscapes in which they are growing these varieties of fruits and vegetables, fresh herbs and even raising chickens in urban environments...a farm can be as close as the library down the street and not 100 miles away from us."

 Imagine all the vacant lots in all of our cities that can be full of organic produce that need not be trucked in...

 --Bibi Farber

 This video was produced by Nourishlife.org, a national educational initiative designed to open a meaningful conversation about food and sustainability.
- See more at: http://www.nextworldtv.co...html#sthash.5ivInTNv.dpuf
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Re: Sustainable Farming
« Reply #23 on: September 20, 2015, 03:40:20 pm »
SustainableBusiness.com Newswire

09/20/2015 10:19 AM ET   
Agratech Farms - Water Conservation With Hydroponic Farming
 


The world at large is running low in essential resources and since water is one of them, saving it is a primary issue that has become quite a challenge nowadays. 

September 4th, 2015 - As one of the largest commercial hydroponic operators, Agratech Farms aims to become the largest in the world.

Recently it has begun reviewing ways to conserve water through hydroponic farming. This method of farming is purely dependent on water laded with nutrients and relative traditional farming methods and it already consumes 90% less water.  Agratech intends to further reduce the consumption of water in its hydroponic farming facilities.

The world at large is running low in essential resources; with water being one of them, saving it has become a challenge globally. In order to contribute to this cause, Agratech Farms constantly analyzes its existing technologies to find a way to better manage the consumption of water. Today 70% of the world's water is used in traditional agriculture.

The fundamental use of water in growing plants hydroponically, also uses coconut shell fibers and Styrofoam to hold the plants at the correct angle. Under which, the roots float in the water that quenches both their thirst and provides the essential nutrients.

A spokesperson from Agratech says, "If managed more efficiently, we can actually conserve 90% water in hydroponics farming. We intend to play our part in the conservation of water, as that is the essence of this method of farming. Not to mention Agratech's underlying goal is to contribute in every way we can to the environment."

"We also grow high-quality hydroponic produce 'Daily Fresh'. Using the latest water saving and hydroponic techniques we have developed sustainable hydroponic farms that promote our "green" agriculture initiative."

With Agratech's vision to develop and educate the next generation with relevant hydroponic farming and agricultural knowledge, Head Quartered in Dubai UAE; Agratech have also introduced hydroponic investments for private, commercial and industry buyers and also established firm bases of operation in Hong Kong, the Capital of Romania, Madrid in Spain, and now Lisbon in Portugal.

The spokesperson continued,
Quote
"Many of the mentioned countries lack arable land and climactic requirements needed for the mass production of food. Agratech's Vision is to provide self sufficiency in agriculture to these regions all the while obtaining an even higher conservation rate of water."

Our technology allows us to grow 365 days a year in any climate using state of the art technology that regulates the climate inside our closed High Tech greenhouse, a series of sensors, coolers and heaters allows uniformed production all year round. 


About Agratech

Agratech aims to be one of the largest operators of hydroponic farming facilities in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and Europe from their strategic base in the United Arab Emirates.

It strives to improve the world's food security imbalances with technologically advanced farming techniques coupled with clean and ethical farming practices that produce fresh, healthy fruit and vegetables.

Equipped with the vision to educate, teach and develop the next generation throughout the globe with relevant farming and agricultural knowledge, they also continue their local-to-local philosophy to ensure job creation and economic safety throughout the region.

Dedicated to balance being a successful business as well as a socially responsible one, they aim to construct over 100 hectares of hydroponic farm land by 2020, but also to donate produce to the United Nations and World Health Organization.


For more information please contact:

Bogdan Ureche Development Manager
 Agratech Farms
 +97143132831
media@agratechfarms.com
http://agratechfarms.com/

http://www.sustainablebus...s.viewpressrelease/id/404

Agelbert NOTE: Why do I think this really will help  (i. e. a small portion of) humanity in  a massively polluted, CO2 warmed world on a N.T.H.E. trajectory?  ???

Because of THIS:
Quote
"Increasing CO2 levels would only be beneficial inside of highly controlled, enclosed spaces like greenhouses." -- Doug Bostrom
http://renewablerevolutio...-with-us/msg3825/#msg3825


Greenhouses on the North Slope. Due to the increased CO2 concentration and greening towards the poles, these technofixes (for the privileged few) will help deep pocketed Alaskans hold out in a world of multiple species extinctions. Who knows? They MIGHT even avoid N.T.H.E.!


See below: Future Success Story of Remnant, though somewhat brain damaged from pollution caused DNA degradation, Homo saps in Alaska: 






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Re: Sustainable Farming
« Reply #24 on: October 04, 2015, 10:34:45 pm »

London's first underground farm opens in WW2 air raid shelter

Pea shoots, radishes, mustard, coriander, celery, parsley and rocket are all being grown about 100 feet down under London SUSTAINABLY 

Michel Roux Jr in the underground farm Photo: Paul Grover

By Sarah Knapton, Science Editor

4:07PM BST 29 Jun 2015

London’s first underground farm has begun growing herbs in a disused Second World War bunker.
Growing Underground, the capital’s only subterranean farm, will start trading to restaurateurs in Covent Garden within weeks.

The farm, in old World War II tunnels beneath the Northern Line at Clapham, is the brainchild of West Country entrepreneurs Richard Ballard and Steven Dring, in partnership with Michel Roux Jr, the Michelin-starred chef.

The first phase of the farm, which includes a sophisticated lighting and irrigation system, is in the final stages of preparation for commercial supply.

Phase one crops include pea shoots, several varieties of radish, mustard, coriander, Red Amaranth, celery, parsley and rocket.

“Our first shoots will be delivered to the surface in the next few weeks”, said co-founder Richard Ballard. “After eighteen months of research, development, growing trials – and tribulations – we’re about to start supplying into the market.”


Michel Roux Jr added: “I’m looking forward to creating my first dish using produce from the world’s first underground urban farm, less than two miles as the crow flies from the heart of London.
“It’s great to be involved in this ambitious project, for which we have equally ambitious growth plans.

“Above all, it’s fantastic to be able to source produce that is so fresh in the heart of Britain’s largest city.”

• Travel Underground to the farm VIDEO:
You’ll have to dig deep to discover what’s growing down on this farm

Growing Underground: London's subterranean farm

The crops are grown in a sealed clean-room environment with a specially designed ventilation system, advanced lighting and a sophisticated irrigation that enables the farm to produce crops at very low energy.

The farm’s mission is to deliver fresh produce with zero effect on the environment and all energy is sourced from green suppliers.


Growing Underground’s first commercial client will be County Supplies London, supplying restaurants via Covent Garden market.

The tunnels were used during World War II as a bomb shelter for London residents and designed to accommodate 8,000 people sheltering during air raids.

The Mayor of London, who supported the original idea for the farm through his London Leaders business start-up programme, also welcomed the launch.

The Mayor Boris Johnson said: “This is a fine example of the dynamic startups that are helping London lead the world in green business innovation. I want even more entrepreneurs to help create these brilliant concepts that are delivering thousands of jobs and boosting London's green economy to almost £30 billion a year. I wish Growing Underground every success.”


http://www.telegraph.co.u...WW2-air-raid-shelter.html
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Re: Sustainable Farming
« Reply #25 on: October 15, 2015, 01:48:20 am »
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Re: Sustainable Farming
« Reply #26 on: October 20, 2015, 06:52:40 pm »

Look Ma! No fossil fuel based chemical fertilizers, pesticides or plowing and harversting machinery.

LOOK Ma! No nitrogen run off and no contribution to dead zones in the ocean!


LOOK MA! No fossil fuel powered vehicles transporting veggies a thousand miles or more from farm to buyer!  

 

Great article at link with Aquaponics and Nitrogen Cycle graphics at link:
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Re: Sustainable Farming
« Reply #27 on: November 02, 2015, 11:37:31 pm »

Avoid Fertilizers, Pesticides and Lawn Mowers 

One concept of permaculture is to maximize the natural symbiosis of living and growing things so as to make use of what nature has already provided to get the job done.

A chicken tractor is a portable cage that lets your chickens help you in 3 ways:

 1. They weed your grass, producing eggs high in Omega 3
 2. They fertilize your soil
 3. They eat insects


Put 'em in there and they get to work. After a while, roll it to the next location.

Avoid fertilizers, pesticides and lawn mowers all at once!

 --Bibi Farber

This video was produced by WD4 LSW
http://www.nextworldtv.co...html#sthash.N9Rvrxme.dpuf
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Re: Sustainable Farming
« Reply #28 on: December 02, 2015, 03:35:48 pm »
Solar Powered ‘Farm from a Box’: Everything You Need to Run an Off-Grid Farm

Lorraine Chow | December 2, 2015 9:26 am

Shipping containers already make great micro-homes, but one California-based company is using shipping containers to create micro-farms. Farm from a Box is a complete, small-scale farming toolkit that includes everything you might need to produce your own food.

Each box comes in 10-, 20- and 40-foot units and is pre-installed with a photovoltaic system comprising of 10 high-efficiency solar modules, off-grid inverters, a transformer and distribution box and deep-cycle batteries for energy storage. The array is backed up by a 3,000-watt generator.


Farm from a Box is a modified shipping container with a built-in WiFi, irrigation system, solar panels, weather tracking devices, batteries and more. It also contains seedlings, farming equipment and a training program to provide communities with the tools the need to feed themselves. Photo credit: Farm from a Box

It’s also equipped with high-efficiency LED lighting, secured storage, a mobile charging area, Wi-Fi and a remote monitoring solution. Oh, and seeds and farming tools of course.

Each unit is capable of producing crops for one hectare of land (2.47 acres), the company says.

Quote
“Farm from a Box is the ‘Swiss-Army knife’ of sustainable farming,”
Brandi DeCarli, Farm from a Box co-founder, said in September.

While Farm from a Box seems ideal for many communities worldwide, it could be a food security solution for areas without reliable access to electricity or water.

“Based on extensive field research, we found that rural communities often lack the resources and infrastructure needed to access nutritious food,” DeCarli said. “We developed a toolkit that contains all of the core components needed to grow your own food, on a two acre plot of land, without the need for an existing grid. Imagine the good it can do by growing local, organic food for a school, or helping jumpstart food production after a disaster. ‘Farm from a Box’ enables and empowers communities to provide for themselves.”

Thinking outside the “box,” the farm also comes with a training program that covers ecological farming practices, technology use, maintenance and basic business and entrepreneurship. A fully operational pilot project is planned for deployment at a local women’s cooperative in the Rift Valley in Ethiopia later this year to help shape and refine the training and implementation program.

A prototype installation called the “Adam” has been running at Santa Rosa Junior College in Sonoma, California since September.



Launching of the Sonoma unit at Santa Rosa Junior College’s Agriculture and Natural Resources Department. Photo credit: Farm from a Box

The boxes are fully customizable and Fast Company reports that each unit costs between $25,000-$45,000, depending on its technology specs.

Last month, Farm from a Box announced a partnership with SMA America, a noted solar product manufacturer.

“SMA is proud to partner with a company whose goal is to bring independence to communities around the globe by providing the tools they need to sustain themselves, both nutritionally and financially,” said Marko Wittich, SMA executive vice president of sales for the Americas region. “Farm from a Box isn’t charity; it empowers and strengthens communities with sustainable solutions, powered by renewable energy.”

http://ecowatch.com/2015/12/02/farm-from-a-box/
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AGelbert

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Re: Sustainable Farming
« Reply #29 on: December 14, 2015, 08:28:11 pm »
Talking Louisiana Oysters

Posted On December 14, 2015 by Ryan Ono
Dr. John Supan
Ah, Louisiana. Famous for seafood dishes including shrimp étouffée, oyster po’boys and blackened redfish.  Although some of you reading may now be thinking of lunch, there are some great stories behind the recipes, and the efforts people make to secure your meal’s ingredients now and in the future.

One of those people is Dr. John Supan, the Louisiana Sea Grant Oyster Research Laboratory Director who oversees a new oyster hatchery on Grand Isle that provides the larvae, or “seed”, for shellfish farmers and oyster reef rehabilitation efforts.  We recently asked him some questions about how this hatchery helps ensure coastal areas are resilient not only for Louisiana’s culinary history, but also for the regional ecosystem.

Quote
Oysters provide a number of services to the natural environment. They improve water quality by filtering water as they feed, help prevent coastal erosion, and also provide habitat for fish and other species. However, oysters and the people that grow them face a number of threats.

Ocean acidification endangers oyster production around the country, and the shellfish aquaculture industry is leading the charge to raise awareness of this threat.  A result of a combination of carbon pollution and nitrogen runoff pollution from urban and rural areas, acidification causes oyster larvae shells to weaken, decreasing their survival.

Also, newly released data show between 4 and 8.3 billion oysters are estimated to have been lost as a result of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil disaster in 2010. These impacts, combined with ongoing impacts such as drought, floods, coastal development and hurricanes, make for a tough road for oysters.  The good news is that there are things we can do to protect oysters and the people that grow them, and we talked to John to learn more:

Ocean Conservancy: How did you get started with oysters, and what do you enjoy about it?

Dr. John Supan: During my master’s degree pursuit in the late 1970’s, I worked at a pilot oyster hatchery at the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory in Biloxi, MS.  There, I learned about breeding, rearing and maintaining oysters.  I also learned to build things, plumbing and wiring systems to support growing aquatic organisms which appeals to my “blue collar” background.  I most enjoy the daily sense of accomplishment—seeing things growing due to your work, as opposed to staring at a computer screen.

OC: Earlier this year, the oyster hatchery you direct was rebuilt and reopened.  Can you explain why this occurred, what’s new and what is its purpose?


JS: It’s been said that every storm cloud has a silver lining.  Hurricane Katrina wiped out our old facility, and due to the recent availability of funds, I began designing a new hatchery that could address the 26 years of problems I encountered while running a hatchery on Grand Isle.  Molluscan shellfish hatcheries and the larvae they raise are very vulnerable to poor water quality, so the new hatchery included features to address this.

The old hatchery was operated seasonally (May-September) because it was outdoors under a shed or building, so we could not heat and maintain hatchery seawater temperature.  That stymied algae and shellfish larval growth, increasing the likelihood of problems, so moving hatchery operations indoors with seawater heating was a major improvement.

The new hatchery has many new facility upgrades.  It’s now an elevated concrete and steel building that exceeds hurricane building codes.  We can better filter and treat incoming seawater.  Another new hatchery feature is a back-up power generator which is useful if power is unavailable, especially after hurricanes.  All these improvements will radically reduce our post-storm recovery response times from months to days.

The purpose of the building is dictated by its source of funding. The hatchery is part of a $17 million Louisiana Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) project of the BP oil spill.  It will be used for replenishing public oyster grounds and providing oyster larvae and seed for private oyster culture.

OC: Ocean acidification is a big concern particularly for Pacific Northwest shellfish.  How did it become a concern for you in the Gulf region?


JS: Acidification may not only be caused by carbon dioxide impact on our oceans, but also by riverine or storm water runoff in our estuaries.  Over the years, I have seen oyster larvae failures at Grand Isle and attributed it to unfavorable conditions with our ambient water. Researchers working with Whiskey Creek Oyster Hatchery in Oregon have seen similar larvae failures due to their more acidic water.  They discovered a simple solution to save their oysters: pumping a saturated solution of soda ash (an antacid) into the hatchery’s seawater lines to raise the pH to 8.25, which is ideal for oysters.  Learning from Whiskey Creek’s experience, we are using soda ash to do the same.

OC: What is your future hope for this hatchery, and oysters in Louisiana from an aquaculture and wild ecosystem perspective?


JS: It is important that we have a viable oyster fishery in Louisiana to help support our coastal economy, ecological services, and our culture and cuisine.  Wild oyster production is naturally cyclical, but hatcheries can help augment wild production by providing larvae for public and private oyster seed production.

Hatcheries can also support private oyster culture by improving survival, shell growth, meat yield, and overall production, which traditionally accounts for nearly 80% of the oysters harvested in Louisiana.


http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2015/12/14/talking-louisiana-oysters/#more-11222
Leges         Sine    Moribus     Vanae   
Faith,
if it has not works, is dead, being alone.

 

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