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Author Topic: Sustainable Farming  (Read 3625 times)

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AGelbert

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Re: Sustainable Farming
« Reply #90 on: April 22, 2019, 09:34:15 pm »
 
Duckweed


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Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

AGelbert

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Re: Sustainable Farming
« Reply #91 on: April 23, 2019, 05:52:06 pm »
A Hydrocarbon Hellspawn said this about CH4
Quote
It is one of the more useful molecules out there in the long run,

Sure, from YOUR rather narrow definition of "useful" (It's a hydrocarbon!). 

But in the BIOSPHERE that we all depend on, THE most useful molecule in the hydrocarbon pantheon is this one:

Ethylene: The Ripening Hormone

Ethylene causes fruit to ripen and plants to die on schedule so they can  be recycled into the biosphere. In short it is key to the life cycle of all earthlings. Now THAT is REALLY useful! So you see, I DO recognize that there is ONE hydrocarbon that we really need AS LONG AS WE DON'T BURN IT!


C2H4 (Ethylene)

A bowl (see below) of some products produced by ethylene, that fossil fuelers, and other LIVING BEINGS, NEED 

My favorite HYDROCARBON!

What!? You mean to tell me Agelbert, the quixotic crusader against fossil fuel folly in all its poisonous and biosphere trashing forms has some hydrocarbon love? 

YEP!    

Back when I was trying to get through pre-med in the daytime, while I worked as a computer analyst in the FAA at night (I was promoted from air traffic control to Automation), I took Botany, one of many biology courses the curriculum required. 

Botany was a lot of fun. I learned how they keep grapes from having seeds in them (Gibberrelins) and all sorts of interesting facts about plant biochemistry. But the story of the orange grove fruit warehouses in Florida in the early 20th century was one I liked especially because it is a great example of the scientific method in action. Read on. 8)

The vast orange groves in Florida around 1910 had giant warehouses where picked fruit would be stored while they reached the proper stage of ripeness before shipping them to markets. The oranges are picked nearly full size and still green. They are tough at that stage and not easily bruised by the picking process.


The crop is stored in heated warehouses to finish the ripening process. The oranges, as they ripen, obtain their pretty orange color. The fruit expands somewhat and becomes more fragile but, since they already have them packed in bags or crates ready for shipping, they get to markets pretty well unscathed.


Well, around 1910, the orange growers were sold on electrification of their orange ripening warehouses. They had hitherto used kerosene heaters which sometimes caused a warehouse to burn down and they liked the idea of controlling the temperature within a few degrees to fine tune the ripening process. Boy, were they in for an unpleasant surprise!  :P 

They spent small fortunes in electrifying the warehouses with lights and elecric space heaters. The picking season came and they happily picked the crop and stored it in the new and improved hot shot electric heater warehouses. They waited for the oranges to ripen, fill out and turn orange in color. And waited. And waited. Those silly, stubborn oranges refused to ripen! They stayed hard and green.

A bright bulb among the growers, all of whom had ALWAYS believed (wrongly) that HEAT is what makes fruit ripen, stated that there must have been something besides heat in those old kerosene heaters that made the fruit ripen.

They got a team of scientists to do some experiments with green oranges with and without kerosene heaters at various temperatures and the oranges exposed to the kerosene heaters DID ripen as they always had before irrespective of temperature. Next they identified all the products of combustion of the long chained hydrocarbon called kerosene.

We all know when you burn (oxidize) a hydrocarbon, you get CO2 + H2O. But that is ONLY if you have COMPLETE combustion.

A kerosene heater, as many family tragedies can attest to, puts out lots of INCOMPLETE combustion products like CO (carbon monoxide) that will kill you quickly and quietly.

But there is another product of incomplete combustion that burning kerosene puts out. It's called Ethylene.

This tiny molecule is a miracle of plant biochemistry. The scientists determined that ethylene was making the oranges ripen! So the growers had to put the kerosene heaters back in.

Well, they got electric lights out of the deal and plant science took a giant step forward so everything worked out for the best.

The obvious follow up question is, where does the ethylene, now defined as a plant ripening hormone, come from when the oranges ripen on the tree?  ??? From the orange, as long as it is connected to the tree when it turns color. AFTER the fruit is sufficently ripe (i.e. the orange gets its orange color), the tree is not required for ethylene production.

Henceforth, whether on the tree or off it, the orange itself keeps putting out ethylene until it rots in preparation for the orange seeds to grow.  Pretty neat, huh?

This was a revolutionary development in botany in general and fruit growing in particular. The study of plant hormones grew explosively from that point and many mysteries were (and still are being) solved about how these miraculous photosynthetic life forms function.

What is so amazing to me is that such a simple molecule can do so much. Have you ever put bananas on top of a bowl of fruit containing apples in the bottom? Sure, everyone has.

Have you noticed how fast those bananas get overripe when they are on top of apples? YEP, ripe apples are one of the highest ethylene producers out there! :o Those bananas produce much less, but when the added apple ethylene whacks them, here come the brown spots!  :P

Unless you are going to eat the above bananas TODAY, this is a No No! The bananas will ripen too fast! Set them a few feet away and they will keep longer.  ;)

So now you know that, if you have a well ventilated area and happen to have brought some green bananas from the store that you are worried about "going bad" before ripening or just refusing to turn yellow, as sometimes happens, a small hurricane kerosene lamp placed in the vicinity of the bananas will ripen them. You can impress your spouse with your botany smarts.  ;D


Behold, the humble ethylene molecule, my favorite hydrocaron.
Ethylene (IUPAC name: ethene) is a hydrocarbon with the formula C2H4 or H2C=CH2. It is a colorless flammable gas with a faint "sweet and musky" odor when pure.[3] It is the simplest alkene (a hydrocarbon with carbon-carbon double bonds), and the simplest unsaturated hydrocarbon after acetylene (C2H2).

Ethylene is widely used in chemical industry, and its worldwide production (over 109 million tonnes in 2006) exceeds that of any other organic compound.[4][5] Ethylene is also an important natural plant hormone, used in agriculture to force the ripening of fruits.[6]

Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

AGelbert

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Re: Sustainable Farming
« Reply #92 on: April 25, 2019, 07:56:49 pm »
Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

AGelbert

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Re: Sustainable Farming
« Reply #93 on: August 09, 2019, 05:45:43 pm »
 
Make Nexus Hot News part of your morning: click here to subscribe.

August 9, 2019

Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

AGelbert

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September 4, 2019



Wisconsin-based brand “Organic Valley” is now the largest food company world-wide to run on 100 percent renewable energy.

The company completed three solar installations in August that will generate nearly 13 megawatts of power and are part of a larger 32 megawatt portfolio of solar projects called Butter Solar Portfolio owned by Canadian company BluEarth Renewables. Upper Midwest Municipal Energy Group has agreed to buy the power from the projects, which will be used by ten communities in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa, potentially reducing their power costs. Organic Valley’s CEO said the company is now aiming to assist their 2,000 farmers with other sustainable initiatives. (Wisconsin Public Radio)

Read more Renewable Energy NEWS:

https://mailchi.mp/climatenexus/democratic-candidates-release-climate-plans-dominion-energy-wants-electric-school-buses-electric-f-150-pickup-coming-to-market-and-more?e=0fd17c5b57
Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

AGelbert

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Documentary — Nebraska Retiree Uses Earth’s Heat to Grow Oranges in Snow

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

September 14, 2019


STORY AT-A-GLANCE

Tropical fruits can be grown in subzero climates with geothermal energy

The only heat source for geothermal greenhouses is the Earth’s heat, which is 52 degrees at 8 feet deep

Energy costs to run a geothermal greenhouse are less than a dollar a day

Harmful herbicides and pesticides can be avoided with geothermal greenhouses

Geothermal greenhouse produce is marketable at local farmer's markets

The crops can be more profitable because there are few transportation costs involved

Finch's geothermal energy-based farming has been fruitful, pun intended  ;D. The greenhouse includes 20 citrus trees with 13 varieties of fruits, along with cacti, orchids, nine varieties of grapes, figs, avocados, ivy, tomatoes, garden plants and flowers.6 One 24-year-old tree will grow to be 100 years old or more, says Finch.7

Each tree is capable of producing as much as 125 pounds of fruit every year which Finch sells at local farmers markets.8 The year-round growing and low transportation costs help the marketability of the products says Finch –– and "locally grown" can be just as much of a sales point as "organic." Finch sells Valencia oranges, the fruit from which most juice comes. The temperatures are so salutatory, you could probably grow bananas too, he muses.9

Yet the energy costs associated with running the geothermal greenhouse are surprisingly low –– less than a dollar a day. A geothermal greenhouse Finch designed for a local high school in Alliance has used an average of 96 cents a day in energy costs for the last several years.10

Full article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2019/09/14/nebraska-geothermal-greenhouse.aspx
Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

Surly1

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Re: Sustainable Farming
« Reply #96 on: September 15, 2019, 10:10:00 am »
Truly remarkable.

AGelbert

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Re: Sustainable Farming
« Reply #97 on: September 15, 2019, 03:23:07 pm »
Full article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2019/09/14/nebraska-geothermal-greenhouse.aspx
Truly remarkable.

What impressed me most what the fact the trench has to be at least 54 feet long. I guess the thermal mass in the trench is not self sustaining with a shorter trench. I may never have a chance to put that knowledge in practice, but perhaps someone that reads this will.

I would love to be able to grow bananas and oranges and avocados and even mangos here in Vermont, but I probably will never have the opportunity. I know Amory Lovins successfully grew Bananas in the mountains of Colorado (his still does 👍).
   
I grew Bananas in Puerto Rico and had an Avocado and Mango tree. Bananas are easy to grow in the tropics and are generally impervious to bugs. Birds can get to them, but only when they are so ripe they are falling off the plant. You need to harvest them before that point is reached. The plants don't get much higher than 12 feet or so.

Mango and Avocado trees get way too big (over 30 feet) for a trench, so a dwarf hybrid would have to be the only type you could grow in a covered trench. Avocado and Mango trees must grow for at least 7 years or so before you can get fruit.

Avocado trees are peculiar because they are both male and female (at different times of the day to prevent cross-pollination on the same tree). Usually you need another Avocado tree nearby for proper flower fertlization. Mango trees don't have that problem, but hybrids revert to more stringy fruit (harder to eat) versions rather easily. You need to have similar hybrid trees near each other to keep the fruit true to the hybrid brand.

Mangos are not like apples, which have a uniform pulp texture across most varieties. Mango texture can vary widely from easy to eat to a fruit dense with stringy "dental tape floss" like fibers all the way to the seed. The versions we get in Vermont are low fiber, peach easy to eat, but pretty bland in taste. I suspect they are picked when they not fully ripe so they aren't damaged in shipping. There is nothing like eating a mango, or any other fruit, for that matter, when it has fully ripened on the tree. 😋
« Last Edit: September 15, 2019, 04:58:54 pm by AGelbert »
Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

 

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