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Energy Sources Farming 

PlantMed Perserving Amazon Plants

  We all know it’s important to preserve the Amazon. It’s plants are a source of many medicines. PlantMed is an organization that is working on keeping the relationship between the Amazon plant resources and our ability to use them alive.  The PlantMed website states “PlantMed is working with indigenous people in the Amazon to share their knowledge of medicinal plants with the world, before it’s lost forever due to the destruction of the rainforest. The Shipibo people of Peru and the Sápara people of Ecuador have joined forces with scientists and…

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Energy Sources Farming 

Garden Indoor All Year Round

  Interested in gardening but can’t either to space or weather? With indoor gardening kits, seeds, added nutrients and cultivation lights it can be possible. The hydroponic gardening kit at IKEA is called Krydda / Vaxer Series. The process involves soaking little plugs in water. Once the seeds grow, replant them in small planters filled with pumice stones and transfer them to another tray. Provide water and sunlight. The plants will harvest. For more information visit: IKEA Gardening

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Energy Sources Farming 

Harvest Bees at Home

  Recently the bee population has declined everywhere expect cities. We still don’t understand the cause but we do know bees are crucial for pollination. To help support the bee population, a Dutch electronic company’s Microbial Home design, an eco-system concept unveiled at this year’s Dutch design week. Pressed against an opening in a window, the Urban Beehive splits the difference between inside and out, with a flowerpot and entry passage outside and a tinted-glass shell, filled with honeycomb frames, inside. Honey can be harvested by releasing smoke into the hive…

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Energy Sources Farming 

Scott Slatter Plans to Sell Mojave Dessert Water

    Slater is a chief executive at a Cadiz, a company that owns water rights associated with 45,000 acres of land along route 66, about 75 miles north-east of Palm Springs. He wants to pump 814bn gallons of water from under the Mojave desert to Los Angeles and other drought-stricken communities in southern California, and make more than $2bn (£1.3bn) doing so. This plan does not have the green light from many supporters. However, Slater believes the people who really want water will be willing to the pay the…

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Energy Sources Farming 

Styrofoam Eating Worms

  Styrofoam has been considered a non-biodegradable plastic until the recent study done at Stanford. The tiny worm, which is the larvae form of the darkling beetle, can subsist on a diet of Styrofoam and other forms of polystyrene, according to two companion studies co-authored by Wei-Min Wu, a senior research engineer in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford. In the lab, 100 worms converted half the styro-foam into Carbon Dioxide, which is considered normal. Microorganisms in the worms’ guts biodegrade the plastic in the process – a…

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Energy Sources Farming 

Wall Street Adding Farmland to its Portfolio

            As prices are rising for farmland, financial institutions have been buying more farmland.  TIAA-CREF, the massive California teachers pension plan, and big insurers such as John Hancock now invest in farmland.  Pension funds own almost 700,000 acres, by one estimate.  Hancock Agricultural Investment Group manages 230,000 acres worth more than $2 billion, 40 percent of it for almonds, pistachios, walnuts and macadamia nuts, Asia favorites.  Swiss giant UBS’s farm portfolio more than doubled to over $400 million from 2010 to 2012. By some estimates,…

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Farm Bill Winners and Losers

  The long-stalled farm bill, which represents nearly $1 trillion in spending over the next 10 years and passed on a rare bipartisan vote, 68 to 32, produced clear winners and losers. Over all, farmers fared far better than the poor. The nearly 1,000-page among other things expanded crop insurance for farmers by $7 billion over a decade and created new subsidies for rice and peanut growers that would kick in when prices drop. But anti-hunger advocates said the bill would harm 850,000 American households, about 1.7 million people spread…

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Energy Sources Farming 

Prince William Enrolls in Agriculture Classes

  Early next year, Prince William plans to return to school and complete a 10-week program in agricultural management at the university at the University of Cambridge. What William, 31, learns could help him when he takes over responsibility for the Duchy of Cornwall, an estate that includes farmland, from Prince Charles and make better decisions in the public sector. More importantly, his decision to enroll in this course projects the importance of sustainability nowadays. The program is designed to give the Duke of Cambridge “an understanding of contemporary issues…

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Energy Sources Farming 

Jay-Z and Beyonce Go Vegan For 22 Days

  Jay-Z and Beyonce have embarked on a 22-day Vegan diet plan. According to Jay-Z’s website announcing their endeavor, they decided on 22 days because someone once said it takes 21 days to break a habit, and on the 22nd day, you’re golden. The purpose of this diet is not only for physical health but also a spiritual cleanse. On his blog, Jay-Z wrote “So you can call it a spiritual and physical cleanse… I don’t know what happens after Christmas. A semi-vegan, a full plant-based diet? Or just a…

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Energy Sources Farming 

Google Map Forest Changes Since 2000

  There is a buzz over deforestation but what are the facts? Thanks to a new Google mapping project, Earth Engine Partners, those changes are now visible. The map compiles 100-foot-resolution satellite images of Earth’s land area taken each season, every year between 2000 and 2012, to paint a picture of where trees were lost or gained. The map one pixel resolution is 30 meters or 100 feet. Applications for the new global forest map range from calculating how much carbon is stored in the world’s forests to identifying what…

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Energy Sources Farming 

Whole Foods Sells 1 Million Fair Trade Certified Mangoes

  Whole Foods Market remains the only buyer of the limited supply of Fair Trade Certified mangos from Haiti.  While Whole Foods tries to ensure that more money gets to the small farmers, the real hard work is done by a group of non-governmental organizations and business people whose deep dedication to fair trade makes it all happen. Whole Foods is part of a Whole Trade Haitian mango program that allows farmers to join and get more money for their mangos. This opportunity can improve general welfare in the area….

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Energy Sources Farming 

Asian Countries Review Importing GMO US Wheat

  America is the world’s biggest wheat exporter, shipping $8 billion worth around the world every year. This represents nearly half the total $17.9 billion crop, according to U.S. Wheat Associates, which promotes American wheat abroad.  The presence of the genetically modified plant could cause some countries to turn away exports of American wheat, especially if any traces of the unapproved grain were found in shipments. Australia is No. 2. While many wheat buyers may now look to Australia to boost its exports, experts told Reuters that it was unlikely…

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Energy Sources Farming 

Will Mosanto Kill or Save Us?

  Monsanto is the company that allows farmers to grow more food with less land, water and energy. But it is also the company that brought us products we now know were far more dangerous than advertised, including the insecticide DDT, the toxic industrial chemicals known as PCBs, and the Vietnam-era defoliant Agent Orange, which poisoned our own soldiers with dioxins. Monsanto also brought us saccharine — sweet, yet artificial, and known to cause cancer in laboratory rats. Currently,  Monsanto became a totally new company intent upon bioengineering the planet….

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Energy Sources Farming 

Andriod App to Control Lawn Irrigation

  Google engineers J.J Barrons and Joe Fernandez have developed this lawn irrigation system. In January 2012, Joe Fernandez posted an entry that began “So… I connected my lawn to the internet.” and went on to cover the ins and outs of his experiment building what he calls the Irrduino Project, which aimed to add remote control functionality to lawn sprinklers. Dubbed Irrduino, it uses Android, Ardiuno, Python, Dart and the Google App Engine. The code for creating your own Irrduino is now available at Google Code, and includes IrrduinoController,…

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Farming 

EU Banning Certain Pesticides to Protect Bees

  Using the precautionary principle, Europe’s regulators have taken aggressive action to protect bee health. Bayer‘s imidacloprid and clothianidin, and Syngenta‘s thiamethoxam will be banned, subject to re-evaluation after two years, if EU Member States approve a measure put forward this week by the European Commission. Recent studies have shown that in the nests of bees exposed to the neonicotinoid pesticides, 85% fewer queens are produced. Additionally, double the number of bees disappeared from the nest, apparently losing their way after foraging. The pesticide ban will apply only to crops…

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Energy Sources Farming 

Americans Waste $282 Million on Thanksgiving

  Americans will buy 581 million pounds of turkey meat for Thanksgiving  this year but will trash more than one-third of it, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. The resources required to produce each pound of wasted turkey add up to a car driven 11 miles and a 130-minute shower. Overall, that equates to greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 800,000 car trips from New York to San Francisco, enough water to supply New York City for 100 days and $282 million. Most turkeys sold for Thanksgiving emerge from cramped factory…

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Energy Sources Farming 

Farmers Market Bi-Coastal 2013 Distribution

  Farmer Market’s goal is to make local food as commonplace in the American kitchen as frozen pizza by making it easy to find and buy. Most small and mid-sized farmers who sell food to a local audience least like marketing and distribution about their job. This even takes time away from farming.  A solution is found in Farmers Market 2013 new distribution strategy. The new partnership between FoodHub, Ecotrust, and  FoodEx is the missing link in the chain of local/regional food production. FoodEx is based in Boston and will…

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Energy Sources Farming 

250,000 bees in NY’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel

  As  green uses of  rooftop farming are gaining popularity in densely polluted cities, the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York’s midtown Manhattan has added a new spin. They are raising hundreds of thousands of honey bees on their own urban rooftop. New York legalized rooftop hives in 2010 and there are currently 160 registered beehives in New York. The catalyst of this movement is PlaNYC, New York’s plant to raise 1 million trees over the next decade. The 250,000 bees at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel will provide the pollination for the trees. The bees are expected to fly…

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Eco-City Energy Sources Europe Farming 

Making of Largest Fish & Veggie Rooftop Farm

  ECF has big plans for urban farming. And they plan to start at home, at the Malzfabrik, where their offices are based. The grand architecture of the rejuvenated industrial zone will now enter a new phase of evolution. A recently completed study indicates that the rooftop of the Malzfabrik can serve as the world’s largest rooftop aquaponic fish and vegetable farm. ECF plans a 7000 square meter (75,000 square feet) rooftop installation. In addition to being able to grow vegetables and fish, the dome can be equipped with PV…

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Energy Sources Farming 

Brooklyn’s Rooftop Farm to be Largest in US

  Brooklyn will soon be home to the United States’ largest rooftop farm, and possibly also the world’s largest. The Manhattan-based BrightFarms, Inc. is building a 100,000-square foot greenhouse on the roof of a 1.1 million-square foot warehouse in Sunset Park. BrightFarms CEO Paul Lightfoot said he will grow the crops in a hydroponic system that uses minerals dissolved in water, instead of in soil. An navy Navy warehouse atop Federal Building #2, renamed Liberty View Industrial Plaza in Sunset Park will be converted into the greenhouse. Brooklyn residents will have access to…

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Eco-City Energy Sources Farming 

Velella Project: Growing Aquaculture Fish in Open Ocean

  The Velella Mariculture Research Project is testing an unachored drifter pen in Federal waters (3-150 miles offshore) off the Big Island of Hawaii. This innovative form of mariculture – growing fish in the open ocean – uses cutting edge technology and leaves no environmental footprint. The Velella Project could revolutionize sustainable aquaculture. Kampachi Farms in Hawaii announced March 2012  the successful final harvest from the “Velella” Research Project, which raised fish for the first time in U.S. Federal waters. This harvest completes the grow-out cycle of sashimi-grade kampachi fish (a…

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Farming 

FarmPlate: Search Engine for Local Food Systems

  Imagine being able to tailor Google to search specifically for sustainable food suppliers or restaurants and socially-minded companies in your area. That’s pretty much what a new online marketplace, FarmPlate.com, does. It features a searchable directory of more than 40,000 business listings across the country, and you can search by category and by location to find just the sustainable food or drink you’re looking for. FarmPlate aims to help consumers access the businesses they already want to support, but may not know exist—while helping small businesses find greater success…

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Farming 

Solar Powered GreenHouses

  There are many examples of small-scale, creative solutions to producing food and renewable energy side-by-side. For example, this solar double cropping project in North Carolina, or many of the projects funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Renewable Energy for America Program. Small-scale energy solutions like these could be even more useful for farmers in Europe, where electricity prices are higher, and agricultural land is even harder to come by. In the spirit of maximizing the productive capacity of farms, a research consortium in the Basque region of Spain has developed…

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Farming 

EU Eggs in Free-Range Barns

  It’s official: As of January 1, 2012, all eggs in the European Union (EU) are supposed to be hatched by hens kept in free-range barns or “enriched” cages. Happily, the UK has gone the full nine yards and spent £400 million on meeting the new standards. Starting now, cages will have to provide enough space for birds to be able to move around. According to the British Hen Welfare Trust, the new cages “can hold up to 90 birds, which will have space to spread their wings, perch and be…

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Energy Sources Farming 

Pig Manure Creates Farm Energy

  The nearly 9,000 hogs at Loyd Ray Farms in Yadkin County, N.C., produce 400,000 gallons of manure every week. Since the waste had too high a nitrogen content to be used as fertilizer, owner Loyd Bryant used to pump that waste into a local lagoon, where it released methane, ammonia and “an unholy stink”. But now all of that waste is going to good use. Thanks to Duke University’s new Carbon Offsets Initiative, the 154-acre farm now gets half of its electricity from a new waste-to-fuel system that has…

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Energy Sources Farming 

Occupy Food System

  Thanks to the Occupy Wall Street movement, there’s a deeper understanding about the power that corporations wield over the great majority of us. The disparity between the top 1% and everyone else has been laid bare — there’s no more denying that those at the top get their share at the expense of the 99%. Lobbyists, loopholes, tax breaks… how can ordinary folks expect a fair shake? Family farmers, whose struggle to make a living on the land has gotten far more difficult since corporations came to dominate our…

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Energy Sources Farming 

Airdrop Dessert Irrigation

  Are droughts a thing of the past? This year’s James Dyson Award prize winner Edward Linacre created the Airdrop with the hopes of creating a solution for agriculture in arid regions. Airdrop is a low cost, self powered, and easy to install solution that came about when Linacre was considering the ramifications of Australia’s worst drought in a century. The mechanism harvests water from even the driest air. The research suggests that 11.5 millilitres of water can be harvested from every cubic meter of air in the driest of…

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Farming 

Farm Factory

  United States Farm Factory Facts The number of Farm Factories is decreasing, but the size of existing Farm Factories is increasing. Vegans and vegetarians are fighting against Factory Farms by avoiding meat. Lets take a look at Factory Farm data across the US. •There are 4 factory-farmed chickens for every single American. •U.S. hog factory farms added 4,600 hogs every day between 1997 and 2007. •U.S. factory-farm dairies added nearly 650 cows every day between 1997 and 2007. •Between 1997 and 2007, U.S. factory farms added 5,800 broiler chickens…

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Farming 

Food, Inc.

  Food, Inc. looks inside America’s unflattering food controlled industry. In Food, Inc., filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the veil on our nation’s food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that has been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government’s regulatory agencies, USDA and FDA. Our nation’s food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and our own environment. We have bigger-breasted chickens, the perfect pork chop,…

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Farming 

1st Airport AeroGarden

  Aeroponic Gardens allow you to easily cultivate lettuce, cherry tomatoes, herbs, chili peppers and more in an energy-efficient at home indoor environment. Amazon.com sells the “AeroGarden” kit that comes with pre-seeded growth medium, fertilizer, two daylight-spectrum bulbs and the grow pod itself. The plants start to grow within 24 hours, and the plants mature 5 times faster compared to ordinary soil. The AeroGarden system monitors itself to maintain the optimum growing conditions and it will alert you if the plants need nutrients or watering. Regardless of outdoor conditions, you…

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