Agri & Gardening

About: <p>Growing food, either commercially or as a hobby is one of the most satisfying things you can do. It is however not without challenges. Protection against natural or man-made threats, irrigation or other treatments of the soil has to be done with care.</p> <p>Agriculture is the process of producing food, feed, fibre and many other desired products by the cultivation of certain plants. The practice of agriculture is also known as &lsquo;farming&rsquo;, while scientists, inventors and others devoted to improving farming methods and implements are also said to be engaged in agriculture.<br />Subsistence farming; who farms a small area with limited resource inputs, and produces only enough food to meet the needs of his/her family. At the other end is commercial intensive agriculture, including industrial agriculture. Such farming involves large fields, large resource inputs (pesticides, fertilizers, etc.), and a high level of mechanization.</p> <p>Nowadays, critical attention is given to industrial agriculture. Alternatives are proposed such as regenerative agriculture, the use of drones, <a href="https://www.whatsorb.com/agri-gardening/smart-agriculture-will-be-data--ai--driven-agriculture">smart techniques</a> and blockchain. The use of fertilizer and water in large quantities is also criticized. The risks of monocultures are large and in combination with the depletion of agricultural land, the reduction of insects and <a href="https://www.whatsorb.com/category/climate">climate change</a>, it is necessary to change our view on industrial agriculture and growing crops.</p> <p>If there was an urge to come up with a sustainable way of agriculture and gardening solutions and share these topics globally it&rsquo;s now! WhatsOrb Global Sustainability X-change Platform is for you, storytellers and influencers to write about tiny houses, your experiences and expectations for the future at home and globally.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> Global Sustainability X-change, that&rsquo;s what you can do together with WhatsOrb.&nbsp;<a href="https://www.whatsorb.com/newsletter/your-shared-sustainable-ideas-make-our-earth-a-better-place">What's in for me?</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>
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Easy Indoor Herb Garden Kits, Plus Expert Tips
Do you miss the garden? Or if you have a garden, do you know what to do? Growing your herbs sounds complicated, but is it? Carrying big bags of potting soil or finding great planters is ancient history. Growing your herbs with an indoor herb garden kit is very easy and rewarding. Hydroponic Or Pots With Soil You can divide herb gardening kits into two categories: pots with soil or hydroponic. Hydroponic is a bottomless method for indoor growing and is cleaner to install and maintain. Most of them have digital displays so you can check the herbs (do they need water or food?), automatic lighting systems. Perfect if you can’t place them in sunlight. A disadvantage is that they are a bit more expensive and take up more space. Which Herbs Do You Grow? Which herbs do you use the most? 10 Herbs you can grow easy Indoors: Basil, Bay, Chervil, Chives, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, Tarragon, Thyme. Growing Herbs Indoors with a Hydroponic System Whether you use an AeroGarden (or another hydroponic system that relies on proprietary pods pre-loaded with seeds) or you start your hydroponic herbs from seed using a specialized sponge, the process of planting herbs for an indoor hydroponic garden is so easy it really can’t be explained in steps. For the pods, put them where they fit into the planter system. For seeds grown in sponges, put the seeds in the little divots and keep them moist and under lights. These gardens work using timers and internal watering systems, so provided you keep them filled with water and add nutrients as needed (most plug-in hydro systems have indicators to tell you exactly when this should be), there is really no work to establishing and maintaining this setup. Just make sure to keep plants trimmed before they go to seed, and be ready for limited success at best if you try to transplant your herbs to soil. Easy Indoor Herb Garden Kits Click & Grow Smart Garden. 9 plants, 3 Herbs  Dimensions: N/A Herbs included: tomato, basil, lettuce Brighten up your home with a touch of fresh greenery and beautiful Scandinavian design. Get growing right away - the kit comes with 3 mini tomatoes, 3 basil, and 3 green lettuce pods. Grow fresh and healthy! Our plant pods contain no GMOs, pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides. A wide selection of more than 40 plants to fit your needs... Or experiment with your own seeds! Growth Guarantee - Click and Grow will replace any plant pods that don’t germinate for free. Don't you mind getting your hands dirty? Do you like to have a lot of plants in front of the windows? Then this 3-herb, 9 plans kit would be great. You can reuse the pots, and they have wide drainage holes. The 6-piece package is not only great for the hands but as well for the eyes. The seeds, coming from the United States, passed a test on high germination rates. Click & Grow has excellent customer service and guarantees a full refund if growers don't get results. £165.00. To purchase, please click on the shopping button                                                                                           AeroGarden Harvest Elite Dimensions: 11 x 8 x 15 inches Number of seed packs: 6 Herbs included: Genovese basil, curly parsley, dill, thyme, Thai basil, mint  Once you go Hydroponic, you never go back, according to some. If you are familiar with at-home hydroponic herb growing kits, AeroGarden may come to mind. They have a lot of models, with Harvest Elite as the most popular. It has high-tech features, like LED lights, a handy holiday mode, and a digital display to remind you when the herbs need food and water. The Harvest Elite comes with non-GMO seeds to grow six herbs. They are pre-fertilized, so they last a whole growing season. The height of the arm adjusts as the plants can reach up to a foot before they need to be cut, and the system is tapered to the soil to save space on the counter. Customers are amazed at how fast the herbs grow and say gardening is a breeze. £129.95. To purchase, please click on the shopping button                                                                                              Smart Garden Indoor Cultivation with Automatic LED Adjustment Based on Ambient Light - Kit of 4 Seeds Included (Light Blue) Véritable Indoor Garden is a hi-tech self-sufficient garden that allows you to grow your own produce all-year-round, very easily and inside your kitchen. It has become difficult to find fresh, healthy, and tasteful produce while being sustainable. The Smart Garden automatically adjusts the LED's intensity depending on the ambient light, to distribute the perfect amount of light to your plants. Each Véritable Garden is coming with 4 Véritable Lingots offered: Basil, Italian Parsley, Thyme, Dill. Our technology employs a color spectrum adapted specifically for edible plants. The color and performance ensure quick growth and develop the flavor of your plants. The light is automatically controlled: it remains active for 16 hours a day and off for 8 hours in order to imitate the natural daylight cycle. It doesn't need any natural light to grow, you can put it in a room without any windows. The two lighting poles adjust independently to adapt to different plant sizes and growth speed. The Véritable Garden provides automated light, irrigation, and nutrients to your plants. All you have to do is the harvest! The water tank holds three week's worth of water. You can go on holidays and your Véritable Garden will take care of everything while you're away. Each Véritable Garden comes with 4 Véritable Lingots: Sweet Basil, Curly Parsley, Chives, and Cherry Tomatoes. The Lingots can be stored 1 year before use, in a cool and dry place. After this time, the germination rate can decrease. Plants are ready to be eaten in just 4 weeks and each Lingot guarantees regular harvest for 4 to 6 months. The Garden only uses 4 high performance LED Grow lights with an optical lens. They use 10W of electricity (about $10 worth of electricity per year, *based on French rates). The patented blue and yellow LED lights guarantee fast growth (blue light) and the rich aromas (yellow light). Plants grow at a different rhythm, just pull up or down the lighting masts to give them the best lighting. The Garden regulates the lighting cycles on its own. It features a 2L/ O,5 Gallon large water reservoir that guarantees 3 to 4-week irrigation autonomy, the plants use the water its needs on its own thanks to capillary action irrigation. The low water alarm system reminds you to refill the reservoir. The blue LED will softly blink as a reminder. Pour water in the reservoir and the Light will switch to continuous mode. All the parameters are controlled (PH, humidity, nutrients concentration) £175.00. To purchase, please click on the shopping button                                                                                              Smart Hydroponics Garden Lights Indoor Garden Kit with Desk Lamp Function, LED Plant Grow Light, Mini Indoor Hydroponic Growing System with 3 Pcs Mini Garden Hand Tool Set (Blue)   New Generation Indoor Garden Light: Smart Hydroponics Herb Garden Lights are not only an Indoor Growing Plant Light but also a Desk Lamp. Easy to use and Smart control with an automatic control panel automatically turns lights on and off. It helps to accelerate the growth of indoor fresh herbs, flowers, and more. Ideal for kids to observe how plants grow every day. Two Auto Illumination Mode & Smart Control:  In Full spectrum LED grow light mode (red, blue, and white led). The smart indoor garden kit has automatically started work and rest time (work 16 hours, rest 8 hours). The soft lighting system prevents seedling from being burned.  360 Degree Adjustable Desk Lamp: In Reading Mode white light can be used as a table lamp for reading.  Self Watering Plant & Shortage Reminder: Indoor herbal garden System doesn't require daily watering, it could auto irrigate for 2-3 weeks, which helps you to get rid of the annoyance of rotten roots caused by overwatering. It is smart when the red light flashes and the Machine beep it reminds you to add water to level in the basin. Surprised, with the visible blue area, you also can see it lacks water so you can add water in time. Energy Saving: 8.5W Ultra-low-power and high efficiency. You can grow fresh herbs, vegetables, salad leaves, flowers, and more in this smart indoor garden like onion, basil, tomato, and flowers.  Seeds Not Included £43.07. To purchase, please click on the shopping button                                                                                                Indoor Kitchen Garden  Tregren Smart LED Grow Light Kit For Both Outdoor & Indoor Plants & Gardening Kits   Tregren T12 smart home kits feature 2 of Tregren's innovations Active growing technology and smart gardener APP. These features make growing herb and seed 3X faster. It automates the amount of LED light and water. Smart gardener App - Our Smart Gardener App controls your T-series Kitchen Garden. Connects with your smartphone to monitor the LED lights, watering, and nutrients your plants need. It creates perfect growing conditions for any plant. This kitchen garden makes it easier than any other hydroponics, greenhouse garden kit. Just add water and plug in your smart home T-series kitchen garden. The Smart Gardener app creates the perfect conditions to the plants you choose to grow. They make great gardening gifts! Low carbon footprint. The Tregren food tech company is committed to reducing food waste and the ecological footprint that comes from food production. Grow your own vegetables! £119.90. To purchase, please click on the shopping button                                                                                            Planters’ Choice Herb Garden Growing Kit Dimensions: N/A Number of seed packs: 4 Herbs included: basil, parsley, chives, cilantro This starters kit from Planters' Choice has four herbs: basil, parsley, cilantro, and chives. There is a moisture meter, so you don't have to worry about overwatering. They are delivered with the same lovely bamboo makers as their nine-herb kit, pre-fertilized soil disks, and the same full-refund guarantee. £27.99. To purchase, please click on the shopping button                                                                                                                                                               AeroGarden Bounty Basic Dimensions: 16 x 6 x 8 inches Number of seed packs: 9 Herbs included: Genovese Basil (x2), Thai basil, curly parsley, Italian parsley, thyme, chives, dill, mint If you love to cook, fresh herbs are essential. AeroGarden Bounty Basic provides a bountiful harvest (therefore the name) and delivers two kinds of basil: Thai and Genovese. Just like all the company's hydroponic kits, they are equipped with a digital display that gives reminders (for watering and feeding), a holiday mode, and a powerful energy-efficient 30-watt Led grow light that will automatically turn off and on. “It’s the perfect gift for someone who loves to cook!” says one customer. £249.95. To purchase, please click on the shopping button.                                                                                              Smart Herb Garden Kit LED Light. Bamboo frame. Indoor hydroponics   Just set it up without tools and plug the plant cartridges in! The water reservoir can last about 25 days without refilling. The water level indicator informs you when to add water. The wavelength of the LED grows lights are tuned to stimulate better plant performance. Place it anywhere you want. Perfect for basil, thyme, sage, parsley, cilantro, cherry tomatoes, rosemary, peppers, flowers, and strawberries. Seeds are not included!   £86.99 To purchase, please click on the shopping button.                                                                                            Click & Grow Smart Garden Dimensions: 12.5 x 9 x 5 inches Number of seed packs: 3 Herbs included: basil  Great for the eye and your stomach! Comfortable in use: biodegradable plant pods (which contain organic, pesticide-free seeds and plant food) to grow. The reservoir needs a refill once every three weeks, plug it in and see how your herbs grow under the energy-efficient LED lights. Delivered with three basil plants, but there are more than 50 other herbs available. You can adjust the arm height. “This thing is fun, easy, and it works!” says one recent customer. £89,70. To purchase, please click on the shopping button                                                                                                Self-Watering Potted Herb Keeper, Cole & Mason. Fresh Enamel Coated Steel, White, and Grey, Triple Keeps fresh herbs up to at least 10 days longer Hydro-pads allows herbs to draw water as desired Pads are washable The estimated usability of the pads is 3-month. 12 pads included Fits up to 85 mm diameter pot (base)   The Cole & Mason Self-Watering Triple Potted Herb Keeper is a highly functional tool for giving longer life to your fresh herbs. This fuss-free plant pot does not require you replant; simply insert a hydro felt pad under the retaining arm and place your potted herb in the container. Fill with water through the spout and check regularly to refill as the plant will absorb water through the pads. This potted herb keeper ensures less water evaporation as the vessel is covered. Enjoy fresh herbs for longer in your everyday cooking. £30,34. To purchase, please click on the shopping button                                                                                           AeroGarden Sprout  Dimensions: 11 x 4.5 x 10 inches Number of seed packs: 3 Herbs included: Genovese basil, curly parsley, dill  Do you have a small garden? You can still harvest your herbs. The hydroponic AeroGarden Sprout is tiny and has space for three herbs. With this kit, you will receive basil, dill, and curly parsley. It has a digital display that reminds you to water or feed the plant. Grow your plants up to 25 centimeters high. “I'm very impressed with this product!” says one recent reviewer. £69.95. To purchase, please click on the shopping button                                                                                          Plantpak 70200410 Hydro-pod Indoor Garden Dimensions:  White, 26.5 x 11.7 x 11 cm   If you're looking for an indoor-outdoor herb-growing kit, this is the one from Plantpack. It contains two self-watering chambres. Power and water shortage reminder.  £29.57. To purchase, please click on the shopping button Hydroponic Indoor herb Garden kit Intelligent Multi-Function Growth led lamp Flower and Vegetable Cultivation Plant Growth lamp Dimensions: N/A What about an indoor garden for herbal tea?! This kit from Smart Garden includes: LED light timer, different light colors, 5 levels of brightness, specially cultivated substrate and reminder function (light & sound) for low water level. £125.99. To purchase, please click on the shopping button WhatsOrb cannot be held responsible for price changes, out-of-stock of products, and material or color differences. All information is provided by third parties. Before you go! Recommended:  Which Sustainable Food Keeps Your Immune System Running? Do you like this article about Gravitricity, or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write and publish your article about healthy food? Click on  'Register'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage.'
Do you miss the garden? Or if you have a garden, do you know what to do? Growing your herbs sounds complicated, but is it? Carrying big bags of potting soil or finding great planters is ancient history. Growing your herbs with an indoor herb garden kit is very easy and rewarding. Hydroponic Or Pots With Soil You can divide herb gardening kits into two categories: pots with soil or hydroponic. Hydroponic is a bottomless method for indoor growing and is cleaner to install and maintain. Most of them have digital displays so you can check the herbs (do they need water or food?), automatic lighting systems. Perfect if you can’t place them in sunlight. A disadvantage is that they are a bit more expensive and take up more space. Which Herbs Do You Grow? Which herbs do you use the most? 10 Herbs you can grow easy Indoors: Basil, Bay, Chervil, Chives, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, Tarragon, Thyme. Growing Herbs Indoors with a Hydroponic System Whether you use an AeroGarden (or another hydroponic system that relies on proprietary pods pre-loaded with seeds) or you start your hydroponic herbs from seed using a specialized sponge, the process of planting herbs for an indoor hydroponic garden is so easy it really can’t be explained in steps. For the pods, put them where they fit into the planter system. For seeds grown in sponges, put the seeds in the little divots and keep them moist and under lights. These gardens work using timers and internal watering systems, so provided you keep them filled with water and add nutrients as needed (most plug-in hydro systems have indicators to tell you exactly when this should be), there is really no work to establishing and maintaining this setup. Just make sure to keep plants trimmed before they go to seed, and be ready for limited success at best if you try to transplant your herbs to soil. Easy Indoor Herb Garden Kits Click & Grow Smart Garden. 9 plants, 3 Herbs  Dimensions: N/A Herbs included: tomato, basil, lettuce Brighten up your home with a touch of fresh greenery and beautiful Scandinavian design. Get growing right away - the kit comes with 3 mini tomatoes, 3 basil, and 3 green lettuce pods. Grow fresh and healthy! Our plant pods contain no GMOs, pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides. A wide selection of more than 40 plants to fit your needs... Or experiment with your own seeds! Growth Guarantee - Click and Grow will replace any plant pods that don’t germinate for free. Don't you mind getting your hands dirty? Do you like to have a lot of plants in front of the windows? Then this 3-herb, 9 plans kit would be great. You can reuse the pots, and they have wide drainage holes. The 6-piece package is not only great for the hands but as well for the eyes. The seeds, coming from the United States, passed a test on high germination rates. Click & Grow has excellent customer service and guarantees a full refund if growers don't get results. £165.00. To purchase, please click on the shopping button                                                                                           AeroGarden Harvest Elite Dimensions: 11 x 8 x 15 inches Number of seed packs: 6 Herbs included: Genovese basil, curly parsley, dill, thyme, Thai basil, mint  Once you go Hydroponic, you never go back, according to some. If you are familiar with at-home hydroponic herb growing kits, AeroGarden may come to mind. They have a lot of models, with Harvest Elite as the most popular. It has high-tech features, like LED lights, a handy holiday mode, and a digital display to remind you when the herbs need food and water. The Harvest Elite comes with non-GMO seeds to grow six herbs. They are pre-fertilized, so they last a whole growing season. The height of the arm adjusts as the plants can reach up to a foot before they need to be cut, and the system is tapered to the soil to save space on the counter. Customers are amazed at how fast the herbs grow and say gardening is a breeze. £129.95. To purchase, please click on the shopping button                                                                                              Smart Garden Indoor Cultivation with Automatic LED Adjustment Based on Ambient Light - Kit of 4 Seeds Included (Light Blue) Véritable Indoor Garden is a hi-tech self-sufficient garden that allows you to grow your own produce all-year-round, very easily and inside your kitchen. It has become difficult to find fresh, healthy, and tasteful produce while being sustainable. The Smart Garden automatically adjusts the LED's intensity depending on the ambient light, to distribute the perfect amount of light to your plants. Each Véritable Garden is coming with 4 Véritable Lingots offered: Basil, Italian Parsley, Thyme, Dill. Our technology employs a color spectrum adapted specifically for edible plants. The color and performance ensure quick growth and develop the flavor of your plants. The light is automatically controlled: it remains active for 16 hours a day and off for 8 hours in order to imitate the natural daylight cycle. It doesn't need any natural light to grow, you can put it in a room without any windows. The two lighting poles adjust independently to adapt to different plant sizes and growth speed. The Véritable Garden provides automated light, irrigation, and nutrients to your plants. All you have to do is the harvest! The water tank holds three week's worth of water. You can go on holidays and your Véritable Garden will take care of everything while you're away. Each Véritable Garden comes with 4 Véritable Lingots: Sweet Basil, Curly Parsley, Chives, and Cherry Tomatoes. The Lingots can be stored 1 year before use, in a cool and dry place. After this time, the germination rate can decrease. Plants are ready to be eaten in just 4 weeks and each Lingot guarantees regular harvest for 4 to 6 months. The Garden only uses 4 high performance LED Grow lights with an optical lens. They use 10W of electricity (about $10 worth of electricity per year, *based on French rates). The patented blue and yellow LED lights guarantee fast growth (blue light) and the rich aromas (yellow light). Plants grow at a different rhythm, just pull up or down the lighting masts to give them the best lighting. The Garden regulates the lighting cycles on its own. It features a 2L/ O,5 Gallon large water reservoir that guarantees 3 to 4-week irrigation autonomy, the plants use the water its needs on its own thanks to capillary action irrigation. The low water alarm system reminds you to refill the reservoir. The blue LED will softly blink as a reminder. Pour water in the reservoir and the Light will switch to continuous mode. All the parameters are controlled (PH, humidity, nutrients concentration) £175.00. To purchase, please click on the shopping button                                                                                              Smart Hydroponics Garden Lights Indoor Garden Kit with Desk Lamp Function, LED Plant Grow Light, Mini Indoor Hydroponic Growing System with 3 Pcs Mini Garden Hand Tool Set (Blue)   New Generation Indoor Garden Light: Smart Hydroponics Herb Garden Lights are not only an Indoor Growing Plant Light but also a Desk Lamp. Easy to use and Smart control with an automatic control panel automatically turns lights on and off. It helps to accelerate the growth of indoor fresh herbs, flowers, and more. Ideal for kids to observe how plants grow every day. Two Auto Illumination Mode & Smart Control:  In Full spectrum LED grow light mode (red, blue, and white led). The smart indoor garden kit has automatically started work and rest time (work 16 hours, rest 8 hours). The soft lighting system prevents seedling from being burned.  360 Degree Adjustable Desk Lamp: In Reading Mode white light can be used as a table lamp for reading.  Self Watering Plant & Shortage Reminder: Indoor herbal garden System doesn't require daily watering, it could auto irrigate for 2-3 weeks, which helps you to get rid of the annoyance of rotten roots caused by overwatering. It is smart when the red light flashes and the Machine beep it reminds you to add water to level in the basin. Surprised, with the visible blue area, you also can see it lacks water so you can add water in time. Energy Saving: 8.5W Ultra-low-power and high efficiency. You can grow fresh herbs, vegetables, salad leaves, flowers, and more in this smart indoor garden like onion, basil, tomato, and flowers.  Seeds Not Included £43.07. To purchase, please click on the shopping button                                                                                                Indoor Kitchen Garden  Tregren Smart LED Grow Light Kit For Both Outdoor & Indoor Plants & Gardening Kits   Tregren T12 smart home kits feature 2 of Tregren's innovations Active growing technology and smart gardener APP. These features make growing herb and seed 3X faster. It automates the amount of LED light and water. Smart gardener App - Our Smart Gardener App controls your T-series Kitchen Garden. Connects with your smartphone to monitor the LED lights, watering, and nutrients your plants need. It creates perfect growing conditions for any plant. This kitchen garden makes it easier than any other hydroponics, greenhouse garden kit. Just add water and plug in your smart home T-series kitchen garden. The Smart Gardener app creates the perfect conditions to the plants you choose to grow. They make great gardening gifts! Low carbon footprint. The Tregren food tech company is committed to reducing food waste and the ecological footprint that comes from food production. Grow your own vegetables! £119.90. To purchase, please click on the shopping button                                                                                            Planters’ Choice Herb Garden Growing Kit Dimensions: N/A Number of seed packs: 4 Herbs included: basil, parsley, chives, cilantro This starters kit from Planters' Choice has four herbs: basil, parsley, cilantro, and chives. There is a moisture meter, so you don't have to worry about overwatering. They are delivered with the same lovely bamboo makers as their nine-herb kit, pre-fertilized soil disks, and the same full-refund guarantee. £27.99. To purchase, please click on the shopping button                                                                                                                                                               AeroGarden Bounty Basic Dimensions: 16 x 6 x 8 inches Number of seed packs: 9 Herbs included: Genovese Basil (x2), Thai basil, curly parsley, Italian parsley, thyme, chives, dill, mint If you love to cook, fresh herbs are essential. AeroGarden Bounty Basic provides a bountiful harvest (therefore the name) and delivers two kinds of basil: Thai and Genovese. Just like all the company's hydroponic kits, they are equipped with a digital display that gives reminders (for watering and feeding), a holiday mode, and a powerful energy-efficient 30-watt Led grow light that will automatically turn off and on. “It’s the perfect gift for someone who loves to cook!” says one customer. £249.95. To purchase, please click on the shopping button.                                                                                              Smart Herb Garden Kit LED Light. Bamboo frame. Indoor hydroponics   Just set it up without tools and plug the plant cartridges in! The water reservoir can last about 25 days without refilling. The water level indicator informs you when to add water. The wavelength of the LED grows lights are tuned to stimulate better plant performance. Place it anywhere you want. Perfect for basil, thyme, sage, parsley, cilantro, cherry tomatoes, rosemary, peppers, flowers, and strawberries. Seeds are not included!   £86.99 To purchase, please click on the shopping button.                                                                                            Click & Grow Smart Garden Dimensions: 12.5 x 9 x 5 inches Number of seed packs: 3 Herbs included: basil  Great for the eye and your stomach! Comfortable in use: biodegradable plant pods (which contain organic, pesticide-free seeds and plant food) to grow. The reservoir needs a refill once every three weeks, plug it in and see how your herbs grow under the energy-efficient LED lights. Delivered with three basil plants, but there are more than 50 other herbs available. You can adjust the arm height. “This thing is fun, easy, and it works!” says one recent customer. £89,70. To purchase, please click on the shopping button                                                                                                Self-Watering Potted Herb Keeper, Cole & Mason. Fresh Enamel Coated Steel, White, and Grey, Triple Keeps fresh herbs up to at least 10 days longer Hydro-pads allows herbs to draw water as desired Pads are washable The estimated usability of the pads is 3-month. 12 pads included Fits up to 85 mm diameter pot (base)   The Cole & Mason Self-Watering Triple Potted Herb Keeper is a highly functional tool for giving longer life to your fresh herbs. This fuss-free plant pot does not require you replant; simply insert a hydro felt pad under the retaining arm and place your potted herb in the container. Fill with water through the spout and check regularly to refill as the plant will absorb water through the pads. This potted herb keeper ensures less water evaporation as the vessel is covered. Enjoy fresh herbs for longer in your everyday cooking. £30,34. To purchase, please click on the shopping button                                                                                           AeroGarden Sprout  Dimensions: 11 x 4.5 x 10 inches Number of seed packs: 3 Herbs included: Genovese basil, curly parsley, dill  Do you have a small garden? You can still harvest your herbs. The hydroponic AeroGarden Sprout is tiny and has space for three herbs. With this kit, you will receive basil, dill, and curly parsley. It has a digital display that reminds you to water or feed the plant. Grow your plants up to 25 centimeters high. “I'm very impressed with this product!” says one recent reviewer. £69.95. To purchase, please click on the shopping button                                                                                          Plantpak 70200410 Hydro-pod Indoor Garden Dimensions:  White, 26.5 x 11.7 x 11 cm   If you're looking for an indoor-outdoor herb-growing kit, this is the one from Plantpack. It contains two self-watering chambres. Power and water shortage reminder.  £29.57. To purchase, please click on the shopping button Hydroponic Indoor herb Garden kit Intelligent Multi-Function Growth led lamp Flower and Vegetable Cultivation Plant Growth lamp Dimensions: N/A What about an indoor garden for herbal tea?! This kit from Smart Garden includes: LED light timer, different light colors, 5 levels of brightness, specially cultivated substrate and reminder function (light & sound) for low water level. £125.99. To purchase, please click on the shopping button WhatsOrb cannot be held responsible for price changes, out-of-stock of products, and material or color differences. All information is provided by third parties. Before you go! Recommended:  Which Sustainable Food Keeps Your Immune System Running? Do you like this article about Gravitricity, or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write and publish your article about healthy food? Click on  'Register'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage.'
Easy Indoor Herb Garden Kits, Plus Expert Tips
Easy Indoor Herb Garden Kits, Plus Expert Tips
Circular Economy: The Project Polar Permaculture
We've heard about how holistic and nature-inspired permaculture design techniques can green a desert and transform ordinary gardens into ultra-productive 'food forests.' But what about practicing permaculture principles to help grow food in the cold Arctic region is it possible?  The Circular Economy Created With The Project: Polar Permaculture That's something that American-born professional chef and foodie Benjamin Vidmar is exploring with his project, 'Polar Permaculture.' Based out of Longyearbyen, a town of 2,500 that's located on Svalbard, Norway's archipelago of islands (yes, the same place with the so-called doomsday seed vault), Vidmar is experimenting with innovative ways to grow fresh food and creating a 'circular economy' in a rugged, cold place that is dark for three months out of the year, and where most supplies have to be shipped in.  Benjamin Vidmar, founder of Polar Permaculture Solutions Vidmar is trained as a professional chef and has worked in hotels and cruise ships around the world. Years ago, he landed a job in one of Longyearbyen's hotels and has stayed there since, raising his family. However, since childhood, Vidmar has always been interested in sustainable agriculture, and a few years ago, he got turned into permaculture, recently getting trained in permaculture design practices. {youtube}                                                          Longyearbyen - Polar Permaculture Dome He's since brought these skills back to Longyearbyen, setting up a geodesic greenhouse, and bringing in red worms to help with composting the locally produced organic waste, which can then be used to grow food here. This is an important point that's not to be taken for granted; on Svalbard, the soil is impoverished and unsuited for growing food, so if it were not for the worms and compost, the soil would have to be shipped in. Recommended:  Sustainable Arctic Architecture: A Geodesic Dome On an island where everything is transported in, and waste is either dumped into the ocean or shipped back to the mainland for disposal, Vidmar aims to look for ways to close the loop, reusing and recycling outputs back into inputs whenever possible. Recommended:  Copenhagen's Sustainable Experimental Greenhouse Biotope I had initially wanted to do a permaculture project in Florida, where I presently spend a month each year, but something told me to do it here in Longyearbyen. There was a massive need for it is as we currently dump all sewage directly into the sea without any treatment facility. We also mine and burn coal. All produce is shipped and flown in, so I believe the place chose me to complete this mission, to help make this place more sustainable. Surprisingly, one of the biggest obstacles has been local politics: the island is socially conservative and has no agricultural zoning regulations in place. It took Vidmar a year and a half to get permission to import his worms. "So with our permaculture project, we are rewriting all of the history books, looking to change the laws and grow food here once again," says Vidmar. Currently, Polar Permaculture is the only supplier of fresh, locally produced food on the island, serving all the major hotels and restaurants. The greenhouse is used only when the sun is out, otherwise, they grow their veggies - mostly microgreens, chilies, tomatoes, onions, peas, herbs, and so on - inside their lab, basically a converted room in one of the local hotels. They've also recently set up a small quail farm, and are producing eggs to eat. The future goal is to scale things up, and to increase food security and reduce waste on this remote island, says Vidmar. Inside the hydroponics lab Before we started this project, there was no one speaking about composting or having locally grown food. All around the Arctic, many people are farming and growing food, but here we were only relying on shipments. After starting this, we now have much more support to expand and increase what we can produce. We want to install a biogas digester and also set up a system that can process most of the city’s sewage and turn it into biogas that we can use to heat our greenhouses. Growing food in one of the planet's harshest regions seems like an impossible task, but it appears that through the principles of permaculture, and a lot of dedication, it can be done. Besides growing food, Polar Permaculture offers courses, tours, and gourmet cooking classes.  Cover photo by Francisco, Mattos Before you go! Recommended:  New Foodscape Alternatives Gets Lots Of Attention In The Netherlands Did you find this an interesting article or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your article about growing your own food? Click on  'Register'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage'.
We've heard about how holistic and nature-inspired permaculture design techniques can green a desert and transform ordinary gardens into ultra-productive 'food forests.' But what about practicing permaculture principles to help grow food in the cold Arctic region is it possible?  The Circular Economy Created With The Project: Polar Permaculture That's something that American-born professional chef and foodie Benjamin Vidmar is exploring with his project, 'Polar Permaculture.' Based out of Longyearbyen, a town of 2,500 that's located on Svalbard, Norway's archipelago of islands (yes, the same place with the so-called doomsday seed vault), Vidmar is experimenting with innovative ways to grow fresh food and creating a 'circular economy' in a rugged, cold place that is dark for three months out of the year, and where most supplies have to be shipped in.  Benjamin Vidmar, founder of Polar Permaculture Solutions Vidmar is trained as a professional chef and has worked in hotels and cruise ships around the world. Years ago, he landed a job in one of Longyearbyen's hotels and has stayed there since, raising his family. However, since childhood, Vidmar has always been interested in sustainable agriculture, and a few years ago, he got turned into permaculture, recently getting trained in permaculture design practices. {youtube}                                                          Longyearbyen - Polar Permaculture Dome He's since brought these skills back to Longyearbyen, setting up a geodesic greenhouse, and bringing in red worms to help with composting the locally produced organic waste, which can then be used to grow food here. This is an important point that's not to be taken for granted; on Svalbard, the soil is impoverished and unsuited for growing food, so if it were not for the worms and compost, the soil would have to be shipped in. Recommended:  Sustainable Arctic Architecture: A Geodesic Dome On an island where everything is transported in, and waste is either dumped into the ocean or shipped back to the mainland for disposal, Vidmar aims to look for ways to close the loop, reusing and recycling outputs back into inputs whenever possible. Recommended:  Copenhagen's Sustainable Experimental Greenhouse Biotope I had initially wanted to do a permaculture project in Florida, where I presently spend a month each year, but something told me to do it here in Longyearbyen. There was a massive need for it is as we currently dump all sewage directly into the sea without any treatment facility. We also mine and burn coal. All produce is shipped and flown in, so I believe the place chose me to complete this mission, to help make this place more sustainable. Surprisingly, one of the biggest obstacles has been local politics: the island is socially conservative and has no agricultural zoning regulations in place. It took Vidmar a year and a half to get permission to import his worms. "So with our permaculture project, we are rewriting all of the history books, looking to change the laws and grow food here once again," says Vidmar. Currently, Polar Permaculture is the only supplier of fresh, locally produced food on the island, serving all the major hotels and restaurants. The greenhouse is used only when the sun is out, otherwise, they grow their veggies - mostly microgreens, chilies, tomatoes, onions, peas, herbs, and so on - inside their lab, basically a converted room in one of the local hotels. They've also recently set up a small quail farm, and are producing eggs to eat. The future goal is to scale things up, and to increase food security and reduce waste on this remote island, says Vidmar. Inside the hydroponics lab Before we started this project, there was no one speaking about composting or having locally grown food. All around the Arctic, many people are farming and growing food, but here we were only relying on shipments. After starting this, we now have much more support to expand and increase what we can produce. We want to install a biogas digester and also set up a system that can process most of the city’s sewage and turn it into biogas that we can use to heat our greenhouses. Growing food in one of the planet's harshest regions seems like an impossible task, but it appears that through the principles of permaculture, and a lot of dedication, it can be done. Besides growing food, Polar Permaculture offers courses, tours, and gourmet cooking classes.  Cover photo by Francisco, Mattos Before you go! Recommended:  New Foodscape Alternatives Gets Lots Of Attention In The Netherlands Did you find this an interesting article or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your article about growing your own food? Click on  'Register'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage'.
Circular Economy: The Project Polar Permaculture
Circular Economy: The Project Polar Permaculture
Insects: We Hate Them But We Can’t Do Without
Would you be happy to learn that insects have invaded your home or garden? Chances are you aren’t. These tiny crawling critters are not exactly known for their cuddly potential, nor are they likely to be considered pet material. It is a shame. They deserve so much better. Insects: We Can’t Without Recently, a paper was released that showed the way forward. It proposed some initiatives that could help the industry, land managers, governments, and individuals in protecting insects as the global population declines. We are more inclined to help species that we have warm, happy feelings towards. Enter the panda or the elephant. Yet we have to be aware of the importance of the insects, regardless of them suffering from a slightly more negative rep. They might even be critical to our future survival. Integrating insects in our way of working and living ensures that we enrich ecosystems while working on biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation. Bee covered with pollen Insects Life is what it is thanks to the tireless, hard work of insects. You could say that life is not possible without insects. They are responsible for some crucial processes, including pollination, breaking down of waste, cycling of nutrients, moving of seeds, and keeping all ecosystems and habitats around the world healthy and thriving. What insects help pollination? Insect pollinators include beetles, flies, ants, moths, butterflies, bumble bees, honey bees, solitary bees, and wasps. Butterflies and moths (Lepidopterans) are important pollinators of flowering plants in wild ecosystems and managed systems such as parks and yards. It was already back in 1987 that famous biologist E.O. Wilson wrote: " The truth is that we need invertebrates, but they don ’t need us. If human beings were to disappear tomorrow, the world would go on with little change … But if invertebrates were to disappear, I doubt the human species could last more than a few months ." Photo by: Sandy Millar This is why you should be concerned that their populations are dwindling at an alarming rate. Recent numbers have shown that insect populations are decreasing by close to 1% per year. This means that we will lose half of all insects in the next 50 to 60 years if we do not take action today. Thankfully, some renowned scientists from around the world are one step ahead of you. They came up with a list of tips and tricks that could help the insect population in your local area thrive. {youtube}                                                       Everyone Can Grow A Garden: Build an Insect Hotel Insects Protection Tips & Tricks Nine of their suggestions are pretty easy to implement, yet will be hugely successful in helping out your insect friends. Perhaps you could try some of them. Keep lawn mowing to a minimum, or get rid of it altogether. Plant native plants in your yard - these are invaluable for your native insects. Avoid pesticides, making your yard fully organic. Create homes for your insects by not removing stumps, logs, and leaves. Or, one step further, welcome them in your insect hotel. Reduce your carbon footprint by becoming more sustainable. Volunteer for local conservation organizations. Do not bring ‘exotic’ plants or animals in your area, as they will harm the native species. Become aware of the smallest forms of life around you. Let’s discuss this some more. Recommended:  Pollination Crisis When Insects Are Gone: Fruit For The Rich Insects Have No Charisma As mentioned before, insects do not have that je ne sais quoi that some fuzzier, cuter, or more imposing animals have. This means that the conservation efforts are not as well-known or, let’s face it, well-liked and supported. According to the authors of the paper, there should be a way of bringing humans and insects closer together. Some of the more likable species could function as poster children, like the butterfly or bumblebee, to raise the profile of those conservation efforts. Photo by:  Brice Nihiser. Typical green bottle fly face. They 'say' I have no charisma :-( Recommended:  Environment And Insects: 24 Hours Of Agony Insects; We Can’t Without Conservation. But what would those conservation efforts entail, aside from making people aware of the 9 points above? Well, the best part is that it would not require much more than keeping ecosystems and habitats intact. The conservation of anything from forests to grasslands and polar ice caps is crucial in maintaining insects thriving;. However, encouraging ‘healthy’ growing of native plant and animal species in residential or industrial areas could go a long way as well: be it at train stations, airports, alongside roads, or in villages. We would do well to stop sweeping our parks and keeping them picture-perfect. Insects thrive in an area that is compost-rich, which may mean leaving trees, logs, and leaves just where they are. Recommended:  Agricultural Waste Turned Into Food: Green Alternatives Insects: Climate Change This is, unfortunately harder than it may seem. Insects are not just suffering from our urge to keep everything clean and neat; they are also falling prey to climate change and habitat destruction. “ As insects are braided into ecosystems, their plight is essentially integrated with more expansive movements such as global biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation and in an alliance with them .” This means that all and any efforts to combat climate change will instantly benefit insects as well. So we are not just cutting back on pollution for our own sake, but ought to do so for our insects’ sake as well. Only then will they help us further our earth-saving quest. The paper of these guys is excellent, but there is one caveat: science has much to improve as well.        Insect Hotel For Children, Built By Children Not only is it a fun project for your kids, it’s also beneficial to your garden! Insect hotels provide a place for insects, particularly pollinators, to hibernate during the upcoming winter and are a way to encourage insect pollination in your yard. They also can attract helpful insects who will naturally prey upon pests and therefore keep your garden pesticide free.       Insect Hotel: DYS Materials Wood box  Pieces of wood to divide the box in smaller compartments Green glue. You can always use the kindergarten teacher’s favorite; flour and water Bug friendly nesting materials: newspaper scraps, sticks, bark, bamboo, pebbles/rocks, leaves, dried flowers, straw, yarn, burlap, wool Instructions Step One Ask your kids to go on a hunt for buggy materials! Step Two Gather your materials and saw or break them into smaller pieces. Step Three Make sure your materials fit tightly in a compartment before gluing them in. Step Four Put a layer of ‘green glue’ in each compartment and glue in your objects.   Step Five Repeat gluing the materials into each compartment. Step Six Let the glue dry for a few days. Hang it and open up for business! I suggest hanging this away from doors or windows as it will attract plenty of visitors. A good idea is to place your bug hotel near a vegetable garden as it will hopefully attract pollinators like bees and pest controllers like ladybugs and earwigs. We already had a resident spider within an hour of gathering materials. I’m not sure if he came with the materials or not but there he was, hiding away! Tips Avoid adding food scraps or nuts/acorns unless you want to attract flies and their lovely offspring. I love almost any bug except fly babies if you catch my drift. Blech! If you plan on putting this in a place where it will be exposed to rain/snow, go ahead and apply a finish stain first, or your box will deteriorate. We placed ours on a covered porch. Check back every so often to see if you can find any activity in the hotel! Avoid sticking fingers in the compartments in case any biters have moved in. Black widows, bees, and wasps can be frequent guests! Insect hotels: A little science  Building a DIY insect hotel is a great springboard for discussing the importance of insects in gardens with kids. By making a habitat for different types of insects you can talk about what job each type of bug does in the garden. It’s also an opportunity to talk about the food chain and food webs and how each animal, including the ones many kids find a bit creepy, plays a part in the neighbourhood ecosystem. You can also discuss where may insects go during the winter. Some insects migrate to warmer location during the coldest part of the year, but many go into hibernation or lay eggs  or overwinter as larvae in order to survive.  Tips for building your DIY Insect Hotel The idea of a DIY insect hotel in the garden is great. Take up a notch read what entomologists have to say about insect hotels and the best (and worst) materials to use for creating one here. A few things we noted from this discussion when building a DIY insect hotel are: Avoid plastic materials. They can harbor mold which is detrimental to insects. Smaller is better. Big hotels are incredible but run the risk of parasitic insects moving in and their larvae devouring the larvae of other insects (especially bees). Pick the species you are building for. When possible, design your hotel around specific insects that you wish to house. Research the materials they need to nesting and use those in your design. More Children are fearless when it comes to bugs. Many adults will jump at the site of a caterpillar but children often scoop them up and let them inch up their arm. The same goes for crickets, rolly pollies, and praying mantis’. Conclusion  So go ahead open that hotel you’ve always daydreamed about. It requires very little capital, a few eager visitors and some curious kids! Make a DIY insect hotel today! Recommended:  Climate Change: Natural Or man Made? Let’s See! Insects ‘Red-Listed’ Fun fact. There are many more insects on the planet than all mammals combined. This means that the number of species is staggering as well. One study found that there are more insect species in an acre of rainforest in Panama than mammal species in the entire world. Quite a lot of them are - or were - unknown to science: estimates say that we only identified 1 out of every five insect species. Photo by: Courtesy of Gamboa Rainforest Resort. Gamboa is home to some natural labs, including a butterfly farm, an orchids center, and a frog pond. The tour of the labs is ideal if you’re a biology enthusiast keen to get to know the lifecycle of some of the most exciting flora and fauna of Panama. This means that insects are frequently discovered and added to the seemingly never-ending list. Although this is quite a tedious process: only after finding, naming, and monitoring a certain new insect-type, it qualifies for ‘red-listing,’ which in turn grants it certain conservation privileges. Many entomologists consider this to be too much work, which is understandable but a real shame. But only after knowing insects and being prepared to protect them, can we save the planet - one bug at a time. Until then, we better keep the nine tips above in mind. Before you go! Recommended:  Farmers Tackle Pests With Flowers And Insects Did you find this an interesting article, or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your article about food forests? Click on  'Register'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage.' .
Would you be happy to learn that insects have invaded your home or garden? Chances are you aren’t. These tiny crawling critters are not exactly known for their cuddly potential, nor are they likely to be considered pet material. It is a shame. They deserve so much better. Insects: We Can’t Without Recently, a paper was released that showed the way forward. It proposed some initiatives that could help the industry, land managers, governments, and individuals in protecting insects as the global population declines. We are more inclined to help species that we have warm, happy feelings towards. Enter the panda or the elephant. Yet we have to be aware of the importance of the insects, regardless of them suffering from a slightly more negative rep. They might even be critical to our future survival. Integrating insects in our way of working and living ensures that we enrich ecosystems while working on biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation. Bee covered with pollen Insects Life is what it is thanks to the tireless, hard work of insects. You could say that life is not possible without insects. They are responsible for some crucial processes, including pollination, breaking down of waste, cycling of nutrients, moving of seeds, and keeping all ecosystems and habitats around the world healthy and thriving. What insects help pollination? Insect pollinators include beetles, flies, ants, moths, butterflies, bumble bees, honey bees, solitary bees, and wasps. Butterflies and moths (Lepidopterans) are important pollinators of flowering plants in wild ecosystems and managed systems such as parks and yards. It was already back in 1987 that famous biologist E.O. Wilson wrote: " The truth is that we need invertebrates, but they don ’t need us. If human beings were to disappear tomorrow, the world would go on with little change … But if invertebrates were to disappear, I doubt the human species could last more than a few months ." Photo by: Sandy Millar This is why you should be concerned that their populations are dwindling at an alarming rate. Recent numbers have shown that insect populations are decreasing by close to 1% per year. This means that we will lose half of all insects in the next 50 to 60 years if we do not take action today. Thankfully, some renowned scientists from around the world are one step ahead of you. They came up with a list of tips and tricks that could help the insect population in your local area thrive. {youtube}                                                       Everyone Can Grow A Garden: Build an Insect Hotel Insects Protection Tips & Tricks Nine of their suggestions are pretty easy to implement, yet will be hugely successful in helping out your insect friends. Perhaps you could try some of them. Keep lawn mowing to a minimum, or get rid of it altogether. Plant native plants in your yard - these are invaluable for your native insects. Avoid pesticides, making your yard fully organic. Create homes for your insects by not removing stumps, logs, and leaves. Or, one step further, welcome them in your insect hotel. Reduce your carbon footprint by becoming more sustainable. Volunteer for local conservation organizations. Do not bring ‘exotic’ plants or animals in your area, as they will harm the native species. Become aware of the smallest forms of life around you. Let’s discuss this some more. Recommended:  Pollination Crisis When Insects Are Gone: Fruit For The Rich Insects Have No Charisma As mentioned before, insects do not have that je ne sais quoi that some fuzzier, cuter, or more imposing animals have. This means that the conservation efforts are not as well-known or, let’s face it, well-liked and supported. According to the authors of the paper, there should be a way of bringing humans and insects closer together. Some of the more likable species could function as poster children, like the butterfly or bumblebee, to raise the profile of those conservation efforts. Photo by:  Brice Nihiser. Typical green bottle fly face. They 'say' I have no charisma :-( Recommended:  Environment And Insects: 24 Hours Of Agony Insects; We Can’t Without Conservation. But what would those conservation efforts entail, aside from making people aware of the 9 points above? Well, the best part is that it would not require much more than keeping ecosystems and habitats intact. The conservation of anything from forests to grasslands and polar ice caps is crucial in maintaining insects thriving;. However, encouraging ‘healthy’ growing of native plant and animal species in residential or industrial areas could go a long way as well: be it at train stations, airports, alongside roads, or in villages. We would do well to stop sweeping our parks and keeping them picture-perfect. Insects thrive in an area that is compost-rich, which may mean leaving trees, logs, and leaves just where they are. Recommended:  Agricultural Waste Turned Into Food: Green Alternatives Insects: Climate Change This is, unfortunately harder than it may seem. Insects are not just suffering from our urge to keep everything clean and neat; they are also falling prey to climate change and habitat destruction. “ As insects are braided into ecosystems, their plight is essentially integrated with more expansive movements such as global biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation and in an alliance with them .” This means that all and any efforts to combat climate change will instantly benefit insects as well. So we are not just cutting back on pollution for our own sake, but ought to do so for our insects’ sake as well. Only then will they help us further our earth-saving quest. The paper of these guys is excellent, but there is one caveat: science has much to improve as well.        Insect Hotel For Children, Built By Children Not only is it a fun project for your kids, it’s also beneficial to your garden! Insect hotels provide a place for insects, particularly pollinators, to hibernate during the upcoming winter and are a way to encourage insect pollination in your yard. They also can attract helpful insects who will naturally prey upon pests and therefore keep your garden pesticide free.       Insect Hotel: DYS Materials Wood box  Pieces of wood to divide the box in smaller compartments Green glue. You can always use the kindergarten teacher’s favorite; flour and water Bug friendly nesting materials: newspaper scraps, sticks, bark, bamboo, pebbles/rocks, leaves, dried flowers, straw, yarn, burlap, wool Instructions Step One Ask your kids to go on a hunt for buggy materials! Step Two Gather your materials and saw or break them into smaller pieces. Step Three Make sure your materials fit tightly in a compartment before gluing them in. Step Four Put a layer of ‘green glue’ in each compartment and glue in your objects.   Step Five Repeat gluing the materials into each compartment. Step Six Let the glue dry for a few days. Hang it and open up for business! I suggest hanging this away from doors or windows as it will attract plenty of visitors. A good idea is to place your bug hotel near a vegetable garden as it will hopefully attract pollinators like bees and pest controllers like ladybugs and earwigs. We already had a resident spider within an hour of gathering materials. I’m not sure if he came with the materials or not but there he was, hiding away! Tips Avoid adding food scraps or nuts/acorns unless you want to attract flies and their lovely offspring. I love almost any bug except fly babies if you catch my drift. Blech! If you plan on putting this in a place where it will be exposed to rain/snow, go ahead and apply a finish stain first, or your box will deteriorate. We placed ours on a covered porch. Check back every so often to see if you can find any activity in the hotel! Avoid sticking fingers in the compartments in case any biters have moved in. Black widows, bees, and wasps can be frequent guests! Insect hotels: A little science  Building a DIY insect hotel is a great springboard for discussing the importance of insects in gardens with kids. By making a habitat for different types of insects you can talk about what job each type of bug does in the garden. It’s also an opportunity to talk about the food chain and food webs and how each animal, including the ones many kids find a bit creepy, plays a part in the neighbourhood ecosystem. You can also discuss where may insects go during the winter. Some insects migrate to warmer location during the coldest part of the year, but many go into hibernation or lay eggs  or overwinter as larvae in order to survive.  Tips for building your DIY Insect Hotel The idea of a DIY insect hotel in the garden is great. Take up a notch read what entomologists have to say about insect hotels and the best (and worst) materials to use for creating one here. A few things we noted from this discussion when building a DIY insect hotel are: Avoid plastic materials. They can harbor mold which is detrimental to insects. Smaller is better. Big hotels are incredible but run the risk of parasitic insects moving in and their larvae devouring the larvae of other insects (especially bees). Pick the species you are building for. When possible, design your hotel around specific insects that you wish to house. Research the materials they need to nesting and use those in your design. More Children are fearless when it comes to bugs. Many adults will jump at the site of a caterpillar but children often scoop them up and let them inch up their arm. The same goes for crickets, rolly pollies, and praying mantis’. Conclusion  So go ahead open that hotel you’ve always daydreamed about. It requires very little capital, a few eager visitors and some curious kids! Make a DIY insect hotel today! Recommended:  Climate Change: Natural Or man Made? Let’s See! Insects ‘Red-Listed’ Fun fact. There are many more insects on the planet than all mammals combined. This means that the number of species is staggering as well. One study found that there are more insect species in an acre of rainforest in Panama than mammal species in the entire world. Quite a lot of them are - or were - unknown to science: estimates say that we only identified 1 out of every five insect species. Photo by: Courtesy of Gamboa Rainforest Resort. Gamboa is home to some natural labs, including a butterfly farm, an orchids center, and a frog pond. The tour of the labs is ideal if you’re a biology enthusiast keen to get to know the lifecycle of some of the most exciting flora and fauna of Panama. This means that insects are frequently discovered and added to the seemingly never-ending list. Although this is quite a tedious process: only after finding, naming, and monitoring a certain new insect-type, it qualifies for ‘red-listing,’ which in turn grants it certain conservation privileges. Many entomologists consider this to be too much work, which is understandable but a real shame. But only after knowing insects and being prepared to protect them, can we save the planet - one bug at a time. Until then, we better keep the nine tips above in mind. Before you go! Recommended:  Farmers Tackle Pests With Flowers And Insects Did you find this an interesting article, or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your article about food forests? Click on  'Register'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage.' .
Insects: We Hate Them But We Can’t Do Without
Urban Gardening: Kill Grass, Grow Food Only
One of the largest wastes of space? That stretch of lawn in your backyard. Having ‘just grass’ might be fun for your kids to run around in, for your dog to pee in when you are too lazy to go out, or for having a relatively low-maintenance green alternative for the boring, plain tiles. Unfortunately, it does not deliver any more benefits. Kill Grass, Grow Food Only Now, let’s look at what would happen if you were to replace even a small part of your lawn with a vegetable garden for you to plant your very own veggies or herbs in. Not just a great way of stocking your pantry with fresh greens, but also a proven therapeutical way of dealing with the stress that the world is throwing at you - and unfortunately, there has been quite a bit of this going around lately. Most of us seem to halt at the how-to. How do we get started? How do we maintain this plot of land? Isn’t it just a lot of work? Thankfully, there are some sure-fire ways of getting started and improving your chances of success. Recommended:  Gardening Organic Is Good For You, The Soil, Flora And Fauna Urban Gardening:  Plant In The Sun, With The Wind One of the typical rookie-mistakes. Planting veggies and herbs in a plot of land that catches direct sunlight for the majority of the day, when they are clearly not suitable for this. Or the dramatic opposite, choosing for shadowy places where plants will just wilt away. There is such a thing as the ideal amount of sunlight for any garden, and this adds up to some six hours on a good day. The mid-day sun is the best. Wind conditions are equally important for getting yourself a suitable vegetable garden. Especially if your area is susceptible to frequent strong winds, this is something to look out for. Your rows should ideally run parallel to the prevailing wind. So if your area is known for its strong winds from the west, you would run your plots of land from west to east. Unsure about the sun or wind in your area? It is always a great idea to start off small, with an area no bigger than your living room rug. This will allow you to test the conditions and find out whether you actually enjoy gardening as a hobby. Recommended:  Gardening Decreases Stress And Is A Nice Way To Improve Life Grow Food: Get To Know Your Dirt Weather conditions aside, there is one more thing that you cannot influence - the soil in your area. Whether you are working with clay, sand, or something else, you really have to roll with what you’ve got. This does not mean that you cannot do anything about a particularly tough base layer, though. Over time, you can get your soil to become better and more suitable for what you are planning to grow. It always pays off to get in touch with your area’s agriculture extension office or a local land-grant college. These guys are really familiar with the prevailing soil structure you are dealing with and can give you some great advice about what your soil needs to thrive, such as more organic matter or microbes. They can also assist in testing the acidity of your soil and, if needed, in performing an acidity adjustment. Recommended:  The World’s Gone Mad! You Need Mud, No iPhone   The acidity, or pH-value, of your land determines the extent to which your plants are able to absorb the nutrients in the soil. And this will play a large role in determining the success of your vegetable garden. Ideally, your garden’s pH value would be between 6.0 and 7.0. Not quite there? You can increase the pH-value by adding soil sulfur, or bring it down through the addition of limestone. Another way of getting to know your dirt is by having it tested for heavy metals, which is particularly important in urban areas or land that used to have pre-1950 homes of industrial facilities on it. Until then, better be safe than sorry and wear work gloves when handling your soil. Urban Gardening: Feed Your Soil Speaking of keeping your soil happy. Bringing it up to par is not just a one-time effort. You have to work with it full-time to keep it nourished and thriving. A healthy soil is one that is dark, fluffy, and moist - full of life. You can get it to be just this by adding compost to it and repeating this every single year. To get your garden started, you can add a layer of roughly 5 centimeters of compost. It sounds like a lot, but your garden will thank you later. After the first year, adding 2 to 3 centimeters of compost will be just fine. Effective compost is usually made up of composted leaves, straw, and some veggie scraps. All the leftover bits from cleaning your garden. Through the addition of this organic matter, you will find that microbial activity in your soil will thrive. This means that there could be up to billions of bacteria in a single teaspoon of soil. And this is a good thing: nature thrives on diversity, and a happy soil means a happy garden. Grow Food Only: Till Once For A Kickstart For all of you rookies out there. Tilling is a procedure that involves deep tossing and turning of your soil. The jury is still out when it comes to its effectiveness, with some experts saying it could actually do more damage than good. Fact is that you should not do it too often, perhaps only when preparing a plot of land to be a new vegetable garden. Photo by: Markus Spiske By tilling a garden bed-to-be, you will not only thoroughly get rid of the grass, it will also introduce heaps of oxygen in your soil. And oxygen, that is the one thing that all living beings on earth thrive on - including those precious microbes in your soil. Why shouldn’t you do it more often, then? Well, tilling also leaves the ground vulnerable to erosion, with no more roots remaining to keep the soil in place. Best to avoid this practice altogether when your garden is based on a hilly slope, or when weather forecasts are predicting particularly windy conditions. Recommended:  Vegetables, Fruit, Edible Flowers, But Also Bees In Cities Urban Farming Kill The Grass One of the main reasons given to not start a vegetable garden is the amount of work that people perceive it to be. This is mainly related to the near daily maintenance that is required, to make sure the weeds are staying away. But people are also worried about the work it will take to prepare a patch of land for growing produce. The main challenge here is keeping that persistent grass away, that used to grace your garden. {youtube}                                                           How To Turn Your Lawn Into A Vegetable Garden   One method that can be used to avoid grass roots remaining and sucking up moisture, nutrients and sunlight is the so-called cardboard-lasagna method. With this, cardboard squares are placed over the patch of grass that you want to use for your vegetable garden. Cover the cardboard with a layer of compost, followed by a layer of organic materials - whatever you have, really, be it leaves, wood chips, straw, or something else. Then let nature do its thing. The grass will die, while the soil is enriched with the nutrients fed to it as the cardboard disintegrates. Recommended:  Rooftop Garden: Sustainable Urban Agriculture Gardening: Build Raised Beds There are roughly two types of vegetable garden patches. One has in-ground beds, while the other has so-called raised beds. The latter are easier to maintain and grow, as they are better at holding water and stay warmer in the winter. The only downside is that they require a lot more soil to fill, as you actually need to pile up the soil on top of your chosen patch. Your Backyard Is Big Enough Regardless of the size of your backyard, you will be able to grow your own produce. If you are ready to take the next step and looking to become fully self-sustaining, you will require some 185 m2. This does require some serious thinking, though. You will have to plant for calories and divide up your garden accordingly. Recommended:  Waste Is Delicious: Distorted Fruit And Vegetables For Sale You will need to use some 60% of your garden for high-calorie and high-compost crops, including wheat, millet, or the surprisingly high-calorie generating leeks. Then you will need another 30% for high-calorie root crops, like potatoes. Finally, use the remaining 10% for vitamin-dense produce, including salad greens and tomatoes. Growing Food: Plant What You Actually Eat It may seem like a no-brainer, but it needs to be said regardless. Only plant things that you, or those around you, will actually eat. Planting celery when you cannot stand its taste is quite silly, as is devoting lots of space to tomatoes when you absolutely hate them. Simultaneously, you would do well to plant for easy future maintenance. Photo by: Markus Spiske This means including perennial crops like fruit and nut trees, or plants like asparagus. These will come back every single year and do not require lots of replanting or yearly maintenance. Yes, they might take a couple of years to spring up, but when they do, you will have a trusty source of produce. If You Can’t Grow Protein, Raise It Protein is a crucial part of our diet. It is, however, notoriously difficult to grow. You could try pinto bean plants, or black eye peas. Or, even simpler: create some space for a chicken coup and bring in some hens. They will provide lots of eggs and compost. Give Your Seeds A Head Start You can also consider giving your seeds a head start by growing its seedlings indoor, using seed starting light, warming mats, and growing trays with domes. Give them some four weeks or more to grow and gradually introduce them to the sunlight by putting them outside for a couple of hours per day. When they are ready, plant them and give them much better odds of surviving. Just watch out what plants you are doing this for, as some - including radishes, beets, corn and turnips, do not like being transplanted and are better planted in the ground directly. Gardening: Outmanoeuvre Your Pests Some last words of advice. First, keep pests out of your garden through efficient management. Plant some specific types before or after their typical season starts, avoiding the bugs that are keen to find them. Or use commercial insecticides. And make sure to keep your soil healthy: healthy plants are much better at fighting off pests. Recommended:  Farmers Tackle Pests With Flowers And Insects Speaking of your soil, another great way of protecting is it by covering it up. Simply scatter some seeds for a suitable cover crop, to avoid the growth of weeds and keep the soil in place. It is great for local insects as well, who will turn your garden into a real ecosystem. You take what you need, while it continues to thrive because of what you give back. Eco-friendliness at its best. Before you go! Recommended:  Eating insects Is Healthy, Tasty And Cool Did you find this an interesting article or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your own article about growing your own food? Click on  'Register'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage'
One of the largest wastes of space? That stretch of lawn in your backyard. Having ‘just grass’ might be fun for your kids to run around in, for your dog to pee in when you are too lazy to go out, or for having a relatively low-maintenance green alternative for the boring, plain tiles. Unfortunately, it does not deliver any more benefits. Kill Grass, Grow Food Only Now, let’s look at what would happen if you were to replace even a small part of your lawn with a vegetable garden for you to plant your very own veggies or herbs in. Not just a great way of stocking your pantry with fresh greens, but also a proven therapeutical way of dealing with the stress that the world is throwing at you - and unfortunately, there has been quite a bit of this going around lately. Most of us seem to halt at the how-to. How do we get started? How do we maintain this plot of land? Isn’t it just a lot of work? Thankfully, there are some sure-fire ways of getting started and improving your chances of success. Recommended:  Gardening Organic Is Good For You, The Soil, Flora And Fauna Urban Gardening:  Plant In The Sun, With The Wind One of the typical rookie-mistakes. Planting veggies and herbs in a plot of land that catches direct sunlight for the majority of the day, when they are clearly not suitable for this. Or the dramatic opposite, choosing for shadowy places where plants will just wilt away. There is such a thing as the ideal amount of sunlight for any garden, and this adds up to some six hours on a good day. The mid-day sun is the best. Wind conditions are equally important for getting yourself a suitable vegetable garden. Especially if your area is susceptible to frequent strong winds, this is something to look out for. Your rows should ideally run parallel to the prevailing wind. So if your area is known for its strong winds from the west, you would run your plots of land from west to east. Unsure about the sun or wind in your area? It is always a great idea to start off small, with an area no bigger than your living room rug. This will allow you to test the conditions and find out whether you actually enjoy gardening as a hobby. Recommended:  Gardening Decreases Stress And Is A Nice Way To Improve Life Grow Food: Get To Know Your Dirt Weather conditions aside, there is one more thing that you cannot influence - the soil in your area. Whether you are working with clay, sand, or something else, you really have to roll with what you’ve got. This does not mean that you cannot do anything about a particularly tough base layer, though. Over time, you can get your soil to become better and more suitable for what you are planning to grow. It always pays off to get in touch with your area’s agriculture extension office or a local land-grant college. These guys are really familiar with the prevailing soil structure you are dealing with and can give you some great advice about what your soil needs to thrive, such as more organic matter or microbes. They can also assist in testing the acidity of your soil and, if needed, in performing an acidity adjustment. Recommended:  The World’s Gone Mad! You Need Mud, No iPhone   The acidity, or pH-value, of your land determines the extent to which your plants are able to absorb the nutrients in the soil. And this will play a large role in determining the success of your vegetable garden. Ideally, your garden’s pH value would be between 6.0 and 7.0. Not quite there? You can increase the pH-value by adding soil sulfur, or bring it down through the addition of limestone. Another way of getting to know your dirt is by having it tested for heavy metals, which is particularly important in urban areas or land that used to have pre-1950 homes of industrial facilities on it. Until then, better be safe than sorry and wear work gloves when handling your soil. Urban Gardening: Feed Your Soil Speaking of keeping your soil happy. Bringing it up to par is not just a one-time effort. You have to work with it full-time to keep it nourished and thriving. A healthy soil is one that is dark, fluffy, and moist - full of life. You can get it to be just this by adding compost to it and repeating this every single year. To get your garden started, you can add a layer of roughly 5 centimeters of compost. It sounds like a lot, but your garden will thank you later. After the first year, adding 2 to 3 centimeters of compost will be just fine. Effective compost is usually made up of composted leaves, straw, and some veggie scraps. All the leftover bits from cleaning your garden. Through the addition of this organic matter, you will find that microbial activity in your soil will thrive. This means that there could be up to billions of bacteria in a single teaspoon of soil. And this is a good thing: nature thrives on diversity, and a happy soil means a happy garden. Grow Food Only: Till Once For A Kickstart For all of you rookies out there. Tilling is a procedure that involves deep tossing and turning of your soil. The jury is still out when it comes to its effectiveness, with some experts saying it could actually do more damage than good. Fact is that you should not do it too often, perhaps only when preparing a plot of land to be a new vegetable garden. Photo by: Markus Spiske By tilling a garden bed-to-be, you will not only thoroughly get rid of the grass, it will also introduce heaps of oxygen in your soil. And oxygen, that is the one thing that all living beings on earth thrive on - including those precious microbes in your soil. Why shouldn’t you do it more often, then? Well, tilling also leaves the ground vulnerable to erosion, with no more roots remaining to keep the soil in place. Best to avoid this practice altogether when your garden is based on a hilly slope, or when weather forecasts are predicting particularly windy conditions. Recommended:  Vegetables, Fruit, Edible Flowers, But Also Bees In Cities Urban Farming Kill The Grass One of the main reasons given to not start a vegetable garden is the amount of work that people perceive it to be. This is mainly related to the near daily maintenance that is required, to make sure the weeds are staying away. But people are also worried about the work it will take to prepare a patch of land for growing produce. The main challenge here is keeping that persistent grass away, that used to grace your garden. {youtube}                                                           How To Turn Your Lawn Into A Vegetable Garden   One method that can be used to avoid grass roots remaining and sucking up moisture, nutrients and sunlight is the so-called cardboard-lasagna method. With this, cardboard squares are placed over the patch of grass that you want to use for your vegetable garden. Cover the cardboard with a layer of compost, followed by a layer of organic materials - whatever you have, really, be it leaves, wood chips, straw, or something else. Then let nature do its thing. The grass will die, while the soil is enriched with the nutrients fed to it as the cardboard disintegrates. Recommended:  Rooftop Garden: Sustainable Urban Agriculture Gardening: Build Raised Beds There are roughly two types of vegetable garden patches. One has in-ground beds, while the other has so-called raised beds. The latter are easier to maintain and grow, as they are better at holding water and stay warmer in the winter. The only downside is that they require a lot more soil to fill, as you actually need to pile up the soil on top of your chosen patch. Your Backyard Is Big Enough Regardless of the size of your backyard, you will be able to grow your own produce. If you are ready to take the next step and looking to become fully self-sustaining, you will require some 185 m2. This does require some serious thinking, though. You will have to plant for calories and divide up your garden accordingly. Recommended:  Waste Is Delicious: Distorted Fruit And Vegetables For Sale You will need to use some 60% of your garden for high-calorie and high-compost crops, including wheat, millet, or the surprisingly high-calorie generating leeks. Then you will need another 30% for high-calorie root crops, like potatoes. Finally, use the remaining 10% for vitamin-dense produce, including salad greens and tomatoes. Growing Food: Plant What You Actually Eat It may seem like a no-brainer, but it needs to be said regardless. Only plant things that you, or those around you, will actually eat. Planting celery when you cannot stand its taste is quite silly, as is devoting lots of space to tomatoes when you absolutely hate them. Simultaneously, you would do well to plant for easy future maintenance. Photo by: Markus Spiske This means including perennial crops like fruit and nut trees, or plants like asparagus. These will come back every single year and do not require lots of replanting or yearly maintenance. Yes, they might take a couple of years to spring up, but when they do, you will have a trusty source of produce. If You Can’t Grow Protein, Raise It Protein is a crucial part of our diet. It is, however, notoriously difficult to grow. You could try pinto bean plants, or black eye peas. Or, even simpler: create some space for a chicken coup and bring in some hens. They will provide lots of eggs and compost. Give Your Seeds A Head Start You can also consider giving your seeds a head start by growing its seedlings indoor, using seed starting light, warming mats, and growing trays with domes. Give them some four weeks or more to grow and gradually introduce them to the sunlight by putting them outside for a couple of hours per day. When they are ready, plant them and give them much better odds of surviving. Just watch out what plants you are doing this for, as some - including radishes, beets, corn and turnips, do not like being transplanted and are better planted in the ground directly. Gardening: Outmanoeuvre Your Pests Some last words of advice. First, keep pests out of your garden through efficient management. Plant some specific types before or after their typical season starts, avoiding the bugs that are keen to find them. Or use commercial insecticides. And make sure to keep your soil healthy: healthy plants are much better at fighting off pests. Recommended:  Farmers Tackle Pests With Flowers And Insects Speaking of your soil, another great way of protecting is it by covering it up. Simply scatter some seeds for a suitable cover crop, to avoid the growth of weeds and keep the soil in place. It is great for local insects as well, who will turn your garden into a real ecosystem. You take what you need, while it continues to thrive because of what you give back. Eco-friendliness at its best. Before you go! Recommended:  Eating insects Is Healthy, Tasty And Cool Did you find this an interesting article or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your own article about growing your own food? Click on  'Register'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage'
Urban Gardening: Kill Grass, Grow Food Only
Rooftop Garden: Sustainable Urban Agriculture
Thammasat University in Thailand just made headlines with a concept that will have you read it three times before getting a slight notion of what it actually is. The largest urban rooftop farm in Asia. Say again? An urban rooftop farm. On top of one of the most famous universities in the world. Climate Change Threat To South Asia The South Asian region as a whole is fearing the potential effects of climate change. As their rates of industrialisation and urbanisation have exploded in recent decades, so have their emissions and their carbon footprint. In particular the mass production of rice has exhausted large areas of land, that are now vulnerable to flooding and pests - something becoming increasingly common as the weather becomes more extreme, with extended periods of drought or floods. {youtube}                             University near Thai capital Bangkok is home to one of Asia’s largest rooftop farms This is why the Thammasat University embarked on this prestigious project, aimed to show how climate resiliency can be created by converting land using advanced landscape architecture and the best of the country’s past agricultural traditions. Sprawled out over some 22,000 square meters in the heart of Bangkok, the initiative combines modern landscaping with some good ol’ agricultural tricks. It all comes together in a green roof, urban farm, solar roof and all around green public space. Recommended:  Asia’s Water War: Is The Mekong Still A River? Multifunctional Roof Area The floor plan of the underlying buildings are shaped like an ‘H’, a form that has been taken over by the garden. Furthermore, the different levels create the illusion of a mountain-y form, that includes large green patches and rice-field like terraces. Besides looking great, it also serves as a large organic food source through the produce it grows, as well as a water management system that captures rainwater as it falls down, and an energy-house through its use of solar panels. Recommended:  Coronavirus: Real-Time Laboratory For Urban Life Lastly, but definitely not least, it serves as a large outdoor classroom. A place where groups and classes gather and, in doing so, become more aware of the dangers of global warming and easy solutions that can help mitigate some of its worst effects.   Recommended:  Urban Agriculture Growing Food On A Rooftop An Urban Safe Haven A great concept that is definitely not getting enough credit. It looks simple but is ingenious, in that it combines all of its functions to boost the overall health and wellbeing of the area. For instance, the water flowing down the lawns is stored and re-used to water the fields and grow food. Any leftover water is filtered and led to one of four retention ponds, which are basically a back-up in case of drought. The rooftop has been planted with some of the most original native plants, guaranteed to create a microclimate of its own that draws in large amounts of pollinator birds and insects. As such, it has become a safe heaven for many animals that have found themselves crowded and endangered by the growing city with its enormous amounts of pollution. Recommended:  Green Urban Sustainable Project: Marine One In Singapore Organic And Regenerative It is not just an organic farm, it is also a regenerative one. It does not take from the land or its resources in any way, instead using what is available and giving back to create more. The result is not just a great space to relax and wind down in, but also a much needed organic food source and a great outdoor learning space for those wanting to find out more about agriculture or the environment as a whole. Thailand is a country known for its extensive use of pesticides. In fact, the country ranks in the top 5 pesticide importers worldwide. Not only damaging to the environment, but also to the foods produced. The Thammasat University Green Roof is not using any pesticides or fertilisers, relying on age-old techniques for keeping the crops safe and thriving instead. And as the crops thrive and plants flourish, they will eventually become a valuable asset in removing pollution from the atmosphere. Recommended:  Regenerative Agriculture: Basics For Safe Food (Part 1 of 3) Harnessing Sunlight And Heat Another thing that Thailand is well-known for, is for its heat. Especially in the big city, it can get really, really warm. Bangkok has a lot of skyscrapers and concrete buildings, a material that is known to absorb sunlight and reflect it to its environment. This does not only make the city hotter, it is also a waste of space - quite literally. If only all of these concrete roofs would house solar panels, it would generate heaps of green energy that can be put to good use. The energy generated by this roof is stored for use elsewhere. As the green roof is a great insulator and isolator, that naturally cools both the inside and the outside of the building, its net savings of energy are even greater.   Recommended:  Agrivoltaics: Food, Water, Energy At Its Best Organic Food Production Going even further, like Thammasat did, and combining those solar panels with organic food lands, will only serve to showcase its potential. The green roof produces about 135,000 rice meals per year, which are used to fed its community. The green canteen of the university does a great job at showing how impactful the effect of eating locally can be: the costs of production, processing, packaging, transportation and disposal are minimised at each step of the way. All leftover food is recycled straight back into the farm, as it is composted and used as an organic fertiliser for the next harvest. All in all, emissions are cut and a near-perfect regenerative model is used. Teaching The Way Forward All year round, the university gives workshops and lectures on agriculture, urban farming and sustainability to anyone willing to listen. This way, they educate their environment as much as they serve them - in doing so hopefully preserving some of the precious traditional agriculture practices of the country. These are passed on to the students as well, as they farm the land and learn about the fine balance between environment and food production.   And hopefully, just hopefully, these students will take the knowledge home to implement it elsewhere. This is where a ball can really start rolling, if the number of people aware of and adept in sustainable farming practices share their knowledge with other communities.   Thammasat’s green roof can be the kickstarter of a movement where people will understand how Thailand’s current rice farming practices are damaging the environment and how the industry can be transformed into a regenerative one. It may be just in time to turn the tide. Rooftop Garden, Thammasat University, Rangsit Campus Bangkok: Info Thammasat University, Rangsit Campus Location | Bangkok, Thailand Building Type |  Multi-Purpose Building with the Biggest Urban Farming Green Roof in Asia Project Owner | Thammasat University Landscape Designer and greenroof design | LANDPROCESS (Kotchakorn Voraakhom)  Architect | Arsom Silp Institute Of The Arts Structural Engineer | Degree System Co., Ltd System Engineer | TPM Consultants Co., Ltd Contractor | CM49 Project Information Green Roof Area: 22,000 sq. m. (236,806 sq. ft) Urban Farming Area: 7,000 sq. m. (75,300 sq. ft) 32% Solar Roof Area 3,565 sq. m. (38,373 sq. ft.) 16% Public Space Area 7,000 sq. m. (75,300 sq. ft.) 32% Service and Utility 4,435 sq. m. (47,738 sq. ft.) 20% Building Area: 60,000 sq. m (645,840 sq. ft.) Before you go! Recommended:  Algae Canopy Miracle Works Better Than A Forrest: How? Did you find this an interesting article or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your own article about sustainability? Click on  'Register'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage'
Thammasat University in Thailand just made headlines with a concept that will have you read it three times before getting a slight notion of what it actually is. The largest urban rooftop farm in Asia. Say again? An urban rooftop farm. On top of one of the most famous universities in the world. Climate Change Threat To South Asia The South Asian region as a whole is fearing the potential effects of climate change. As their rates of industrialisation and urbanisation have exploded in recent decades, so have their emissions and their carbon footprint. In particular the mass production of rice has exhausted large areas of land, that are now vulnerable to flooding and pests - something becoming increasingly common as the weather becomes more extreme, with extended periods of drought or floods. {youtube}                             University near Thai capital Bangkok is home to one of Asia’s largest rooftop farms This is why the Thammasat University embarked on this prestigious project, aimed to show how climate resiliency can be created by converting land using advanced landscape architecture and the best of the country’s past agricultural traditions. Sprawled out over some 22,000 square meters in the heart of Bangkok, the initiative combines modern landscaping with some good ol’ agricultural tricks. It all comes together in a green roof, urban farm, solar roof and all around green public space. Recommended:  Asia’s Water War: Is The Mekong Still A River? Multifunctional Roof Area The floor plan of the underlying buildings are shaped like an ‘H’, a form that has been taken over by the garden. Furthermore, the different levels create the illusion of a mountain-y form, that includes large green patches and rice-field like terraces. Besides looking great, it also serves as a large organic food source through the produce it grows, as well as a water management system that captures rainwater as it falls down, and an energy-house through its use of solar panels. Recommended:  Coronavirus: Real-Time Laboratory For Urban Life Lastly, but definitely not least, it serves as a large outdoor classroom. A place where groups and classes gather and, in doing so, become more aware of the dangers of global warming and easy solutions that can help mitigate some of its worst effects.   Recommended:  Urban Agriculture Growing Food On A Rooftop An Urban Safe Haven A great concept that is definitely not getting enough credit. It looks simple but is ingenious, in that it combines all of its functions to boost the overall health and wellbeing of the area. For instance, the water flowing down the lawns is stored and re-used to water the fields and grow food. Any leftover water is filtered and led to one of four retention ponds, which are basically a back-up in case of drought. The rooftop has been planted with some of the most original native plants, guaranteed to create a microclimate of its own that draws in large amounts of pollinator birds and insects. As such, it has become a safe heaven for many animals that have found themselves crowded and endangered by the growing city with its enormous amounts of pollution. Recommended:  Green Urban Sustainable Project: Marine One In Singapore Organic And Regenerative It is not just an organic farm, it is also a regenerative one. It does not take from the land or its resources in any way, instead using what is available and giving back to create more. The result is not just a great space to relax and wind down in, but also a much needed organic food source and a great outdoor learning space for those wanting to find out more about agriculture or the environment as a whole. Thailand is a country known for its extensive use of pesticides. In fact, the country ranks in the top 5 pesticide importers worldwide. Not only damaging to the environment, but also to the foods produced. The Thammasat University Green Roof is not using any pesticides or fertilisers, relying on age-old techniques for keeping the crops safe and thriving instead. And as the crops thrive and plants flourish, they will eventually become a valuable asset in removing pollution from the atmosphere. Recommended:  Regenerative Agriculture: Basics For Safe Food (Part 1 of 3) Harnessing Sunlight And Heat Another thing that Thailand is well-known for, is for its heat. Especially in the big city, it can get really, really warm. Bangkok has a lot of skyscrapers and concrete buildings, a material that is known to absorb sunlight and reflect it to its environment. This does not only make the city hotter, it is also a waste of space - quite literally. If only all of these concrete roofs would house solar panels, it would generate heaps of green energy that can be put to good use. The energy generated by this roof is stored for use elsewhere. As the green roof is a great insulator and isolator, that naturally cools both the inside and the outside of the building, its net savings of energy are even greater.   Recommended:  Agrivoltaics: Food, Water, Energy At Its Best Organic Food Production Going even further, like Thammasat did, and combining those solar panels with organic food lands, will only serve to showcase its potential. The green roof produces about 135,000 rice meals per year, which are used to fed its community. The green canteen of the university does a great job at showing how impactful the effect of eating locally can be: the costs of production, processing, packaging, transportation and disposal are minimised at each step of the way. All leftover food is recycled straight back into the farm, as it is composted and used as an organic fertiliser for the next harvest. All in all, emissions are cut and a near-perfect regenerative model is used. Teaching The Way Forward All year round, the university gives workshops and lectures on agriculture, urban farming and sustainability to anyone willing to listen. This way, they educate their environment as much as they serve them - in doing so hopefully preserving some of the precious traditional agriculture practices of the country. These are passed on to the students as well, as they farm the land and learn about the fine balance between environment and food production.   And hopefully, just hopefully, these students will take the knowledge home to implement it elsewhere. This is where a ball can really start rolling, if the number of people aware of and adept in sustainable farming practices share their knowledge with other communities.   Thammasat’s green roof can be the kickstarter of a movement where people will understand how Thailand’s current rice farming practices are damaging the environment and how the industry can be transformed into a regenerative one. It may be just in time to turn the tide. Rooftop Garden, Thammasat University, Rangsit Campus Bangkok: Info Thammasat University, Rangsit Campus Location | Bangkok, Thailand Building Type |  Multi-Purpose Building with the Biggest Urban Farming Green Roof in Asia Project Owner | Thammasat University Landscape Designer and greenroof design | LANDPROCESS (Kotchakorn Voraakhom)  Architect | Arsom Silp Institute Of The Arts Structural Engineer | Degree System Co., Ltd System Engineer | TPM Consultants Co., Ltd Contractor | CM49 Project Information Green Roof Area: 22,000 sq. m. (236,806 sq. ft) Urban Farming Area: 7,000 sq. m. (75,300 sq. ft) 32% Solar Roof Area 3,565 sq. m. (38,373 sq. ft.) 16% Public Space Area 7,000 sq. m. (75,300 sq. ft.) 32% Service and Utility 4,435 sq. m. (47,738 sq. ft.) 20% Building Area: 60,000 sq. m (645,840 sq. ft.) Before you go! Recommended:  Algae Canopy Miracle Works Better Than A Forrest: How? Did you find this an interesting article or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. 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Rooftop Garden: Sustainable Urban Agriculture
Rooftop Garden: Sustainable Urban Agriculture
Agri & Gardening

Growing food, either commercially or as a hobby is one of the most satisfying things you can do. It is however not without challenges. Protection against natural or man-made threats, irrigation or other treatments of the soil has to be done with care.

Agriculture is the process of producing food, feed, fibre and many other desired products by the cultivation of certain plants. The practice of agriculture is also known as ‘farming’, while scientists, inventors and others devoted to improving farming methods and implements are also said to be engaged in agriculture.
Subsistence farming; who farms a small area with limited resource inputs, and produces only enough food to meet the needs of his/her family. At the other end is commercial intensive agriculture, including industrial agriculture. Such farming involves large fields, large resource inputs (pesticides, fertilizers, etc.), and a high level of mechanization.

Nowadays, critical attention is given to industrial agriculture. Alternatives are proposed such as regenerative agriculture, the use of drones, smart techniques and blockchain. The use of fertilizer and water in large quantities is also criticized. The risks of monocultures are large and in combination with the depletion of agricultural land, the reduction of insects and climate change, it is necessary to change our view on industrial agriculture and growing crops.

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