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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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. 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'
Rooftop Garden: Sustainable Urban Agriculture
Rooftop Garden: Sustainable Urban Agriculture
Food Forest: Growing Food And Creating Biodiversity
The exploitation of a food forest can yield more than an ordinary corn field. Pioneers in The Netherlands say that. They define a food forest as a place where at least four layers grow above each other and where practically no processing takes place. There are now around 100 in the Netherlands, most of them very small, for example half a hectare. Growing Food And Creating Biodiversity They are from pioneers or hobbyists. But there is increasing interest in this form of agriculture, especially because it increases biodiversity and decreases climate change. In that view, a project has started who measures biodiversy, harvest, CO2-fixation and soil restoration. What is biodiversity and why it is important? Biodiversity boosts ecosystem productivity where each species, no matter how small, all have an important role to play. For example, A larger number of plant species means a greater variety of crops. Greater species diversity ensures natural sustainability for all life forms The food forest is in Europe not very known, experienced Marieke Karssen from The Plant during a lecture she gave about the subject on a Forestry conference in Florence in Februar 2020. There the phenomenon of food forestry was still largely unknown. In june she goes to Dartington in Devon (UK) to speak about the subject on the International Food Forest symposium. Small scale food forest What is exactly a food forest? To give an image: in a food forest, roots grow underground, ground cover plants, herbs, shrubs, climbing plants and low and high trees. They would reinforce each other in such a way that no manure or agent is needed. A food forest offers people nuts, fruits, berries, mushrooms, herbs and roots. The cultivation in the first Dutch food forests is labor-intensive, there is no manure or crop protection agent involved and plowing or digging is not done. Some food foresters prune some, others don't. However, the construction is capital and labor intensive and the harvest is also labor intensive: everything must be picked by hand. The first real returns are only available after a few years. Recommended:  Regenerative Agriculture: Basics For Safe Food (Part 1 of 3) Food Forrest: Mankind And His Ecology The design and construction of a food forest has so far focused on strengthening an ecosystem from which not only people benefit (food). It is also there for the animals, the soil, CO2 capture and water storage. Because relatively little organic material is harvested and trees do capture CO2, the organic matter content in the soil grows. The pioneers strive to make the soil rich in soil animals and fungi. Insects, butterflies, birds and small mammals also feed on the harvest. A balance in species prevents pests, says pioneer Wouter van Eck. What is the simple definition of ecology? Ecology is the science that studies the biota (living things), the environment, and their interactions. It comes from the Greek oikos = house; logos = study. Ecology is the study of ecosystems. Ecosystems describe the web or network of relations among organisms at different scales of organization. The Ketelbroek food forest in Horst by Wouter van Eck under Nijmegen is one of the best known in the Netherlands. National media paid a lot of attention to this phenomenon. The nine-year-old forest is the most advanced food forest in the Netherlands, but with 2.5 hectares it is still an experiment. At the time, the largest food forest in Europe is built in Schijndel in Brabant: the Green Development Fund Brabant makes 20 hectares available. The Ketelbroek food forest in Horst the Netherlands Mary Fiers, director of Green Development Fund Brabant, is convinced of the added value of a large-scale, agricultural food forest. She says on the website of Stichting Voedselbosbouw Nederland: “The food forests are over the hobby. A food forest of the size realized in Schijndel must become profitable in the long term. In our opinion, this initiative is a good example of entrepreneurship with nature. With a profit for the biodiversity of the area and ultimately also a profit for the farmer who will be exploiting it.” {youtube}                                                            Biodiversity, Wageningen University Research Creating Biodiversity: Do Not Separate Nature And Agriculture The removal of the separation between agriculture and nature is a theme that occupies policy makers and researchers. Nature inclusive agriculture is the magic wordin The Netherlands these days. The food forest is a form of that. A lighter form of nature-inclusive agriculture is agroforestry, where fruit or nut trees are combined with annual cultivation or livestock farming. Indeed, the variety of species in a food forest appears large. Even larger in Ketelbroek than in the neighboring Natura 2000 area, discovered student researchers from Van Hall Larenstein. Recommended:  Regenerative Farming: Agro-Ecology In Practice (Part 2 of 3) Photo by: Morley Read.  Coffee bushes in a shade-grown plantation in the Andes, Ecuador  Food Forest Development: Regional Governments Give Space To It Proponents want the funds for nature development to also benefit this form of agriculture. The provinces are responsible for nature development and management. What do they think of it? The provinces of Limburg and Zeeland signed the Food Forest Forests Green Deal and state that they will also be filling in their provincial nature network with the construction of food forests. They also agreed in the Green Deal to make provincial subsidies for innovation, rural development and sustainability available for the construction, marketing and knowledge development of food forests, as well as for rewards for ecosystem services and monitoring. This therefore seems promising. What is a Food Forest? A food forest, also called a forest garden, is a diverse planting of edible plants that attempts to mimic the ecosystems and patterns found in nature. Food forests are three dimensional designs, with life extending in all directions; up, down, and out.  Generally, we recognize seven layers of a forest garden – the overstory, the understory, the shrub layer, the herbaceous layer, the root layer, the ground cover layer, and the vine layer.                                         The birth of a backyard food forest  At the same time, steps have been taken by the central government towards more food forests. In 2019 a crop code was included for it in the agricultural administration which takes care of EU-grants. But beware: at a local level, an agricultural destination does not always allow trees to be planted, for example because of a desired open landscape. The entrepreneur in question must also apply to the province for exemption from the obligation to replant, when there is a wish to probably stop the food forest over time. Whether existing nature area will also be transformed into a food forest is still a question. According to Karssen, that is not yet a theme for most governments. Recommended:  Regenerative Agriculture: Its Full Potential (Part 3 of 3) Food Forest: Revenues Calculated Governments therefore offer space for food forests and idealists step into this pioneering role. But what does it deliver? This will me measured in the project Food forestry, harvestst caunted. It started in November 2019 and measures biodiversy, harvest, CO2-fixation and soil restoration. Not scienticifcally but by citizen science. Pioneers themselves measure according to agreed methods, controlled by students, and the growing quantity of them ensures the reliability of the numbers counted. In the past, Rich Forests, part of both environmental and human rights organization Both ENDS, and Stichting Voedbosbouw Nederland, already tried to quanity the harvests of food forests. Rich Forests is the most cautious in its calculations for Dutch soil: a conservative calculation of the products at world market prices has been used. In 25 years the net profit (after deduction of all costs including financing costs and labor costs) amounts to € 300 per hectare per year. The profit comes from walnuts, hazelnuts, pea bush (leguminous crop), chestnuts, almond, apples and jostabes. The costs are for the benefits: after nine years the forest starts to become profitable, based on only fruit yield. Vanilla, Shri Lanka In other countries, such as Sri Lanka, it can be much more lucrative due to the different climate and special niche products such as vanilla, cardamon, ginger, tea and cinnamon. Rich Forests comes to € 20,000 profit per hectare per year. Landscape services are not yet neglected in this, as are CO2 capture. Food Forestry Netherlands Foundation developed four models for the Welna estate: a biodiversity model, an experience / leisure model, a gastronomy model and a production model. The models are made for forestry land on the Welna estate in Epe. The last two yield the most in an economic sense. The first two are cost-effective, because they exceed the net profit of 300 euros per hectare. The four completed models were subsequently converted by The Plant into an online tool that everyone can use for their own field. The prognosis is that the net returns after a substantial investment in the initial phase will be very high and around € 20,000 per hectare. Most of it comes from selling products. Frank Gorter from Welna estate expressed the substantiation for these numbers during the final presentation of this project as follows: “The yield of a Scots pine is on average 50 to 60 euros per tree after 50 years. The yield of a walnut starts after 9 years. A few tens in the beginning, but after 20 years, one tree easily generates 150 euros a year. If you then cut it down after 50 years, you also have walnut on top of this profit. That is really worth more than pine. The revenues seem unbelievably large, but wholesale prices have been assumed. In addition, a lot of time has been budgeted for harvesting on the cost side, leasing costs are also included in the models and everyone can download the models themselves and adjust them to his or her own situation. ” Wageningen University Research (WUR): Higher Yields With Mixed Crops The WUR has not yet conducted research into food forests. However, the aforementioned mixed crops in agroforestry systems, a form that is much closer to current agriculture. Wijnand Sukkel, a researcher at the university, confirms that mixed crops on average yield more hectares than monocultures. "You need a quarter less space for two crops mixed together than two separate crops." Mixed crops on average yield more hectares than monocultures  At the same time, according to him, the edible dry matter yield of one hectare of food forest never equals the edible dry matter yield of one hectare of annual crops. “If only because apples contain much less dry matter than wheat, for example.” According to him, you can get a good dry matter yield by combining wheat or other grains with trees (agroforestry). "Then there must be 20 meters between the rows of trees." Food Forest: Start Yourself? Take a look at: Voedsel uit het bos There you can download the models of The Plant after registration and get started with your own field. You will also find interesting information about regulations here and you can participate in the modular food forestry course package. The Food Forestry Netherlands Foundation is also happy to help agricultural entrepreneurs and others to set up a food forest. For example, by offering basic courses and in the field of regulations. Visit voedsel bosbouw  or contact them at: Stichting Voedsel Bosbouw  Before you go! Recommended:  Fog Catchers: Making Water Out Of Air In Africa, Peru, Chile 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 food forests? Click on  'Register'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage'
The exploitation of a food forest can yield more than an ordinary corn field. Pioneers in The Netherlands say that. They define a food forest as a place where at least four layers grow above each other and where practically no processing takes place. There are now around 100 in the Netherlands, most of them very small, for example half a hectare. Growing Food And Creating Biodiversity They are from pioneers or hobbyists. But there is increasing interest in this form of agriculture, especially because it increases biodiversity and decreases climate change. In that view, a project has started who measures biodiversy, harvest, CO2-fixation and soil restoration. What is biodiversity and why it is important? Biodiversity boosts ecosystem productivity where each species, no matter how small, all have an important role to play. For example, A larger number of plant species means a greater variety of crops. Greater species diversity ensures natural sustainability for all life forms The food forest is in Europe not very known, experienced Marieke Karssen from The Plant during a lecture she gave about the subject on a Forestry conference in Florence in Februar 2020. There the phenomenon of food forestry was still largely unknown. In june she goes to Dartington in Devon (UK) to speak about the subject on the International Food Forest symposium. Small scale food forest What is exactly a food forest? To give an image: in a food forest, roots grow underground, ground cover plants, herbs, shrubs, climbing plants and low and high trees. They would reinforce each other in such a way that no manure or agent is needed. A food forest offers people nuts, fruits, berries, mushrooms, herbs and roots. The cultivation in the first Dutch food forests is labor-intensive, there is no manure or crop protection agent involved and plowing or digging is not done. Some food foresters prune some, others don't. However, the construction is capital and labor intensive and the harvest is also labor intensive: everything must be picked by hand. The first real returns are only available after a few years. Recommended:  Regenerative Agriculture: Basics For Safe Food (Part 1 of 3) Food Forrest: Mankind And His Ecology The design and construction of a food forest has so far focused on strengthening an ecosystem from which not only people benefit (food). It is also there for the animals, the soil, CO2 capture and water storage. Because relatively little organic material is harvested and trees do capture CO2, the organic matter content in the soil grows. The pioneers strive to make the soil rich in soil animals and fungi. Insects, butterflies, birds and small mammals also feed on the harvest. A balance in species prevents pests, says pioneer Wouter van Eck. What is the simple definition of ecology? Ecology is the science that studies the biota (living things), the environment, and their interactions. It comes from the Greek oikos = house; logos = study. Ecology is the study of ecosystems. Ecosystems describe the web or network of relations among organisms at different scales of organization. The Ketelbroek food forest in Horst by Wouter van Eck under Nijmegen is one of the best known in the Netherlands. National media paid a lot of attention to this phenomenon. The nine-year-old forest is the most advanced food forest in the Netherlands, but with 2.5 hectares it is still an experiment. At the time, the largest food forest in Europe is built in Schijndel in Brabant: the Green Development Fund Brabant makes 20 hectares available. The Ketelbroek food forest in Horst the Netherlands Mary Fiers, director of Green Development Fund Brabant, is convinced of the added value of a large-scale, agricultural food forest. She says on the website of Stichting Voedselbosbouw Nederland: “The food forests are over the hobby. A food forest of the size realized in Schijndel must become profitable in the long term. In our opinion, this initiative is a good example of entrepreneurship with nature. With a profit for the biodiversity of the area and ultimately also a profit for the farmer who will be exploiting it.” {youtube}                                                            Biodiversity, Wageningen University Research Creating Biodiversity: Do Not Separate Nature And Agriculture The removal of the separation between agriculture and nature is a theme that occupies policy makers and researchers. Nature inclusive agriculture is the magic wordin The Netherlands these days. The food forest is a form of that. A lighter form of nature-inclusive agriculture is agroforestry, where fruit or nut trees are combined with annual cultivation or livestock farming. Indeed, the variety of species in a food forest appears large. Even larger in Ketelbroek than in the neighboring Natura 2000 area, discovered student researchers from Van Hall Larenstein. Recommended:  Regenerative Farming: Agro-Ecology In Practice (Part 2 of 3) Photo by: Morley Read.  Coffee bushes in a shade-grown plantation in the Andes, Ecuador  Food Forest Development: Regional Governments Give Space To It Proponents want the funds for nature development to also benefit this form of agriculture. The provinces are responsible for nature development and management. What do they think of it? The provinces of Limburg and Zeeland signed the Food Forest Forests Green Deal and state that they will also be filling in their provincial nature network with the construction of food forests. They also agreed in the Green Deal to make provincial subsidies for innovation, rural development and sustainability available for the construction, marketing and knowledge development of food forests, as well as for rewards for ecosystem services and monitoring. This therefore seems promising. What is a Food Forest? A food forest, also called a forest garden, is a diverse planting of edible plants that attempts to mimic the ecosystems and patterns found in nature. Food forests are three dimensional designs, with life extending in all directions; up, down, and out.  Generally, we recognize seven layers of a forest garden – the overstory, the understory, the shrub layer, the herbaceous layer, the root layer, the ground cover layer, and the vine layer.                                         The birth of a backyard food forest  At the same time, steps have been taken by the central government towards more food forests. In 2019 a crop code was included for it in the agricultural administration which takes care of EU-grants. But beware: at a local level, an agricultural destination does not always allow trees to be planted, for example because of a desired open landscape. The entrepreneur in question must also apply to the province for exemption from the obligation to replant, when there is a wish to probably stop the food forest over time. Whether existing nature area will also be transformed into a food forest is still a question. According to Karssen, that is not yet a theme for most governments. Recommended:  Regenerative Agriculture: Its Full Potential (Part 3 of 3) Food Forest: Revenues Calculated Governments therefore offer space for food forests and idealists step into this pioneering role. But what does it deliver? This will me measured in the project Food forestry, harvestst caunted. It started in November 2019 and measures biodiversy, harvest, CO2-fixation and soil restoration. Not scienticifcally but by citizen science. Pioneers themselves measure according to agreed methods, controlled by students, and the growing quantity of them ensures the reliability of the numbers counted. In the past, Rich Forests, part of both environmental and human rights organization Both ENDS, and Stichting Voedbosbouw Nederland, already tried to quanity the harvests of food forests. Rich Forests is the most cautious in its calculations for Dutch soil: a conservative calculation of the products at world market prices has been used. In 25 years the net profit (after deduction of all costs including financing costs and labor costs) amounts to € 300 per hectare per year. The profit comes from walnuts, hazelnuts, pea bush (leguminous crop), chestnuts, almond, apples and jostabes. The costs are for the benefits: after nine years the forest starts to become profitable, based on only fruit yield. Vanilla, Shri Lanka In other countries, such as Sri Lanka, it can be much more lucrative due to the different climate and special niche products such as vanilla, cardamon, ginger, tea and cinnamon. Rich Forests comes to € 20,000 profit per hectare per year. Landscape services are not yet neglected in this, as are CO2 capture. Food Forestry Netherlands Foundation developed four models for the Welna estate: a biodiversity model, an experience / leisure model, a gastronomy model and a production model. The models are made for forestry land on the Welna estate in Epe. The last two yield the most in an economic sense. The first two are cost-effective, because they exceed the net profit of 300 euros per hectare. The four completed models were subsequently converted by The Plant into an online tool that everyone can use for their own field. The prognosis is that the net returns after a substantial investment in the initial phase will be very high and around € 20,000 per hectare. Most of it comes from selling products. Frank Gorter from Welna estate expressed the substantiation for these numbers during the final presentation of this project as follows: “The yield of a Scots pine is on average 50 to 60 euros per tree after 50 years. The yield of a walnut starts after 9 years. A few tens in the beginning, but after 20 years, one tree easily generates 150 euros a year. If you then cut it down after 50 years, you also have walnut on top of this profit. That is really worth more than pine. The revenues seem unbelievably large, but wholesale prices have been assumed. In addition, a lot of time has been budgeted for harvesting on the cost side, leasing costs are also included in the models and everyone can download the models themselves and adjust them to his or her own situation. ” Wageningen University Research (WUR): Higher Yields With Mixed Crops The WUR has not yet conducted research into food forests. However, the aforementioned mixed crops in agroforestry systems, a form that is much closer to current agriculture. Wijnand Sukkel, a researcher at the university, confirms that mixed crops on average yield more hectares than monocultures. "You need a quarter less space for two crops mixed together than two separate crops." Mixed crops on average yield more hectares than monocultures  At the same time, according to him, the edible dry matter yield of one hectare of food forest never equals the edible dry matter yield of one hectare of annual crops. “If only because apples contain much less dry matter than wheat, for example.” According to him, you can get a good dry matter yield by combining wheat or other grains with trees (agroforestry). "Then there must be 20 meters between the rows of trees." Food Forest: Start Yourself? Take a look at: Voedsel uit het bos There you can download the models of The Plant after registration and get started with your own field. You will also find interesting information about regulations here and you can participate in the modular food forestry course package. The Food Forestry Netherlands Foundation is also happy to help agricultural entrepreneurs and others to set up a food forest. For example, by offering basic courses and in the field of regulations. Visit voedsel bosbouw  or contact them at: Stichting Voedsel Bosbouw  Before you go! Recommended:  Fog Catchers: Making Water Out Of Air In Africa, Peru, Chile 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 food forests? Click on  'Register'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage'
Food Forest: Growing Food And Creating Biodiversity
Agricultural Waste Turned Into Food: Green Alternatives
Biomass has always been quite the headache for anyone working in the food industry. This term encompasses anything related to the agricultural waste left behind, never to be seen by the consumer - including stems, leaves, seed pots, and so on. The amount of these by-products is staggering.   Agricultural Waste: A Large Burden On The Environment Worldwide, the crop-remainders on the field, left behind after harvesting, add up to some 5 billion metric tons. For farmers, it is quite a task to get rid of those residues - and a task that adds to their carbon footprint. Roughly 13% of industry-wide emissions can be contributed to the processing and removal of biomass in any shape, form or size. Potatoes left behind to rot So we are not just leaving quite a lot of product on the table, its ultimate removal and cleanup places an additional burden on the environment as well. For those who think that there should be a better way, you are absolutely right. Thankfully, we are now looking into ways of actually doing so, by turning the waste left behind into useful food products or packaging.   The concept is fantastic, as it does not only solve the big problem of waste, but it also provides farmers with a much needed additional income stream from this new product. Plus, it is quite easy to implement in the current day-to-day business. Recommended:  Bioplastic From Fish Scale And Skin Composts Quickly: UK Waste Turned Into Food: Create More Chocolate The cacao bean, for instance, is a notorious waste-generator. For one pound of cacao produced, there is about twelve pounds of biomass. This is something that can potentially be turned into something useful. Colombian researchers were able to create new products using the cacao waste, such as beer, desserts, juice and nutraceuticals.   In similar experiment, researchers found that they were able to create chocolate using cacao beans and cacao bean waste. This chocolate claims to be 100 percent cacao, while tasting a lot less bitter than traditional forms of pure chocolate. This is the result of the replacement of ‘traditional’ chocolate ingredients like cane sugar, milk and soy lecithin with sweeteners and emulsifiers from the cacao fruit, ingredients that were previously thrown away. It is commercially available under the brand name 'Betul'. Recommended:  Are Bio Based Bottles Good For The Environment? Recommended:  Dumpster Diving: A Hobby That Helps To Combat Food Waste Turning Agricultural Waste Into Eco-friendly Products & Packaging {youtube}                                                            Rice Husks Dinnerware,100% Biodegradable European researchers are finding ways of turning agricultural waste into ecofriendly packaging. A double win, as it does not only reduce waste, but also cuts back on the amount of plastic used for packaging. Packaging can be created using residues such as spoiled fruit juices, wheat straw, grapevine shoots and cattle manure - or this is what researchers united in the project GLOPACK have found. The downside of this packaging project is that it is more costly. The cost of eco-friendly packaging will be anywhere between € 3 and € 4 per kilogram; whereas regular packaging plastic averages around € 1,50 per kilogram. Yet when looking at the real, true price of plastic vs. ecofriendly alternatives, this will surely tip the scale. Besides, this ecofriendly solution will not just decrease agricultural waste, it will also allow the industry to become less reliant on petrochemical products and decrease their emissions. Recommended:  Vegetables, Fruit, Edible Flowers, But Also Bees In Cities Urban Farming Green Alternatives: Fruit Pigments And Antioxidants Make Care Products Meanwhile, in Australia, researchers are figuring out how to use agricultural plant waste to harvest molecules useful in medicine, cosmetics and food additives. This is working particularly well for mushroom residue for medicinal use, leftovers from vegetables such as cauliflower and kale for sulforaphane, a component that boosts specific health benefits - and, most notably, fruit pigments and antioxidants for beauty and skin care products, These leftovers do not usually have any value, although they are very easy to extract and process into products that actually do have value. In particular the pigments found in blueberries en blackberries are extremely suitable for this purpose, although similar kinds of biomolecules are also produced for apples, cherries, other berries, black olives, and the skins of onions and potatoes.   Reducing Agricultural Waste While Creating More Products These examples of Australian, European and Columbian initiatives are just mere examples of the many ways in which we can re-use our agricultural waste and previously unused by-products of our food production. It is definitely something that should be pursued for anyone working with biomass, not only because it is the more sustainable thing to do, but also because it can really enhance the producer’s bottom line by introducing one or several extra products.   So if the green element does not do it for you, the green numbers below your profit line might.   Before you go! Recommended:  Sustainable Bicycle Is Made From Recycled Plastic In Brazil 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 recycling? Click on  'Register'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage'
Biomass has always been quite the headache for anyone working in the food industry. This term encompasses anything related to the agricultural waste left behind, never to be seen by the consumer - including stems, leaves, seed pots, and so on. The amount of these by-products is staggering.   Agricultural Waste: A Large Burden On The Environment Worldwide, the crop-remainders on the field, left behind after harvesting, add up to some 5 billion metric tons. For farmers, it is quite a task to get rid of those residues - and a task that adds to their carbon footprint. Roughly 13% of industry-wide emissions can be contributed to the processing and removal of biomass in any shape, form or size. Potatoes left behind to rot So we are not just leaving quite a lot of product on the table, its ultimate removal and cleanup places an additional burden on the environment as well. For those who think that there should be a better way, you are absolutely right. Thankfully, we are now looking into ways of actually doing so, by turning the waste left behind into useful food products or packaging.   The concept is fantastic, as it does not only solve the big problem of waste, but it also provides farmers with a much needed additional income stream from this new product. Plus, it is quite easy to implement in the current day-to-day business. Recommended:  Bioplastic From Fish Scale And Skin Composts Quickly: UK Waste Turned Into Food: Create More Chocolate The cacao bean, for instance, is a notorious waste-generator. For one pound of cacao produced, there is about twelve pounds of biomass. This is something that can potentially be turned into something useful. Colombian researchers were able to create new products using the cacao waste, such as beer, desserts, juice and nutraceuticals.   In similar experiment, researchers found that they were able to create chocolate using cacao beans and cacao bean waste. This chocolate claims to be 100 percent cacao, while tasting a lot less bitter than traditional forms of pure chocolate. This is the result of the replacement of ‘traditional’ chocolate ingredients like cane sugar, milk and soy lecithin with sweeteners and emulsifiers from the cacao fruit, ingredients that were previously thrown away. It is commercially available under the brand name 'Betul'. Recommended:  Are Bio Based Bottles Good For The Environment? Recommended:  Dumpster Diving: A Hobby That Helps To Combat Food Waste Turning Agricultural Waste Into Eco-friendly Products & Packaging {youtube}                                                            Rice Husks Dinnerware,100% Biodegradable European researchers are finding ways of turning agricultural waste into ecofriendly packaging. A double win, as it does not only reduce waste, but also cuts back on the amount of plastic used for packaging. Packaging can be created using residues such as spoiled fruit juices, wheat straw, grapevine shoots and cattle manure - or this is what researchers united in the project GLOPACK have found. The downside of this packaging project is that it is more costly. The cost of eco-friendly packaging will be anywhere between € 3 and € 4 per kilogram; whereas regular packaging plastic averages around € 1,50 per kilogram. Yet when looking at the real, true price of plastic vs. ecofriendly alternatives, this will surely tip the scale. Besides, this ecofriendly solution will not just decrease agricultural waste, it will also allow the industry to become less reliant on petrochemical products and decrease their emissions. Recommended:  Vegetables, Fruit, Edible Flowers, But Also Bees In Cities Urban Farming Green Alternatives: Fruit Pigments And Antioxidants Make Care Products Meanwhile, in Australia, researchers are figuring out how to use agricultural plant waste to harvest molecules useful in medicine, cosmetics and food additives. This is working particularly well for mushroom residue for medicinal use, leftovers from vegetables such as cauliflower and kale for sulforaphane, a component that boosts specific health benefits - and, most notably, fruit pigments and antioxidants for beauty and skin care products, These leftovers do not usually have any value, although they are very easy to extract and process into products that actually do have value. In particular the pigments found in blueberries en blackberries are extremely suitable for this purpose, although similar kinds of biomolecules are also produced for apples, cherries, other berries, black olives, and the skins of onions and potatoes.   Reducing Agricultural Waste While Creating More Products These examples of Australian, European and Columbian initiatives are just mere examples of the many ways in which we can re-use our agricultural waste and previously unused by-products of our food production. It is definitely something that should be pursued for anyone working with biomass, not only because it is the more sustainable thing to do, but also because it can really enhance the producer’s bottom line by introducing one or several extra products.   So if the green element does not do it for you, the green numbers below your profit line might.   Before you go! Recommended:  Sustainable Bicycle Is Made From Recycled Plastic In Brazil 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 recycling? Click on  'Register'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage'
Agricultural Waste Turned Into Food: Green Alternatives
Agricultural Waste Turned Into Food: Green Alternatives
Agrivoltaics: Food, Water, Energy At Its Best
Nature Sustainability published a paper about agrivoltaics. The article presents the first field-data evaluation of the results of a multi-year study of agronomy (agrivoltaics) in dry areas led by UA-geographer Greg Barron-Gafford. Agrivoltaics: Food, Water, Energy At Its Best Creating resilience in renewable energy and food production is a crucial challenge in today's evolving world, especially in regions that are sensitive to heat and drought. Agrivoltaics, the co-location of agriculture and photovoltaic solar panels, suggests a potential solution. With a new study under the guidance of the University of Arizona, research has shown a positive impact on food production, water-saving and the efficiency of electricity production. Solar Sharing Is Agrivoltaics Agrivoltaics, also referred to as solar sharing, is an idea that has been on the rise in recent years, but few studies have checked all aspects of the associated food, energy and water systems. What should be mentioned is that no research has focused on dry areas or regions. These regions are facing food production problems and water shortages but on the overabundance of solar energy. Many of us want more renewable energy, but where do you place all of those panels? Recommended:  Solar Sono Motors Car: Developed in Germany, Made In Sweden There are a lot of more solar installations now than there was before, but mostly on the edges of the cities", commented Greg Barron-Gafford. Barron-Gafford is an associate professor in the School of Geography and Development and lead author on the paper that was published today in Nature Sustainability. Agrivoltaics Mutually Beneficial: Food, Water And Energy Do we prefer to use the land for food or energy production? Researchers started to ask, "Why not produce both in the same place?" So, that is what happens right now: growing peppers, crops of tomatoes, herbs and kale all in the shadow. "So what do you prefer for land use: food or energy production? This challenge strikes right at the intersection of human-environment connections, and that is where geographers shine!" said Barron-Gafford, who is also a researcher with Biosphere 2. "We started to ask, 'Why do we nog produce them both in the same place?' And we have been growing crops like tomatoes, peppers, chard, kale, and herbs all in the shadow of the solar panels. Recommended:  Regenerative Agriculture: Its Full Potential (Part 3 of 3) {youtube}                                                   Agrivoltaics Mutually Beneficial: Food, Water and Energy                                                                              Biosphere 2 Agrivoltaics Agrivoltaic Research: Measure The Crops With the help of photovoltaic solar panels or PV panels and regional vegetables, the team created the first agrivoltaic research location in Biosphere 2. Professors and students measured everything from the moment the plants sprouted to the number of carbon plants they released from the atmosphere and water to their total food production during the entire growing season. During an average three-month summer growing season, the researchers monitored the incoming light levels, the relative humidity and the air temperature above the soil surface at a depth of 5 centimetres. They focused on chiltepin pepper, cherry tomato plants and jalapeños that were positioned under a PV array. Both the traditional area as the agrivoltaics area got the same daily irrigation. The researchers discovered that the agrivoltaics system has a significant impact on three factors that affect plant growth and reproduction: air temperature direct sunlight the demand for water In the agrivoltaic area, the plants were placed in the shadow of the PV-panels. This resulted in cooler daytime temperature opposite to warmer night temperatures. There was also more humidity. Beneficial For: Food, Water And Energy They found out that a lot of food crops grow better in the shadow of the solar panels because they cannot get direct sunlight. "The total chiltepin fruit production was three times greater under the PV panels in an agrivoltaics system, and tomato production was twice as high, according to Baron-Gafford. Jalapeños produced a similar amount of fruit in both the agrivoltaics system and the traditional one, but with almost no water loss. The researchers also discovered that we could support every crop growth for days with the agrivoltaics systems, not just hours in the current traditional plots. We can reduce water use but maintain the level of food production. Recommended:  Urban Gardening: Kill Grass, Grow Food Only There is not only beneficial to the plants but also to energy production: agrivoltaics systems increase the efficiency of energy production. Due to the use of solar panels for cultivating crops, researchers were able to reduce the temperature of the groups. The researchers say that more research with additional plant species is necessary. They also indicate the impact that agrivoltaic products can have on the physical and social well-being of farmworkers, which has not yet been studied. Preliminary data show that the skin temperature can be about 18 degrees Fahrenheit cooler when working in an agrivoltaic area than in traditional agriculture. Recommended: Food Forest: Growing Food And Creating Biodiversity Agrivoltaic And Climate Change There is already a lot of disruption in food production because of climate change. Agrivoltaic systems could help, not only for the crops but also for the farm labour. They work in the heat, which can cause heat strokes. Agrivoltaic systems can help diminish heat and maintain humidity. Before you go! Recommended:  Climate Change: Water Scarcity, Hunger, Agriculture And Food Do you like this article about agrivolraics 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 own article about growing food or solar energy? Click on  'Register'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage'
Nature Sustainability published a paper about agrivoltaics. The article presents the first field-data evaluation of the results of a multi-year study of agronomy (agrivoltaics) in dry areas led by UA-geographer Greg Barron-Gafford. Agrivoltaics: Food, Water, Energy At Its Best Creating resilience in renewable energy and food production is a crucial challenge in today's evolving world, especially in regions that are sensitive to heat and drought. Agrivoltaics, the co-location of agriculture and photovoltaic solar panels, suggests a potential solution. With a new study under the guidance of the University of Arizona, research has shown a positive impact on food production, water-saving and the efficiency of electricity production. Solar Sharing Is Agrivoltaics Agrivoltaics, also referred to as solar sharing, is an idea that has been on the rise in recent years, but few studies have checked all aspects of the associated food, energy and water systems. What should be mentioned is that no research has focused on dry areas or regions. These regions are facing food production problems and water shortages but on the overabundance of solar energy. Many of us want more renewable energy, but where do you place all of those panels? Recommended:  Solar Sono Motors Car: Developed in Germany, Made In Sweden There are a lot of more solar installations now than there was before, but mostly on the edges of the cities", commented Greg Barron-Gafford. Barron-Gafford is an associate professor in the School of Geography and Development and lead author on the paper that was published today in Nature Sustainability. Agrivoltaics Mutually Beneficial: Food, Water And Energy Do we prefer to use the land for food or energy production? Researchers started to ask, "Why not produce both in the same place?" So, that is what happens right now: growing peppers, crops of tomatoes, herbs and kale all in the shadow. "So what do you prefer for land use: food or energy production? This challenge strikes right at the intersection of human-environment connections, and that is where geographers shine!" said Barron-Gafford, who is also a researcher with Biosphere 2. "We started to ask, 'Why do we nog produce them both in the same place?' And we have been growing crops like tomatoes, peppers, chard, kale, and herbs all in the shadow of the solar panels. Recommended:  Regenerative Agriculture: Its Full Potential (Part 3 of 3) {youtube}                                                   Agrivoltaics Mutually Beneficial: Food, Water and Energy                                                                              Biosphere 2 Agrivoltaics Agrivoltaic Research: Measure The Crops With the help of photovoltaic solar panels or PV panels and regional vegetables, the team created the first agrivoltaic research location in Biosphere 2. Professors and students measured everything from the moment the plants sprouted to the number of carbon plants they released from the atmosphere and water to their total food production during the entire growing season. During an average three-month summer growing season, the researchers monitored the incoming light levels, the relative humidity and the air temperature above the soil surface at a depth of 5 centimetres. They focused on chiltepin pepper, cherry tomato plants and jalapeños that were positioned under a PV array. Both the traditional area as the agrivoltaics area got the same daily irrigation. The researchers discovered that the agrivoltaics system has a significant impact on three factors that affect plant growth and reproduction: air temperature direct sunlight the demand for water In the agrivoltaic area, the plants were placed in the shadow of the PV-panels. This resulted in cooler daytime temperature opposite to warmer night temperatures. There was also more humidity. Beneficial For: Food, Water And Energy They found out that a lot of food crops grow better in the shadow of the solar panels because they cannot get direct sunlight. "The total chiltepin fruit production was three times greater under the PV panels in an agrivoltaics system, and tomato production was twice as high, according to Baron-Gafford. Jalapeños produced a similar amount of fruit in both the agrivoltaics system and the traditional one, but with almost no water loss. The researchers also discovered that we could support every crop growth for days with the agrivoltaics systems, not just hours in the current traditional plots. We can reduce water use but maintain the level of food production. Recommended:  Urban Gardening: Kill Grass, Grow Food Only There is not only beneficial to the plants but also to energy production: agrivoltaics systems increase the efficiency of energy production. Due to the use of solar panels for cultivating crops, researchers were able to reduce the temperature of the groups. The researchers say that more research with additional plant species is necessary. They also indicate the impact that agrivoltaic products can have on the physical and social well-being of farmworkers, which has not yet been studied. Preliminary data show that the skin temperature can be about 18 degrees Fahrenheit cooler when working in an agrivoltaic area than in traditional agriculture. Recommended: Food Forest: Growing Food And Creating Biodiversity Agrivoltaic And Climate Change There is already a lot of disruption in food production because of climate change. Agrivoltaic systems could help, not only for the crops but also for the farm labour. They work in the heat, which can cause heat strokes. Agrivoltaic systems can help diminish heat and maintain humidity. Before you go! Recommended:  Climate Change: Water Scarcity, Hunger, Agriculture And Food Do you like this article about agrivolraics 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 own article about growing food or solar energy? Click on  'Register'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage'
Agrivoltaics: Food, Water, Energy At Its Best
Agrivoltaics: Food, Water, Energy At Its Best
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.

If there was an urge to come up with a sustainable way of agriculture and gardening solutions and share these topics globally it’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. 

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