Special Spuds: Crops for Mars

In the movie, The Martian, it appears luck would be on the astronaut’s side that he has raw potatoes on hand. These starters for crops for Mars are pure coincidence? Common sense survival tactics? Nope. Science has known for years that crops will grow on Mars. And there’s a potato that will grow in almost any set of environmental conditions. Not to mention the fact that you don’t need seed – it’s a harvest that reproduces itself from itself into perpetuity. “Well, they’ve known for a while that crops can grow in Martian soil,” science nerd and author of The...

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Build An Urban Garden Room

A winner of the 2016 Chart Art Fair Architecture competition, the urban garden room display caught a lot of attention late last summer. The structure didn’t attract just gardeners and local food fans. Fair attendees with diverse interests loved the experience of relaxing in a cocoon of live plants. The aromas of herbs and bright colored vegetables and flowers was a big hit. After sunset, the garden-wrapped pod became a social spot. After the fair, the collaborative Growroom pavilion exhibition was moved to the Space10 future-living lab in Copenhagen. It continued to draw interest in its new location. Recently, the...

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Organic Farm Contest: Winner Takes All

No gimmick. This is for real. Someone is going to be the lucky winner of a small organic farm in central North Carolina. What would you do with 13 acres of land? If you’ve got the right qualifications, outlook, and goals, the current owner wants you to take over from here. The area around this USDA certified organic farm is beautiful, rolling, partially forested, and rural. But it’s sitting in a sweet spot for marketing locally grown produce, herbs, eggs, and added value products. Bluebird Hill Farm is only an hour from Winston-Salem/Greensboro and Raleigh/Durham. It’s also only 2...

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New Hydroponic Planter: Botanium

The biggest reason for a new gardener to kill plants is water – too much or too little. That’s exactly what led to this new hydroponic planter design. Rasmus Tretow got totally fed up with killing plants. Lots of new urban gardeners try to grow herbs and veggies in repurposed waste: tin cans, clamshell packaging, modified Coke bottles, etc. Recycling is wonderful, but plants have distinct needs. They’re not programmed to do well with less. None of that reused stuff was designed with them in mind. The situation leaves your plants wide open to lots of issues. Even with a real...

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Meet Altifarm Vertical Garden System

Here’s a new compact vertical garden system that will work in anyone’s living situation. The Altifarm design is perfect for your busy schedule, and inexpensive to maintain. It will work indoors or outside. And it’s design will look great in any room, or on the patio and balcony. Even the smallest home will have a space to tuck this modular vertical garden system in. And its so simple to use, even your children will have no problem growing fruits and vegetables. Surprisingly, kids think veggies they have grown are tastier. It’s like magic, suddenly nutritious food is cool. The...

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