Huge Urban Farming Complex Coming to Shanghai

Urban farming is no stranger in Shanghai. There are small, soil-based growing operations scattered around the metropolis. In fact, a century ago much of Shanghai’s food supply came from 300,000 hectares of farmland that ringed the city. But like many cities, population growth and urban sprawl did away with most agricultural land on the perimeter. Today, Shanghai is home to about 24 million people. Feeding them has become a challenge that vertical farming can change. When approached last fall about handling Shanghai’s new 250-acre urban farming complex design and planning, international architectural firm Sasaki was totally intrigued. The project...

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UN Declares Agricultural Pesticides Unnecessary

So much for the agrochemical industry’s insistence that agricultural pesticides are the only way to feed the world. The United Nation’s Special Rapporteur on toxins finds the professed need for pesticides unnecessary, and GMO crops right along with them. The idea that these are the answer to stopping hunger, the rapporteur authors say, is total bunk. The findings of a new study on global pesticide use and GMO crops, and their effects on humans, society, and the environment was presented to the UN Human Rights Council in early March 2017. In a recent article by The Guardian reporting on...

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Weeding Robot = Organic Weed Control

No more hoeing and scratching? Not if you have a weeding robot! Imagine that. It’s a gardener’s dream come true when organic weed control is a must. A weed-free vegetable garden without chemicals or sacrificing all your summer weekends to make it happen. Amazing, right? I don’t know about you, but I gotta have one of these robotic weed control gadgets. Just because you’ve got a crazy busy life doesn’t mean you don’t want fresh homegrown vegetables. But the weeds are always at the bottom of that To Do List. And once they’re out of control, which seems to happen overnight,...

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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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