Melbourne penalizes city folk who grow veggies on vacant land By Christopher BantickWeekly Times First it was sea-changers then tree-changers that moved into country communities looking for rural bliss. The next migration may be vegie-changers. This is a likely scenario if Melbourne councils continue to whack sky-high rates on vacant land used for vegetable gardens. The latest Melbourne council to penalise – yes penalise – people growing fruit trees and vegetables on their own unbuilt land is Darebin. Why? Well, what use is it having a vacant block when it could be used for housing? It’s a punitive strategy. According to Darebin City Council chief financial officer Kerrie Jordan, upping council rates on vacant land comes with a clear intention. Rates on vacant land in Darebin are three times the levy on residential property. They are, wait for it, $2519 if you grow a few spuds on your own empty land! “We want to encourage land owners to develop vacant land to increase the supply of housing and to enhance the city’s vitality,” Ms Jordan says.
Food Sovereignty: 5 Steps to Cool the Planet and Feed Its People How the industrial food system contributes to the climate crisis Between 44% and 57% of all GHG emissions come from the global food system Deforestation: 15-18% Before the planting starts, the bulldozers do their job. Farming: 11-15% It is generally acknowledged that farming itself contributes 11-15% of all greenhouse gasses produced globally. Transport: 5-6% The industrial food system acts like a global travel agency. Processing & packaging: 8-10% Processing is the next, highly profitable, step in the industrial food chain. Freezing & Retail: 2-4% Refrigeration is the lynchpin of the modern supermarket and fast food chains' vast global procurement systems. Waste: 3-4% The industrial food system discards up to half of all the food that it produces, thrown out on the long journey from farms to traders, to food processors, and eventually to retailers and restaurants. Food sovereignty: 5 steps to cool the planet and feed its people 1. The food/climate equation is rooted in the earth. 2. 4. 5.
penrhos home page permaculture design and sustainable developmen Crazy Looking Bamboo Tower Creates 25 Gallons of Drinking Water Per Day From Thin Air! This crazy looking tower creates 25 gallons of drinking water per day from thin air. It’s basically an atmospheric water collector which gathers dew from the air. “…The 9 m tall bamboo framework has a special fabric hanging inside capable to collect potable water from the air by condensation…” It’s called the WarkaWater: “…The name ‘WarkaWater’ comes from the Warka Tree, a giant wild fig tree native to Ethiopia, traditionally used for public gatherings and school education. The simple and practical, yet elegant design powers out ahead of any of the commercial atmospheric water generators on the market which cost thousands more to build than this. This is a wonderful water generation idea, that’s inexpensive, and actually beautiful to look at. Water is life, and being designed after a tree. via: WarkaWater Comments comments
Home These Floating Vertical Farms Are Designed To Bring Local Food To The Densest Urban Areas As one of the densest countries in the world, with nearly 20,000 people per square mile, Singapore doesn't really have room for farms. Almost all of the food there is imported from elsewhere--sometimes as far away as Brazil or Argentina. But could floating vertical farms make local food a reality? Architects from Barcelona-based design firm JAPA have proposed a new system of looping towers that could float in local harbors, providing new space for year-round crops. The unusual shape is intended to save space and maximize the light that reaches plants. Throughout the towers, a network of sensors would monitor crops and communicate in real time with networks in the city. Koryo Group[/caption] Though the design is just a concept, the architects hope to collaborate with the government in Singapore--along with local technology companies and food-related organizations--to keep pursuing it. Something similar could also be used in other countries with densely-populated coastlines.
GRAIN — Home Nano Water Chip Could Make Desalination Affordable for Everyone With freshwater declining throughout the globe, desalination looks increasingly attractive, but current technologies are expensive, demand far too much energy and are prone to contamination. Now researchers from the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Marburg in Germany have developed a “water chip” that creates a small electrical field that separates salt from seawater. The technology, which is still under development and works at the nano scale, uses so little energy it can run off a store-bought battery! The researchers apply a 3.0 volt electrical charge to the plastic water chip, which has a microchannel with two branches. By creating an “ion depletion zone” with an embedded electrode that neutralizes chloride ions, they are able to redirect the salts in the water down one channel, while the fresh water goes down another. A small startup called Okeanos Technologies has been created to continue developing the technology. + Okeanos Technologies Via Treehugger
AGRILIFE Sustainable Brands | The Bridge to Better Brands EAAE This smart sprinkler controller optimizes watering schedules based on soil mo... Designed specifically for SmartThings, this connected device replaces standard "dumb" irrigation controllers and brings smart home functionality to your yard. Water conservation ought to be a top-of-mind issue all of the time, but especially right now, when drought conditions threaten not only agriculture, but our urban water supplies. Focusing on conserving our precious freshwater resources is something that all of us ought to do our part in, and because one of the water uses that we actually have some control over is what we use in our homes and yards, reducing our own individual residential water consumption can help to make a difference. And the emerging field of "smart" things, which can automate and optimize tasks in our homes and offices, has been making strides in developing devices that can convert our lawns and gardens into smart yards, conserving both water and time. © Eve Irrigation