How One Startup Sold $6,000 Worth of Charcoal on Kickstarter Name: re:char Big Idea: Utilize organic waste to create carbon-negative charcoal, a substance that pulls CO2 from the air and helps crops grow taller and stronger. Why It's Working: Re:char's mission is about providing farmers — both at home and in developing countries such as Kenya — with conservation-oriented soil-boosting complexes that can double food output compared to traditional farming methods. How do you convince longtime traditional farmers that they could produce 200% more food every crop season if they mix their soil with specially-designed charcoal? "It's hard to get them to do anything out of their routine because it's very risky for them, especially when you're talking about their livelihood," says Aramburu. But once they saw the bountiful corn stalks that re:char could grow on Kenyan soil, they began to listen. The benefits of this charcoal are twofold: The chemical makeup of the biochar pulls carbon dioxide from the air and then feeds it back in the soil.
Hydroponics NASA researcher checking hydroponic onions with Bibb lettuce to his left and radishes to the right Hydroponics is a subset of hydroculture and is a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions, in water, without soil. Terrestrial plants may be grown with their roots in the mineral nutrient solution only or in an inert medium, such as perlite, gravel, biochar, mineral wool, expanded clay pebbles or coconut husk. Researchers discovered in the 18th century that plants absorb essential mineral nutrients as inorganic ions in water. History In 1929, William Frederick Gericke of the University of California at Berkeley began publicly promoting that solution culture be used for agricultural crop production. He first termed it aquaculture but later found that aquaculture was already applied to culture of aquatic organisms. Two other plant nutritionists at the University of California were asked to research Gericke's claims. Origin Soilless culture
Aquaponics system combining aquaculture with hydroponics in A symbiotic environment A small, portable aquaponics system. The term aquaponics is A portmanteau of the terms aquaculture and hydroponic agriculture. Aquaponic greenhouse in Apaga Aquaponics () refers to a food production system that couples aquaculture (raising aquatic animals such as fish, crayfish, snails or prawns in tanks) with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) whereby the nutrient rich aquaculture water is fed to hydroponic grown plant, involving nitrifying bacteria for converting ammonia into nitrates. As existing hydroponic and aquaculture farming techniques form the basis for all aquaponic systems, the size, complexity, and types of foods grown in an aquaponic system can vary as much as any system found in either distinct farming discipline. History Aquaponics has ancient roots, although there is some debate on its first occurrence: Parts of an aquaponic system A commercial aquaponics system. Plants
Rawfully Organic Co-op Grow The Easiest Garden on Earth Vermiculture: How To Build A Worm Bin the Cheap and Easy Way By Gaye Levy Contributing Writer for Wake Up World A couple of weeks ago I wrote about using worms to create compost. The official term for this is “Vermicomposting” and the great thing about it is that it is clean and tidy and does not take up a lot of space. Now that I have you excited about composting with worms – and specifically red worms – I would like to provide you with instructions for building the cheapest worm bin imaginable. The Cheap and Easy Worm Bin Materials: Here are the materials you will need to build your worm bin. * Two 8 to 10 gallon plastic storage bins * Drill (with 1/4″ and 1/16″ bits) for making drainage and ventilation holes * Newspaper * About one pound of red wiggler worms The bins should be opaque and not clear. Also, although you could use larger bins, they will be too doggone heavy to lift once they are full of nicely composted worm castings. Putting it all together: 1. 2. 3. Moisten the newspaper by soaking it in water and then squeezing out the excess water. 4.
Gardening for Life - Discovering New Ways To Feed The World Natural Hebicide How Weed Killers Work Weed killers, both homemade and commercial products, start by killing the above ground foliage. Systemic weed killers, like Roundup, are designed to cause injury to the entire plant including the root system so it will not grow back, according to a guide prepared by the University of California available here. Homemade vinegar-based products lack the oomph of commercial products and only desiccate the above ground foliage. 3 Homemade Weed Killer Recipes A quick search on the internet yielded lots of recipes for homemade weed killer with vinegar the primary ingredient. Weed Killer Recipe #1: Plain vinegar Weed Killer Recipe #2: 1 quart vinegar + 2 tbsp liquid dish soap Weed Killer Recipe #3: 1 quart vinegar + 1 tsp liquid dish soap + 1/4 c salt Application It's important to apply weed killer on a sunny day after the morning dew has evaporated and with no rain in the forecast for at least 24 hours so the product is not diluted with water. My Results
Wilson Solar Grill Stores the Sun's Energy For Nighttime Grilling Many of us will be firing up our grills this weekend for some well-deserved barbecue time. After all, barbecuing is one of America’s greatest pastimes, but it certainly isn’t one of our most environmentally friendly. Whether you prefer charcoal, wood chips or propane, grilling releases emissions and contributes to poor air quality. Wilson’s technology harnesses the sun and stores latent heat to allow cooking times for up to an amazing twenty five hours at temperatures above 450 degrees Fahrenheit. “There are a lot of solar cookers out there,” says Wilson, “but surprisingly not many using latent-heat storage as an attribute to cook the food.” A group of MIT students are working with the technology to develop a prototype solar grill. + Solar Grill on Barbecue Lovers Via Treehugger Images ©Derek Ham
The urban guide to being self sufficient'ish This is an easy recipe to follow and creates a delightful, if not usual tasting beer. It is very cheap to make and follows a traditionally english recipe. Before hops were widely used in the 17th century all sorts of plant were used to flavor the ale including nettles.(Urtica dioica). Ingredients 900grams (2lb) young nettle tops 3.8lts (1 gallon) of water 230 grams (8oz) of sugar, brown or demarrara sugar works best. 7.5 grams (0.25oz) of fresh yeast small piece of toast 7.5 grams (0.25oz) of ground ginger Method Boil the nettle tops in the water for half an hour (you will need a very large pan for this or preferably a cauldron). Keeping the mixture, strain and add sugar, stirring to dissolve. Spread the yeast onto the toast and float on the surface of the nettle liquid. Strain again and put into clean, strong screw top beer bottles, or sealable wine bottles (I used plastic bottles and it still worked). Growing in a small space tests even the greenest of fingers. False Economy South facing?
Milan's Vertical Forest Wednesday, 12 October 2011 GreenMuze Staff Milan’s Vertical Forest from Stefan Boeri Architects. The Bosco Verticale (Vertical Forest) will be the greenest building in Milan when completed, which is one of Europe’s most polluted cities. Designed by Stefan Boeri Architects, as part of their BioMilano vision to incorporate 60 abandoned farms into a greenbelt surrounding the city. The Bosco Verticale building has a green façade planted with dense forest systems to provide a building microclimate and to filter out polluting dust particles. Each apartment balcony will have trees (900 plantings are planned for the two buildings) that will provide shade in the summer and drop their leaves in winter to allow in winter sunlight. Visit: Via Inhabitat
Beginner’s Guide to Veganic Gardening Vegan-organic gardening avoids not only the use of toxic sprays and chemicals, but also manures and animal remains. Just as vegans avoid animal products in the rest of our lives, we also avoid using animal products in the garden, as fertilizers such as blood and bone meal, slaughterhouse sludge, fish emulsion, and manures are sourced from industries that exploit and enslave sentient beings. As these products may carry dangerous diseases that breed in intensive animal production operations, vegan-organic gardening is also a safer, healthier way to grow our food. In veganic growing situations, soil fertility is maintained using vegetable compost, green manures, crop rotation, mulching, and other sustainable, ecological methods. A border of marigolds helps to deter certain insects, and they also have a root system that improves the soil. Green Manures (and nitrogen-fixing crops) Green Manure is a cover crop of plants, which is grown with the specific purpose of being tilled into the soil.