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The World’s First Vertical Forest: An

The World’s First Vertical Forest: An
I’d like to introduce you to the world’s first Bosco Verticale (Italian for Vertical Forest), which is being built right now in Milan. According to Christopher Woodward, a writer for the Financial Times, it’s “the most exciting new tower in the world.” This vertical forest will span across two towers that have fabulous balconies designed to house these trees. This forest, designed by architect Stefano Boeri, will allow the greenery to get shade in the summer, sunlight in the winder and protection from the wind while it cleans the air, produces oxygen and cuts down on all the noise pollution in Milan. Via: [Amusing Planet] [Treehugger]

Small Urban Space Rain Gardens Rain gardens aren’t just for homeowners with large tracts of land. A rain garden planted in a small urban area can make a big difference in the water quality and environment of its surrounding area. When it rains in densely populated urban areas, impervious surfaces such as roads, sidewalks, and roofs not planted with gardens, trees, or turf, produce runoff that goes straight into storm sewers. Some storm drains carry water to treatment plants, while water from other storm drains washes directly into lakes, rivers, and oceans. Any time a large influx of water pours into an aquatic ecosystem, the balance of oxygen and nutrients is disturbed, causing death to aquatic life, and other disruptions of the ecosystem. Photo, City of Kingston, Melbourne, Australia In addition to impervious surfaces made of concrete or asphalt, many urban areas have vacant, muddy lots. Planting a rain garden, even a small one, can help divert water and keep it within the aquifer and out of streams and lakes.

Locavore-dom taken to the extreme—by bike Photo: MetrofietsI stepped out onto my front porch one day this summer just in time to see my farmer pedaling down the street with a trailer full of tools. To an outsider, such a vision must seem like a sketch right out of Portlandia, the television show that spoofs my hometown’s supposedly eccentric ways. Here in real-world Portland, however, it’s a normal sight. The farm from which I get most of my vegetables, aptly named Sidewalk’s End, is one of several local examples of something called “dispersed urban agriculture.” Rather than farming all in one place, the two young farmers who run Sidewalk’s End, Holly Mills and Caitlin Arnold, cultivate five urban backyards around southeast Portland. I subscribed to their CSA (community-supported agriculture) program this summer because the pickup point is an easy one-mile bike ride from my house. It would be easy to take farming by bike as a sign that dear old Portland has jumped the (locavore) shark. Biking is no exception.

How to Turn a Pallet into a Garden Good news and bad news. I had planned to film a short video showing you how to make a pallet garden, but the weather didn’t cooperate. I was stapling the landscape fabric onto the pallet when it started drizzling and got really windy. That’s the bad news. But I know I promised a tutorial today, so I took photos and have kept my word to share how to make the pallet garden. I tried to be as detailed as possible. So keep reading my pallet loving friends, instructions on how to make your own pallet garden are just a few lines away… Find a Pallet The first thing you need to do is–obviously–find a pallet. Don’t just take the first pallet you find. Collect Your Supplies For this project, you’ll need the pallet you found, 2 large bags of potting soil, 16 six packs of annual flowers (one six pack per opening on the face of the pallet, and two six packs per opening on the top of the completed pallet garden), a small roll of landscape fabric, a staple gun, staples, and sand paper. Now for the sides.

Is This the Future of Farming? - Sarah Rich - Technology ATLANTA -- It's easy to miss the Podponics headquarters on Ponce de Leon Avenue. We breezed right by before company co-founder Dan Backhaus came out to the curb to wave us in. To look at their setup--six rust-colored, graffitied shipping containers tucked between a Cactus Car Wash franchise and a halfway house--you'd never suspect this was one of Atlanta's flourishing young startups. But behind the padlocked doors, an urban farming operation is in full swing. When Backhaus founded Podponics in 2010 with Matt Liotta, the pair had no previous experience with food or farming. Backhaus worked in sales and marketing, Liotta was a software engineer in the telecommunications industry. The six containers, or "pods," represent a trial-and-error process through which Podponics found their way to a cost-effective means of production. As urban farming outfits go, Podponics is exceptionally focused on business viability and growth. Alexis Madrigal Full Screen

Container Gardening For Urban Apartment Dwellers Think you can’t garden because all you have is a fire escape? Mike Lieberman of Urban Organic Gardener will set you straight in this guest post! Thanks, Mike. It was the Spring of 2009 when I first started urban gardening. During that time I was living in one of the most urban areas and one of the least growable areas – New York City. What I did have though is a 2×3 fire escape. With some creativity and littler investment, I turned it into my own organic fire escape garden. Since then, I’ve moved to the left side of the country to Los Angeles where I know have a 13×4 balcony garden. How have I been able to grow my own food despite having little space? The main reason that I’ve been able to do this and do it affordably is because I’ve been upcycling 5-gallon containers and building self-watering containers and hanging planters from soda bottles. Self-Watering Containers In a matter of 15 minutes and for less than $3, you can make a self-watering container at home. Soda Bottle Hanging Planters

17 Apart: Growing Celery Indoors: Never Buy Celery Again Remember when we tested and shared how to grow onions indefinitely last week? Well, at the same time, we've been testing out another little indoor gardening project first gleaned from Pinterest that we're excited to share the successes of today — regrowing celery from it's base. We've figured out how to literally re-grow organic celery from the base of the bunch we bought from the store a couple weeks ago. I swear, we must have been living under a rock all these years or just not be that resourceful when it comes to food, but we're having more fun learning all these new little tips and tricks as we dive deeper into trying to grow more of our own food. This project is almost as simple as the onion growing project — simply chop the celery stalks from the base of the celery you bought from the store and use as you normally would. We let our celery base hang out in the saucer of water for right around one week, give or take. Update 2: Here's how we are looking at almost 3-4 weeks of growth:

Rebar Art & Design Studio | San Francisco | art, design and ecology Who? « Nomadic Allotments The Nomadic Allotments project is delivered in collaboration between Borough Market, The Welsh School of Architecture, Rachael Davidson and Dr. Cristian Suau Qasim Ahmed, Student Hannah Barnsley, Student Hannah Frances Barnsley is in her first year at Cardiff university studying architecture. Keith Chan, Student Johnny Edwards, Student Theo Ellis, Student Originally from Brighton, Theo is now in his first year at the Welsh School of Architecture. Teodora Petrova , Student David Phillips, Student Yeko Smirnova, Student William Swithinbank, Student Alun Williams, Student Alun is a second year student at the Welsh School of Architecture in Cardiff. Edwin Yu, Student Yuliye Yudchenko, Student Peter Locker, Carpenter After 25 years working as a carpenter and joiner Peter Locker completed a fine Arts degree at the London Metropolitan University in 2003. Rachael Davidson, Designer and Coordinator Rachael Davidson has worked as an architect in both New York and London. Dr. Like this: Like Loading...

Garden as if your life depended on it, because it does Spring has sprung — at least south of the northern tier of states where snow still has a ban on it — and the grass has ‘riz. And so has the price of most foods, which is particularly devastating just now when so many Americans are unemployed, underemployed, retired or retiring, on declining or fixed incomes and are having to choose between paying their mortgages, credit card bills, car payments, and medical and utility bills and eating enough and healthily. Many are eating more fast food, prepared foods, junk food — all of which are also becoming more expensive — or less food. In some American towns, and not just impoverished backwaters, as many as 30 percent of residents can’t afford to feed themselves and their families sufficiently, let alone nutritiously. In some cases this round of price hikes on everything from cereal and steak to fresh veggies and bread — and even the flour that can usually be bought cheaply to make it — will be temporary. What’s for Supper Down the Road?