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Capital Growth

Capital Growth
Training - Wildlife gardening Saturday 10th May, 10:30am-1pm £25/ £12.5 for Capital Growth members For more details and to book click here. Training - Use your garden as a classroom Thursday 15th May, 10am-3:30pm, NW1 4NR

http://www.capitalgrowth.org/

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PlantLab: Urban Farms 40 Times More Productive than Open Fields A Dutch firm on the cutting edge of indoor agriculture estimates that producing food for the entire world could take place in a space far smaller than the area occupied by Holland, using just 10% of the water needed by traditional farms. The proposal is not without precedent – Japan already has one prototype urban farm that is 100 times more productive than farmers’ fields. Noting that the vast majority of people will live in cities in the coming decades, PlantLab suggests a solution that involves using existing basements and purpose-built structures for our future food production. This means less energy, space, time and water than conventional methods. Urban farming in controlled environments lets growers take full advantage of variables like custom lighting, using far-red LED lamps in this case that reduce moisture requirements for plants.

Urban Agriculture, Part 1: The Community Gardens In 1932 Frank Lloyd Wright presented the so-called Broadacre City in his book ‘The Disappearing City’. “The Broadacre City, where every family will have at least an acre of land, is the inevitable municipality of the future… We live now in cities of the past, slaves of the machine and of traditional building. We cannot solve our living and transportation problems by burrowing under or climbing over, and why should we? OUTDOOR SEEDS Genehtik Seeds Genehtik seeds is the result of many years of hard farm work of sharing and exchanging genetic information and experiences with farmers and breeders, amateurs and professionals, known and unknown, from different countries and continents. After testing many different crosses with some special varieties and other seeds from around the world, they have created their own varieties - fully stable and well known for good quality. True champions in many cases. Genehtik seeds are good for everybody - the amateur and the professional, the scientists & local farmers. Genehtik Seeds team takes every want, desire & fresh idea to heart when they design their incredibly good cannabis seeds.

My edible classroom gives deprived New York kids a reason to attend school Stephen Ritz is a teacher in New York’s deprived South Bronx district where he began a pioneering project to farm plants and vegetables indoors at Discovery High School. The school’s so-called “edible walls” gave birth to the Green Bronx Machine, a project that helps other schools in the US start their own agricultural programmes to teach children healthy eating, environmental awareness and life skills. As well as continuing his educational work in New York, Stephen travels the world promoting the value of growing fresh produce, both in schools and the wider community. The Green Bronx Machine was an accidental success.

Apps For Urban Farmers Nothing shouts ‘traditional’ as urban farming does. Actively trying to pull away from our digital world, it encourages people to roll up their sleeves and start getting their precious typing hands dirty. Still, it seems quite impossible to avert anything from the digital revolution, which is once more proven by the newest trend in urban farming: apps! After washing the earth off your hands and whipping out your smartphone or taking place behind the computer, the urban farming continues. Sprout It is an urban farming web app (it’s not available for smartphones as an app yet) made by Ohio-based Växa Design Group. Users fill in their ZIP code and add whatever they have growing in their garden to their personal database.

Supermarkets: Is it the End of Empire? News that the ‘Big Four’ major British supermarkets are experiencing massive losses has become so ubiquitous in recent months it hardly seems newsworthy anymore. The most spectacular fall from glory has been Tesco’s – the retail behemoth that, at the height of its market domination, was present in every postcode in Britain and pocketed one in every seven pounds spent in the country. It recently reported a loss of £6.38 billion, the biggest loss in UK retail history. It is currently under criminal investigation by the Serious Fraud Office for fiddling its accounts while simultaneously being cross-examined by the Groceries Code Adjudicator for bullying its suppliers. Meanwhile, Sainsbury’s reported its first loss in nine years to the tune of £72 million, profits at Morrisons were down 52% and Asda recorded its worst performance in 20 years. So is the supermarket model here to stay, or will – and can – British shoppers eventually jump ship altogether?

UK supermarkets face mounting pressure to cut food waste British supermarkets are coming under increasing pressure to go further than rival Tesco to show shoppers what progress they are making in reducing food waste, as the government insists that such action should remain voluntary. Green campaigners have called on all major supermarkets to put an end to multi-buy deals and other marketing tools which result in customers wasting millions of tonnes of fresh food – much of it still edible – every year. The announcement on Monday by the UK's largest supermarket that it was dropping some food promotions after finding that two-thirds of produce grown for bagged salad is wasted – and revealing food waste data for its operations for the first time – was broadly welcomed.

First ever Food Surplus Summit taking place today Food industry explores how surplus food can feed people and change lives Follow the Summit on Twitter: #surplusfood We’re excited to be hosting the first ever surplus food summit, in partnership with the Food and Drink Federation, the British Retail Consortium and the Fresh Produce Consortium. We expect a great turn-out and look forward to meeting and engaging with all our guests. Food - Recipes, Cooking Tips & Food News Here's how to make Al Roker's famous cold-brew coffee Al's cold-brew coffee has been the talk of the show this week. Slightly sweet with notes of chicory,... How to avoid weight gain during the holidays, the easy way Nutritionist and health expert Keri Glassman shares her top tips for avoiding weight gain during...

Wasting Food? It'll Cost You  By Don Willmott Most of us have become accustomed to sorting and recycling our trash, but how far are we willing to go with our recycling? Are we really ready to wrestle with rotting lettuce leaves and the remnants of last week's tuna noodle casserole? Every (successful) company is a service company Register now for the O’Reilly Design Conference, which will explore the evolving role of design in business and society along with the tools designers need to shape the next generation of products and services. Loosely defined, service is the relationship between consumer and company. There are traditional service companies, such as hotels and transportation companies, and their modern counterparts Uber and Airbnb. Then there are companies that are changing their identities from product companies to service companies, with varying degrees of success: for example, IBM, morphing from hardware to services, and Adobe, moving its software model to a cloud-based, subscription-based service. Whether you’re new to the game or established, almost any product today must have a service aspect. Why does this matter — and what does it mean for designers?

fastcoexist What's your carbon footprint today? While rough footprint calculators have been around for a while—asking questions like how many flights you usually take in year—they're not exactly something you can easily use in everyday life to change habits. A new wearable prototype tracks your carbon footprint in real time. Based on things like what you've bought and where you've traveled, it generates a "carbon cloud" to visualize your daily footprint. A connected app automatically gives you a daily target based on your history. If you meet your goals, you'll be able to earn rewards from low-carbon businesses.

Media - News releases - Record breaking food donations as Britain digs deeper than ever (7 December, 2014) Tesco customers have donated a record number of meals during the fifth Neighbourhood Food Collection, as Brits prove to be more generous than ever before. 4.7 million meals were donated by Tesco customers, to be split between charity partners FareShare and Trussell Trust. The full total of meals donated to people in need since December 2012 is now at 21.5million, weighing in at over 9,000 tons. This includes permanent and local collections plus surplus food provisions.

Why is it that the disappearing high-street shops tend to be those that were previously thought of as essential? I find it most puzzling that the first shops to vanish from Britain's high streets are always the most useful ones. In Towcester, my local town in Northamptonshire, there is still a chemist, a Co-op, a pet shop, a stationer and a good butcher, but the greengrocer and the hardware shop have gone. It would once have been inconceivable for any decent-sized country town to be without these two establishments, but today they are often missing. Instead, there is a plethora of charity shops, arts and crafts establishments, health food emporia, and what have you, all of which one could quite happily live without. As was confirmed this week in a survey of the retail scene, many high streets convey the impression of a populace so decadent that it spends its time having its hair cut and its nails polished between visits to the betting shop and the pawnbroker. The disappearance of the high-street food retailer may be regrettable, but it is largely its own fault.

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