In a surprising new study, Stanford researchers have found that drought-ravaged California is sitting on top of a vast and previously unrecognized water resource, in the form of deep groundwater, residing at depths between 1,000 and nearly 10,000 feet below the surface of the state’s always thirsty Central Valley.
[...] new research could prove controversial among scientists trying to interpret what it means for a state that has battled over water, and its distribution, going back many decades. — washingtonpost.com
That an apple can travel over 11,500 miles from where it was grown (spending over a year in shipment and in toxic, low-oxygen storage to suspend its maturation) is the perfect object lesson of our global agricultural system’s failures. [...]
And with the advent of natural-resource scarcity, flattening yields, loss of biodiversity, changing climates, environmental degradation, and booming urban populations, we’re hurtling toward its natural limit. — Near Future
A global shift towards a vegan diet is vital to save the world from hunger, fuel poverty and the worst impacts of climate change, a UN report said today.
As the global population surges towards a predicted 9.1 billion people by 2050, western tastes for diets rich in meat and dairy products are unsustainable, says the report from United Nations Environment Programme's (UNEP) international panel of sustainable resource management. — The Guardian
"Professor Edgar Hertwich, the lead author of the report, said: 'Animal products cause more damage than [producing] construction minerals such as sand or cement, plastics or metals. Biomass and crops for animals are as damaging as [burning] fossil fuels.'"Related coverage:Unchecked climate change...
Most Egyptians have always lived in the fertile stretch along the Nile, the nation’s breadbasket which accounts for less than 10 per cent of Egypt’s territory. But urban growth has become the chief threat to agricultural land as farmers haphazardly – and illegally – build new houses to make room for the next generation.
Construction surged even more amid a security vacuum that followed the 2011 popular uprising that ousted the country’s long-time autocrat, Hosni Mubarak. — thenational.ae
[...] the drought is a gusher for a growing number of tech startups in the emerging world of the Internet of Things, the buzzy term for the trend of connecting devices and data in the physical realm to the Internet. Getting more sensors into the environment will help thousands of farms, businesses and cities figure out where water is going and how it can be diverted for the most efficient use. Agriculture is the area most ripe for collecting more and higher-quality data. — forbes.com
Green roofs are nice, but rooftop farms are better.
They’re the future of living architecture, say international green roof advocates who gathered in Toronto last week. [...]
“We have a handful of agricultural green roofs and all of them are community projects,” like Eastdale Collegiate, Ryerson’s Engineering building and the Carrot Common, said Peck. “But we don’t have any commercial-scale agriculture on roofs — that’s the next thing.” — thestar.com
For every barrel of oil Chevron produces in its Kern River oil field, another 10 barrels of salty wastewater come up with it. So Chevron is selling about 500,000 barrels of water per day...back to...the local water district that delivers water to farmers within a seven-mile slice of Kern County...But it’s a risky dance; over time, high sodium can change the properties of the soil, making it impermeable, unable to take in any more water...Eventually, the soil becomes barren. — Newsweek
[OMA's] design knits together a complex program of green industry and public engagement. A new master plan just released by Seed Capital shows a zigzagging complex that is expected to be under construction later this year. [...]
Heine said Seed Capital, founded by Heine and Stephen Reily, selected OMA to design the Food Hub following a limited request for proposals that generated interest from five firms. [...]
OMA is working with the Louisville office of GBBN Architecture on the project. — brokensidewalk.com
Eating food that’s grown locally and sustainably is a fantastic and increasingly popular idea, but it’s also expensive. Producers tend to drown under marketing and distribution costs, and struggle to find retail channels for their products. To assume that urban farms can escape that trap because of their extreme proximity to consumers would be a mistake; getting food to consumers has proven a logistical nightmare for them as well. — citiscope.org
As fossil fuels become more expensive and the number of urban dwellers continues to rise, urban farming will help feed the population without increasing the cost and pollution of food transport. [...]
The rise in rooftop farming isn't limited to commercial operations. "Rooftop farming and gardening has become extremely diverse, and in that sense a more 'normal' presence in cities" — news.nationalgeographic.com
When you picture a housing development in the suburbs, you might imagine golf courses, swimming pools, rows of identical houses.
But now, there's a new model springing up across the country that taps into the local food movement: Farms — complete with livestock, vegetables and fruit trees — are serving as the latest suburban amenity.
It's called development-supported agriculture, a more intimate version of community-supported agriculture — a farm-share program commonly known as CSA. — npr.org
Some of the most densely populated cities across the globe are tackling population growth and food shortages by establishing more rooftop farms. Vertical farms are popping up on unused rooftops in cities across the globe and the outcome is extremely positive. — DesignBuild Source
[...] the architecture of wine is faced with a much greater challenge than meeting the very specific technical requirements of winemaking, it has to celebrate the process. Nowadays, wineries like religious buildings, are the must-visit destinations for tourists, where people go in droves on alcoholic pilgrimages. — huffingtonpost.com
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