New Orleans golf course transformed into citys biggest urban farm with an Eco-Campus

September 18, 2017 by  
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A former golf course in New Orleans’ City Park has been transformed into the city’s biggest urban farm— Grow Dat Youth Farm . The seven-acre sustainable farming nonprofit features a low-energy Eco-Campus built with seven recycled shipping containers and designed by Tulane University architecture students. The urban farming and leadership program teaches local youth how to sustainably grow fruits and veggies that are then sold to CSAs, local restaurants, and markets, as well as donated to neighborhoods lacking access to healthy, fresh food. Founded in 2012, Grow Dat Youth Farm wants to do much more than grow delicious chemical-free food. The nonprofit farm’s central mission is to bring local youth and adults from different backgrounds together in a safe collaborative environment where they can learn how to grow their own food and develop personal, social, and environmental change. Most of the educational workshops take place within the Eco-Campus, a simple low-energy structure with an open-air classroom, two climate-controlled offices, kitchen, bathroom with composting toilets , and storage. A bioswale under the front timber walkway prevents flooding and manages water sustainably. The City Park birding corridor runs along the side of farm and provides a more wild contrast to the farmed environment. Grow Dat Youth Farm has a long-term lease for seven acres of land in New Orlean’s City Park and is currently growing on two acres with plans for expansion. Formerly a golf course that had been uninhabited before Katrina, the site comprised very sandy or mostly clay soils—poor conditions for farming. The team remediated the soil with lots of organic matter—mainly a mixture of coffee grounds, processed dried sugar cane, and chicken manure—and use crop rotations to add minerals back into the earth. Today, the diversified farm grows over 50 varieties of fruits and vegetables, from avocados and satsuma to beets and kale. “Food justice is a big part of who we are,” said Michael Kantor, Interim Director at Grow Dat Youth Farm, who stressed the program’s primary purpose to develop youth leadership skills. “Black farmers in particular have historically been marginalized so we create opportunities here to give young people of different races the chance to take control of food production, either here or in their neighborhoods, and increase access to fresh healthy produce—something many New Orleans neighborhoods do not have.” Grow Dat Youth Farm partners with nine local schools to recruit around 60 high school students annually. Starting January, these youth Crew Members participate in a paid, five-month leadership program held after school and on Saturday that prioritizes diversity and inclusion. The program time is evenly split between lessons on sustainable food , cooking, and farming, and team-building and leadership exercises. Graduates of the program are invited to enroll in the next tiered leadership position as Assistant Crew Leaders; a fellowship program brings in extra help around the year. Related: Inspiring urban farm teaches kids how to grow their own organic food “Our farm is pretty active from September to June,” said Michael. “That’s when we’re harvesting crops for the CSA , our main distribution channel that starts in October, or for the Crescent City Farmers Market or farm stand. We’ve also sold to restaurants and have been in Whole Foods too. We donate 30% of our food to households without access through our Shared Harvest program.” Grow Dat Youth Farm has donated over 26,000 pounds of food. In addition to funding from grants, donors, and market sales, Grow Dat Youth Farm raises funds through their seasonal farm dinners , where they invite celebrated local chefs to cook up locally focused, family-style meals on the farm. This year’s first farm dinner, on September 28, features chefs from Cochon and Peche, while the October 8th dinner features a chef from Shaya. Tickets are still available for these farm dinners. Learn more information about Grow Dat Youth Farm by following the link below. + Grow Dat Youth Farm Images © Lucy Wang

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New Orleans golf course transformed into citys biggest urban farm with an Eco-Campus

Beautiful cow barn in Basel is made of tree branches topped with a grassy roof

September 15, 2017 by  
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Swiss architects Forschungs + Architekturbüro AG have made some lucky cows very happy with a stunning new barn outside of Basel. The architects used natural materials from the surrounding area to create the light-filled structure. The walls are made from tree trunks and long sticks, while the roof is covered with a thick carpet of green grass. The 2,000-square-meter cow barn is built on a sloped hillside that made construction a bit challenging. The architects decided to make the shape of the barn mimic the surrounding topography, embedding it into the landscape. Related: Architects transform an old hay barn into a stunning minimalist home The tree trunks and large sticks that make up the structure’s walls are embedded in a rectangular concrete base. This design strategy has many benefits – the materials could be sourced locally, and the walls let natural light into structure, creating a healthy environment for the beauteous bovines. An elongated green roof further fuses the design into the lush, grassy landscape. Two large vertical milk silos jut out from the structure, giving a bold nod to the building’s industrial purpose. + Forschungs + Architekturbüro AG Via Archdaily Photography by Christian Baur and Serge Hasenböhler

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Beautiful cow barn in Basel is made of tree branches topped with a grassy roof

World’s first electric dump truck stores as much energy as 8 Tesla Model S cars

September 15, 2017 by  
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Even the construction industry can “go green.” A collection of Swiss companies is proving this to be true by developing the world’s largest electric vehicle and in record time. The E-Dumper weighs a whopping 45 tons and has 700 kWh of storage capacity. That’s as much as eight Tesla Model S vehicles. To ensure it is as environmentally-friendly as possible, the E-Dumper’s base is a used Komatsu HD 605-7 dumper truck. The original diesel engine has been removed and replaced with a chassis for battery packs that will power the new E-Dumper. When we say this vehicle is big, we mean big. Its tires measure over 6.5 feet in diameter, and the driver is required to climb nine stairs to reach the cabin. Its size and strength ensure it can transport materials from a mountain ridge to a valley 20 times per day. This is important, as moving materials from the slopes of the Chasseral to the Ciments Vigier SA cements works near Biel is what the e-dump truck will be doing for the next 10 years. Because the vehicle is electric , there is no need to “heat up” the brakes when descending. This is because the enormous electric engine acts as a generator and recharges the battery pack. That same energy is then used to help the vehicle travel back up the hill. Phys reports, “If all goes as planned, the electric dumper truck will even harvest more electricity while traveling downhill than it needs for the ascent. Instead of consuming fossil fuels , it would then feed surplus electricity into the grid.” The costly venture is being spearheaded by Ciments Vigier SA . Lithium Storage GmbH from Illnau and the Kuhn Group have been hired to “get the ball rolling,” so to speak. The project is also backed by Empa; battery expert Marcel Held is in charge of safety assessments. Related: Chinese company LeEco begins building $3 billion electric car factory The E-Dumper’s battery pack will weigh an incredible 4.5 tons and consist of 1,440 nickel manganese cobalt cells. This is the first time ever a land vehicle has been equipped with such a vast battery pack. “Nickel manganese cobalt cells are also the choice of the German automobile industry when it comes to the next generation of electric cars,” Held said. This is also the first time a vehicle of this performance class has been constructed to ascend and descend slopes of up to 13 percent inclination, all the while charging its battery pack by 40 kWh during a single descent and using electrical currents up to 3,000 amperes while climbing steep terrain. If the E-Dump Truck proves successful, Ciments Vigier SA could potentially power up to eight purely-electric vehicles using long-term. Once this has been accomplished, other companies may start producing large-scale, electric construction vehicles as well. + Ciments Vigier SA Via Phys.org Images via Lithium Storage GmbH ,  SAE International

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World’s first electric dump truck stores as much energy as 8 Tesla Model S cars

Taste the future with IKEAs SPACE10 LOKAL hydroponic food pop-up in London

September 12, 2017 by  
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Ever wondered what the future of food looks like? IKEA’s SPACE10 lab believes food production will be smarter and more efficient, and they’re going to show us how with their LOKAL pop up in Shoreditch. Set to launch during the London Design Festival next week, the six-day LOKAL pop-up will be an interactive public event that lets the public “enjoy a taste of the future” with their high-tech hydroponics farm and gastronomic workshops that sustainably serve up delicious and nutritious food, right where it’s grown. Hydroponics is at the heart of LOKAL. The highlight of the pop-up will be a hydroponics farming system with artificial lights and computerized automation that grows food optimized for freshness, nutrients, and taste. SPACE10’s system can grow vegetables three times faster than traditional methods with 90 percent less water, less waste, and without the need for soil and sunlight in a much more space-efficient footprint. Modified LED lights allow for year-round indoor growing and the system will be run solely on renewable energy in the future. In addition, smart sensors on the system facilitate machine learning so that healthier food can be grown faster while the data is fed into Google Home. “People [can] basically talk to the plants and hear how they are doing, if they need anything or simply let kids and grownups learn about sustainable food,” said Simon Caspersen of SPACE10. Related: Incredible Algae Dome absorbs sun and CO2 to produce superfood and oxygen The six-day LOKAL pop-up program is open to the public and features five parts with a mixture of hosts starting with SPACE10’s LOKAL Salads, where visitors can find a futuristic salad bar that provides meals of hydroponic microgreens topped with delicious locally sourced ingredients. Hirsch & Mann will host the tactile Meet Your Greens section that playfully educates about the benefits of locally sourced food and hydroponics. Technology Will Save Us ’ Grow Your Greens Workshop is a hands-on activity for kids where they’ll learn to grow their own take-away plant hydroponically. The Food Preservation Workshop hosted by Farmdrop focuses on the latter half of the food cycle with lessons on reducing food waste and how fermentation preserves food. SPACE10 will also host SPROUT, an experiment to make local farming more accessible to people with voice technology. The LOKAL pop-up will run September 18 to September 23—you can find more details on their Facebook event page . + LOKAL Pop up + SPACE10 Images via SPACE10

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Taste the future with IKEAs SPACE10 LOKAL hydroponic food pop-up in London

3-hectare desert farm in Jordan can grow 286,600 pounds of veggies each year

September 7, 2017 by  
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Vegetables are sprouting in the desert at the Sahara Forest Project’s recently inaugurated launch station in Aqaba, Jordan . The project draws on the sun, saltwater , and carbon dioxide to grow food and generate clean energy and freshwater. The new three-hectare launch station will be able to grow around 286,600 pounds of vegetables a year, and produce over 2.5 gallons of water a day. The Sahara Forest Project is centered around the core technologies of saltwater-cooled greenhouses , concentrated solar power , and desert revegetation practices. They’ll pave the way for larger facilities at the Aqaba launch station, which already boasts thriving greenery. The station is around the size of four football fields, and includes two greenhouses with a total of 14,531 square feet of growing space. There’s also 34,445 square feet of outdoor planting space. Related: Sahara Desert Project to grow 10 hectares of food in Tunisian desert Photovoltaic panels will generate solar power at the station, and there are salt ponds to produce salt. Another benefit of the project is job creation; the Sahara Forest Project aims to fight poverty and promote development through green jobs . The Norwegian government and European Union are the two biggest donors to the project. Norway Minister of Climate and Environment Vidar Helgesen said, “The Sahara Forest Project demonstrates that innovative application of technology has the potential to revolutionize our land systems in a way that benefits the climate , people, and businesses.” The Sahara Forest Project has completed a pilot in Qatar and are working on a facility in Tunisia that, as of last year, was set to open in 2018 . Ultimately, the organization aims to open a 20-hectare Jordan Center, so they consider the launch station as just the beginning. Sahara Forest Project Chief Executive Officer Joakim Hauge said in the near future, Jordan could be a hub of green growth systems. + Sahara Forest Project Via the Sahara Forest Project Images © Anders Nyboe/Sahara Forest Project

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3-hectare desert farm in Jordan can grow 286,600 pounds of veggies each year

Bollinger Motors unveils new 4-door electric sport utility truck

September 7, 2017 by  
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This summer little-known Bollinger Motors revealed the world’s first fully electric Sport Utility Truck – the Bollinger B1 . With its squared off, rugged looks, the Bollinger B1 is easily inspired by the iconic Land Rover Defender. But now Bollinger has taken the EV a step further with a new four-door version. The first image of the four-door Bollinger B1 shows how the electric four-door Sport Utility Truck will look in a new orange color, which Bollinger says will be available at launch. The four-door version measures 159-inches-long, while its wheelbase stretches 114 inches. Even with the longer length, the four-door B1 will have the same 15.5-inches of ground clearance, making it the perfect EV to take off road. Related: The world’s first all-electric sport utility truck is finally here – and it looks incredible The four-door Bollinger B1 also has an additional 6 cubic feet of cargo space for a total of 101 cubic feet. Both the two and four-door versions will have the same battery options, either a 60 kWh or 100 kWh battery pack , giving the B1 a range of either 120 or 200 miles. Bollinger Motors hopes to start production by early 2019. You can reserve the Bollinger B1 starting in early 2018 for $1,000. + Bollinger Motors Images @Bollinger Motors

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Bollinger Motors unveils new 4-door electric sport utility truck

10 vegan sources of protein you can grow at home

September 4, 2017 by  
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When most people go vegan , the number one question that tends to get asked of them is usually “where are you going to get your protein from?” Sound familiar? Yes, protein is indeed an important part of a healthy diet, and if you’re keen on growing your own food, it’s a good idea to have a few solid sources growing in amongst your herbs and lettuces . Read on to discover 10 delicious, plant-based, nutrient-dense foods you can cultivate in your own garden . Amaranth This gorgeous plant can be grown pretty much anywhere, and its seeds are an incredibly rich source of protein. Those seeds can be cooked like quinoa as a pseudo grain into a gorgeous, crunchy dish that can be served either savory or sweet. Try cooking it like breakfast porridge with cinnamon, apples, and maple syrup. Amaranth leaves are also edible, and are prepared in the same way spinach is. Those leaves don’t have as much protein as the seeds, but they do have some protein content, as well as iron and calcium. Squash and Pumpkin Seeds Growing pumpkins and squash is a lot of fun, and serves multiple purposes, especially if you grow small, easy-to-manage varieties like Luxury Pie Pumpkin or Lakota Squash. Not only can you carve these hardy gourds to creep out your neighbors at Halloween, you can eat the vegetables’ flesh in soups, pies, and muffins, and then roast those glorious seeds of theirs into crunchy, protein-rich snacks. Sunflower Seeds Not only are sunflower seeds incredibly high in protein, they also have very high levels of magnesium and vitamin B6. Sunflowers are gorgeous, sunny additions to anyone’s garden, and in addition to providing you with nutrient-dense food, they’ll also attract pollinators to your yard. In permaculture , they’re often referred to as the fourth sister in the traditional guild of corn, beans, and squash: beans can climb up sunflower stalks, and they draw bees over to fertilize other crops. Green Peas These tasty little gems are packed with protein, vitamin C, vitamin A, and potassium (the latter being great for alleviating winter depression) and are as delicious as they are pretty to look at. Even better, peas are incredibly easy to cultivate, and can be grown indoors as well as out in your garden, which is great for adding some edible greenery to your living space over the winter months. Related: How to maximize your south-facing windows to grow food all winter Green Beans Just 1/2 a cup of fresh green beans contain about four grams of protein, and they’re a great source of vitamin B6 as well. You can cultivate either pole or bush varieties, and you can pick the haricots verts right off the vine while they’re new. Just steam them or sautee them lightly, and serve with a bit of Earth Balance or a drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice, and a dash of salt. Dry Beans If you let those green beans mature fully, the seeds within will ripen into the rich, creamy beans we use for everything from soups and stews to chili, or even brownies. Beans are one of the top protein sources for people around the world, and they’re also full of magnesium, fiber, and iron. There are so many different types that you can cultivate, from creamy white Hutterite soup bush beans to spotted, fuchsia scarlet runner pole beans. All are delicious, easy to grow, and ideal for any vegan diet. You can even sprout them for a raw, crunchy snack. Related: How to sprout seeds and beans on your kitchen counter Groundnuts Are you familiar with these wonderful little tubers?  Apios americana , also known as the potato bean, is a perennial, indigenous North American vine with tuber roots that taste… well, mildly like potatoes. Groundnuts have 17 percent crude protein (that’s three times the amount of a regular potato), and thrive in damp woodlands without a lot of direct light. You can boil them, mash them, stick them in a stew… anything you’d do with a regular or sweet potato, and since they’re perennial, they’ll come back year after year. Hazelnuts Hazelnut (filbert) bushes don’t take up a lot of space, and start producing nuts more quickly than nut-bearing trees like walnuts, pecans, or chesnuts. If you plant 2- or 3-year-old bushes, you’ll be able to harvest nuts even more quickly. Hazelnut bushes can thrive in almost any soil type, but need full sun for a good 4–6 hours a day. In addition to protein, each nut will also provide you with calcium, magnesium, iron, and vitamin C. How’s that for a nutrient-dense powerhouse? Peanuts People who don’t suffer from peanut allergies can grow these fabulous plants as easily as they can grow potatoes. Although they thrive best in warmer, southern climates, those of you who live a bit further north can also grow them with ease: you’ll just need to get cultivars that do well in a cooler climate with a shorter growing season. They’ll need about 100 frost-free days to reach maturity, and since they’re tropical, they’ll need to be grown in the warmest, sunniest spot you can offer them. Kale Adding this one in for honorable mention, but with good cause: most people don’t realize just how much protein leafy greens have to offer, and kale is one of the easiest (and tastiest) members of the brassica family that you can grow. It also has a crazy-high amount of both vitamin C and vitamin A, and you can eat it at any stage of its development: use the baby greens in salads, maturing leaves in salads or smoothies, and braise the older leaves like you would cook collard greens. Whenever possible, aim to cultivate heirloom, organic seeds in your garden, and be sure to share those seeds with your friends and neighbors so they can grow them in their own yards! Biodiversity is incredibly important, and by choosing organic seeds, you help ensure future plant generations are healthy, and unsullied by genetic machinations thanks to companies like Monsanto. Photos via Unsplash and Wikimedia Commons

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Edible schoolyards sprout across war-torn Syria

August 29, 2017 by  
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As the civil war continues into its sixth year, millions of Syrians remain in the divided, war-torn country. To meet basic needs and provide young people with a healthy place to play and learn, schoolyards across the country are being reborn as vegetable gardens . At these edible playgrounds, children learn how to grow tasty, nutritious treats, like peppers, eggplants, and cabbages. Then, when the time is right, they are able to harvest and eat what they have grown. This transformative experience offers students and their families an empowering experience of caring for one’s self and others. Young people, whose bodies and minds are rapidly developing, are particularly vulnerable to food scarcity and malnutrition . “Good nutrition is a child’s first defense against common diseases and important for children to be able to lead an active and healthy life,” said Adam Yao, U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) acting representative in Syria. FAO provides funding and logistical support for 17 primary schools to plant 500 square meter fruit and vegetable gardens. These gardens are being installed in both government and opposition-controlled territory, so that young people will be able to access healthy food regardless of the politics and violence that surrounds them. Another 35 schools are scheduled to receive an edible playground in the near future. Related: Food-starved Syrians are switching meat for mushrooms Many Syrians now depend on bread and food aid from relief organizations to meet their nutritional needs. This sparse diet is far from traditional Syrian cuisine, which includes dishes such as hummus, minced lamb with spices and pine nuts, vibrant salads, stuffed cabbage leaves, and vegetable stews. These dishes are more are well served by the edible schoolyards , which provide some of the rich vegetables that have become scarce during the civil war. Further investments in agriculture could help to secure the population for years to come. “ Agriculture has become a hope for (many) because they can grow their own food and survive – even in the besieged areas,” said Yao. The seeds planted in the minds of these young children may someday yield a brighter, healthier Syria at peace. Via Reuters Foundation, FAO Lead image via FAO / Zaki Khozam , eggplants via Deposit Photos , others via Celine Nadeau/Flickr and DFID/Flickr

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Edible schoolyards sprout across war-torn Syria

South Korea is building a $10 billion agriculture city in Egypt

August 18, 2017 by  
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Within six months, 311,400 acres of land in Egypt will be transformed into an agriculture city. The $10 billion deal was signed on Tuesday by Egypt and the Korea-Arab Society (KAS). The project will feature 50,000 smart greenhouses in addition to a number of seawater desalination and solar power plants. Arab Finance reports that the protocol was signed by the General Authority for Reconstruction Projects and Agricultural Development, an affiliate to the Egyptian Agriculture Ministry, and the Korea-Arab Society, which is represented by the Korean Arab Company for Economic and Cultural Consultancy. At a press conference, Prime Minister Sherif Ismail said that the city will be located in the southeast part of the Qattara Depression, which is northwest of Egypt . The entire project will be overseen by Korean experts and it will be built within six months, Ismail added. The latest technologies will be incorporated to ensure that the development is as eco-friendly and efficient as possible. Related: South Korea’s President adopts rescue puppy, saving it from the dog meat trade In addition to constructing smart greenhouses, seawater desalination plants, and solar power plants, the city will grow food and cultivate stevia — a plant which serves as a healthy alternative sweetener. Though little else is presently known about the integrated agriculture city, the project signifies the growing relationship between Egypt and South Korea. Via Arab Finance Images via Pixabay

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South Korea is building a $10 billion agriculture city in Egypt

Germany is electrifying part of the autobahn to cut freight emissions

August 18, 2017 by  
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We rely on trucks to get the goods we need from one place to another, but all of those semi trucks spew a lot of pollution. So Siemens and the German state of Hesse teamed up to create a 6-mile stretch of electric highway on the autobahn . Hybrid trucks can connect to overhead charging cables to drive on pure electricity, and then switch back to diesel power once they leave the eHighway. The Siemens eHighway initiative could double the energy efficiency of big rigs, compared to running on gas. Even better, the highway design enables any truck to be retrofitted, and it is constructed over existing road, integrating easily with existing infrastructure. Combined with the autonomous and electric trucks in the works, it could make a significant dent in semi truck emissions. Related: Sweden opens one of the world’s first electric roads Global freight is expected to increase 200 percent in the next 30 years, so it is essential that we tackle freight emissions if we want to slow down global warming. According to Siemens, the eHighway is a smart way to do this, because it still allows other drivers to use the road. The first eHighway system opened in Stockholm last year and Siemens is currently testing another in California. Via Treehugger Images via Siemens

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