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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10 vegan sources of protein you can grow at home

Translucent Ho Chi Minh City office tower infused with greenery helps combat urban pollution

September 4, 2017 by  
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The nature-loving firm Vo Trong Nghia Architects  just unveiled their design for a translucent office building in Ho Chi Minh City. The ten-story tower, which will be the headquarters of electric company Nanoco, will be infused with various tree-filled terraces in an attempt to combat the city’s notorious pollution – and provide a healthy workspace on the interior. The large tower is comprised of translucent glass blocks that are obliquely stacked, creating pockets of open terrace space throughout the design. The terraces will be used to plant large trees that will pull double duty as a filter against direct solar exposure during the daytime and create a healthy ambience throughout the building’s interior. Additionally, the translucent cladding provides the city with a glowing beacon during the night. Related: Vietnam’s “Forest in the Sky” apartment building is topped with 50,000 trees The first four stories of the Nanoco building will house a showroom and community area, while the upper six floors will be used as office space . A multi-functional space on the first floor will be used for events and exhibitions throughout the year. + Vo Trong Nghia Architects Via Design Boom

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Translucent Ho Chi Minh City office tower infused with greenery helps combat urban pollution

Microsoft’s cloud serves up energy emissions data in near real time

August 9, 2017 by  
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The service, based on RMI’s WattTime, tracks the carbon dioxide, sulphur and other atmospheric-polluting emissions produced by specific power plants.

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Microsoft’s cloud serves up energy emissions data in near real time

When genetic engineering is the environmentally friendly choice

August 9, 2017 by  
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CRISPR gene editing can fight crop disease far more benignly than conventional practices.

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When genetic engineering is the environmentally friendly choice

VERGE Accelerate names 14 pitch-perfect startups

August 8, 2017 by  
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Introducing the accelerator finalists who will pitch to a live audience of potential partners at VERGE 17 in Santa Clara, Calif. in September.

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VERGE Accelerate names 14 pitch-perfect startups

Airlines will consume a quarter of the world’s carbon budget by 2050

August 7, 2017 by  
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Manufacturers are engaged in a fast-paced fight to deliver efficiency gains that outstrip projected industry growth, says UTC.

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Airlines will consume a quarter of the world’s carbon budget by 2050

How big data and behavioral science boost energy efficiency

July 31, 2017 by  
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The vast majority of people are willing to do the right thing if given the chance, especially when it comes to preserving the planet for future generations. The challenge is empowering people with the tools and knowledge to make better purchasing decisions for energy-efficient products. Figuring out how to engage the consumer market, which spends $1 billion on energy-consuming products per year in the U.S. alone, is where Enervee comes in. 

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How big data and behavioral science boost energy efficiency

HonoMobo’s container homes can be shipped anywhere in North America

July 19, 2017 by  
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Canadian company HonoMobo is taking the stress out of building a new home with its ultra-green, ultra-swanky shipping container homes that can be sent anywhere in North America. Designed to be move-in ready, the repurposed structures make for great tiny homes – and they can even be combined to create bigger spaces for large families. Organized to be move-in ready, HonoMobo structures are designed by registered professionals and just need a foundation and utility connections to get up and running. However, these tiny spaces are solar-ready and can be used as off-grid structures as well. For optimal energy efficiency, the homes come pre-installed with highly-efficient climatization systems and high-grade insulation. Related: You can order HonoMobo’s prefab shipping container homes online The prefab structures are constructed in 10-12 weeks in a controlled environment in order to reduce waste and construction costs. Created to take the stress out of building a new home, the buildings are compliant with most local building codes. For extra assistance, the HonoMobo team works with clients and local contractors to ensure that the property is ready for installation. The container homes range in size from 200 square feet to 1,520 square feet and can be stacked or combined to create additional, personalized layouts. They have an open, flexible floor plan and come with plenty of storage. Large floor-to-ceiling windows give the home a strong connection to its environment and flood the interior with natural light . For interior and exterior design, the repurposed structures come with a number of high-end finishes such as drywall, quartz, cedar flooring, etc. + HonoMobo Images via HonoMobo

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HonoMobo’s container homes can be shipped anywhere in North America

Solar-powered biodome sustains all four seasons at the same time, under one roof

July 17, 2017 by  
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Italian architect Carlo Ratti just unveiled plans for a stunning biodome that recreates all four seasons under one solar-powered roof. The Garden of the Four Seasons is a 2,500-square-meter long enclosed garden that uses innovative climate-control technology to recreate the distinct atmospheres of all four seasons, all year long. The elongated pavilion, which is slated for a park in north-west Milan, would allow visitors to experience spring, summer, autumn and winter year-round. Visitors would first walk into spring and leave through winter, offering a natural progression through the seasons. Each garden pavilion will be equipped with digital sensors to carefully control the levels of water, temperature, humidity, and nutrients of the plants and display them in real time, creating an interactive garden experience. Related: Cloud House makes it rain on demand with creative water harvesting system Ratti was inspired to create the design to give city-dwellers the chance to see nature’s cycles up close, something that may or may not be possible in the future due to the effects of climate change . “In the garden, people can interact with nature in many ways – from working within nature, to eating al fresco during Milan’s cold winters, to celebrating a wedding in the Eternal Spring area. As climate change might become more extreme, the importance of envisioning strategies for climate remediation will increase dramatically,” said Ratti. “This was our inspiration behind the Four Seasons Garden – in which we usher in a technique for a sustainable and emphatic Internet of Plants.” The pavilion’s structure would use a zero-net-energy climate control system to achieve each season’s atmosphere. Solar panels on the roof will provide energy to the individual pavilions and a heat exchanger will cool the winter pavilion and heat the summer space simultaneously. For optimal insulation, the pavilion’s roof will be made out of ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) – a transparent, responsive plastic that will use sensors to control temperature levels as people move through the pavilion. + Carlo Ratti Via Dezeen  

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Solar-powered biodome sustains all four seasons at the same time, under one roof

New online grocery store sells quality goods for just $3

July 17, 2017 by  
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Whether you’re shopping for a facial cleanser, gluten-free brownie mix, or bowls and mugs for your kitchen, everything you seek can be obtained at incredible low prices through Brandless . The new online retailer based out of San Francisco, California is selling nearly 200 generically packaged staples for a mere $3. Products include pantry items, beauty products, office and household supplies and personal care items. Best of all, over 50 percent of the items are organic , with many of the foods being free of preservatives, GMO-free and gluten-free. According to co-founder Tina Sharkey, the goal of Brandless is to “democratize goodness,” and ensure every consumer has access to affordable, basic necessities. “We feel like as a nation, we have become quite polarized, and we see all people as the same,” Sharkey  told NBC News . “We deeply believe people being able to live their values.” Some of the products presently being advertised on the Brandless website include organic applesauce, sea-salt quinoa chips, a six-ounce bag of fair-trade Colombian coffee, virgin coconut oil, and an eight-inch serrated bread knife. Because the store specialized in packaged nonperishables, no produce, bread, frozen goods, dairy or meat is sold. However, that doesn’t mean consumers aren’t receiving great deals. One can expect to pay $9 flat rate in shipping, unless they spend $72, in which case shipping is free. An annual membership costing $36 allows one to receive free shipping if their shopping cart totals $48 or more. As Today reports, Brandless can afford to sell a variety of high-quality products for $3 because none of the items on the shelves are brand names. In fact, all are unique to Brandless, which co-founder Ido Leffler says saves money in retail space, warehousing and distribution by eliminating the “brand tax” that often makes products cost up to 40 percent more. Before any item is sold, both Leffler and Sharkey approve the products, going through multiple rounds of taste tests before settling on what they want. They hope to attract health-conscious consumers and believe that in time, Brandless can rival stores such as Whole Foods , Sprouts and Trader Joes. Related: EarthCraft-certified Organic Life House teaches Atlanta agrihood residents about healthy living The co-founders are aware they need to sell a lot of the products to be successful, so the goal right now is to reach as many customers as possible. “We will absolutely scale our logistics and operations to work to delight everybody as quickly and we can,” said Sharkey. ”We’re just getting started.” + Brandless Via Today , GrubStreet Images via Brandless

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New online grocery store sells quality goods for just $3

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