Paris has a new underground – a massive farm for mushrooms and veggies

December 8, 2017 by  
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La Caverne is a unique urban farm that grows mushrooms , herbs and greens beneath the streets of Paris. Located in La Chapelle neighborhood in north-central Paris , La Caverne is owned and operated by Cycloponics, a Paris-based indoor farming start-up that has focused on growing sustainable, local food and boosting local economies. “We want to promote a new model of urban agriculture: at the same productive and virtuous,” said Cycloponics in a statement . “We also aim at creating new ways of producing, at restoring the profession of farmer, often poorly understood, at creating local jobs…, and eventually offer to the urban citizens a local and tasty production.” La Caverne, a 37,700-square-foot underground farm, is located in a previously abandoned parking garage below a 300-unit affordable housing complex. The ten-member team works together to maintain hydroponics systems used to grow vegetables, ensure the optimum growth of the farm’s mushroom crop, and sell these products at market. The farm’s oyster, shiitake, and oyster mushrooms are grown on composted manure bricks while the vegetables thrive without soil. The farmers at La Caverne also harvest chicory, a root often used in coffee , which does not need sunlight to grow. The team aims to ultimately produce 54 tons of vegetables and mushrooms per year. Related: Japan’s new mushroom solar farms produce sustainable energy and food La Caverne’s unusual location is a reflection of Cycloponics’ philosophy, which emphasizes reusing and conserving resources. “The idea is to cultivate, within the same space, different species of vegetables that interact in a positive way,” said Cycloponics in a statement. “For instance: the CO2 generated by the mushrooms is used by the microgreens to grow up, the natural materials are composted for our cultivations… Those methods are widely inspired by permaculture !” The company hopes to expand its distribution network through its own fleet electric bicycles and vehicles, for which it is currently in need of funding. As Cycloponics’ grows, it may inspire similar farmers to dig deep, get underground, and grow only the best. Via Business Insider Images via Cycloponics

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Paris has a new underground – a massive farm for mushrooms and veggies

7 agricultural innovations that could save the world

October 20, 2016 by  
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1. Algorithmic Agriculture Algorithms are everywhere these days. They can refine our web searches and help us decide what show we should binge on next or controversially used to determine who is most likely to become a criminal . Algorithms can also be harnessed to more effectively plant a field with diverse crops. UK-based designer  Benedikt Groß  has created algorithmic models that enable him to plant various crops in complex patterns in a field. This improves ecological resilience and diversity through fascinating patterns that are best appreciated from above.  2. Permaculture and Food Forests Permaculture is a broad system of design principles that seeks to simulate and utilize patterns that can be observed in nature. Its name is derived from its overarching goal of a permanent agriculture system, one that relies on perennial plants and does not require the intensive tilling This system of design is evident in the food forest, a model of agriculture that mimics the multi-layered structure of a forest environment. Ground cover plants that provide food and nutrient enrichment are paired with low-laying bushes and small trees while large trees and vines tower above. Food forests are popping up from  Boston  to  Seattle . These unique green spaces provide food, habitat and a place for the community to gather. 3. Stacking Functions with the Ring Garden Well-designed fields planted with a variety of crops serve several functions: food production, wildlife habitat, air quality improvement, carbon absorption, and more. This is referred to as “stacking functions” in permaculture circles. One of the most promising examples of this principle is the solar-powered Ring Garden . Though the Ring Garden is still only in its conceptual stage, its elegant combination of desalinization, solar energy, and food production is worth exploring, particularly for drought-stricken coastal communities like California. When fully operational, the rotating structure is projected to annually produce 16 million gallons of clean water, 40,000 pounds of crops grown without soil, and 11,000 pounds of biomass for livestock feed. 4. Harvesting and Harnessing Rainwater Rainwater is a precious resource that communities and individuals too often fail to effectively capture and use to meet their needs. Rain barrels can be installed on a small or large scale to capture rainwater for later use in growing or brewing . Incorporating living mulch can help improve soil fertility and increase the amount of rainwater that is stored and retained in the ground. Swales, a key structure in permaculture design, incorporates small mounds to slow the flow of rainwater downhill and capture it for plants to absorb. 5. Farming with Fungus Fungus sometimes feels like the forgotten kingdom of life, a misunderstood, often feared group of organisms without which our global ecosystem could not exist. The most iconic manifestations of fungi, mushrooms may be used to fight cancer, treat depression, or to cook a delicious meal . However, mushrooms are merely the fruiting body of a vast fungal organism, most of which exists below ground in the form of mycelium, the white stringy fungal network that plays a key role in ecological health. Scientists have infused these mycelial networks into the roots of plants, which allows them to endure extreme drought that otherwise would destroy them. Mycologist Paul Stamets has incorporated helpful fungus into a cow pasture, in which harmful bacteria from waste is absorbed and purified by the fungus before it reaches a water source. Stamets has also developed a patent  for a fungal pesticide that destroys pests without the use of harmful chemicals. 6. Gardening with Children To be nourished tomorrow, we must plant seeds today. The young people who will inherit a world threatened by climate change and ecological devastation are learning to appreciate and protect the natural world by planting seeds of their own. Gardening with children in schools, communities, and homes across the United States has surged in popularity in recent years, buoyed by First Lady Michelle Obama’s focus on gardening and nutrition. FoodCorps , a national service organization founded in 2009 whose mission is to connect children to real food, now serves dozens of organizations in seventeen states, plus DC. On a local level, organizations such as CitySprouts , the Food Project  and  Edible Schoolyard  connect schools and students to the wonders of learning by growing. 7. Rooftop Growing In urban environments where space is limited, growing in underutilized spaces such as rooftops can contribute to a more resilient local food system. In Chicago, the world’s largest rooftop farm  on the Methods Products manufacturing plant is powered by 100% renewable energy, provides jobs to local residents, and produces millions of pounds of pesticide-free, locally sourced vegetables each year. Also in Chicago, growers at Omni Ecosystems are pushing the boundaries of urban agriculture by growing rooftop wheat that is processed and utilized by local bakers. Homeless shelters in Atlanta  and hospitals in Indianapolis  are also enhanced by the beauty and production of rooftop farms. Lead image via Pixabay , others via  Benedikt Groß , Boston Food Forest Coalition ,  Alexandru Predonu , Nicholas Lannuzel , Kalle Gustafsson , FoodCorps , and Omni Ecosystems.

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7 agricultural innovations that could save the world

Man leaves rat race to grow dream permaculture farm – and it’s flourishing after 3 years

July 18, 2016 by  
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Andrew Martin left the fast-paced business world in order to live a more simple and sustainable life in balance with nature. He and his wife Beth bought five acres in Bay of Plenty, a region on the northern coast of New Zealand’s North Island, and began growing a permaculture farm. In just three years it has turned into a lush oasis featuring a vegetable garden, fruit trees, a pond and wildlife habitats. His story was recently featured as the first segment of the Living the Change documentary film series by Happen Films. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=914&v=3jh1481J6qw The path to permaculture for Martin began in 2007 after watching the documentary ” A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash ,” about peak oil and resource depletion. His interest in sustainability continued to rise as he conducted more research into energy and environmental issues and kept seeing permaculture as a holistic solution to modern society’s fragmented and environmentally destructive approach to living. Related: Seattle embraces urban farming at ten acre Rainier Beach Urban Farm and Wetlands Andrew and Beth’s neighbors say they can’t believe the amount of wildlife and birdlife that the permaculture project attracts, which Martin attributes to letting ecosystems flourish on their own rather than trying to control nature. Martin’s advice is to start growing food. “Once you engage with growing and experiencing nature, then things start to happen. It’s like a flower. It starts growing, getting bigger. And then that leads to something else,” says Martin. They sustain themselves from the hundreds of fruit trees they’ve planted, the garden they tend to with kale, spinach, zucchini and more, eggs from the chicken yard, grapes from the vine and other organic edibles from the farm. Says Martin: “This lifestyle of working on the land and doing permaculture feels more rewarding. With a lot of current society it’s take, take, take. With this sort of lifestyle I feel like this is long term. I’m putting something back.” Via Treehugger Images via Over Grow the System

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Man leaves rat race to grow dream permaculture farm – and it’s flourishing after 3 years

Portuguese secondary school renovation brings color and light to the learning experience

July 18, 2016 by  
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Located at the edge of the historical center of Pontinha , Lisbon, the school spans 185,000 square feet. It is comprised of five concrete pavilions turned into one, allowing natural daylight to enter all the different spaces. The modern rehabilitation updated and articulated a variety functional areas, including a gym and outdoor playground. Related: CVDB Arquitectos’ Jarego House is a Naturally Daylit Home in Portugal The new design provides plenty of cool, informal study and socializing areas.  Splashes of color contrast with the grey prefabricated concrete structure, highlighting stairs, windows and desks. The beautiful renovation brings color to the learning context. + CVDB Arquitectos Via Architizer Photos by Invisible Gentleman

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Portuguese secondary school renovation brings color and light to the learning experience

Seattle embraces urban farming at ten acre Rainier Beach Urban Farm and Wetlands

June 17, 2016 by  
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What was once a tree nursery is now home to Rainier Beach Urban Farm and Wetlands (RBUFW) , Seattle’s largest urban farm and home to a host of community programs run by Seattle Tilth . Through a community design process, the ten-acre former tree nursery was reshaped into the largest urban agriculture project in the Northwest. The farm is a successful effort in bringing community members of all ages together to volunteer, learn to grow food organically, and supply fresh food via Good Food Bags: Community Supported Agriculture and weekly market. Related: Nation’s first K-8 urban farm school teaches kids how to grow their own food The farm’s education center houses a multi-purpose assembly space, commercial kitchen for community meals and cooking demonstrations, restrooms, and storage. A translucent canopy covers the primary assembly space and creates a 500 square foot outdoor gathering area out of the persistent Seattle rain. The design, by CAST Architecture and The Berger Partnership landscape architects, also includes substantial wetland restoration , aquaponics , permaculture , 11,295 square feet of greenhouse, 30,000 square feet of in-ground farming, a market stand, solar power, composting, administration, produce wash/pack areas, and farm storage. Currently the Farm produces 20,000 pounds of fresh food per year, makes 5000 meals, and provide training to 3,600 Rainier Valley residents. + Rainier Beach Urban Farm & Wetlands + CAST Architecture + The Berger Partnership Images via Seattle Tilth Facebook page The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing!

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Seattle embraces urban farming at ten acre Rainier Beach Urban Farm and Wetlands

DIY Bio-tecture: Build Your Own Backyard Living Willow Dome

July 31, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of DIY Bio-tecture: Build Your Own Backyard Living Willow Dome Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Architecture , Bio-Architecture , bio-dome , Eco Architecture , eco design , eco-art , living dome , living structure , permaculture , willow dome

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DIY Bio-tecture: Build Your Own Backyard Living Willow Dome

African Cocoa Farmers Tasting Chocolate for the First Time – Priceless

July 31, 2014 by  
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It is a sad fact and indicator of the inequality of our society that many of those who put in the labor may never taste its fruits. A group of cocoa bean farmers in Africa’s Ivory Coast recently had the opportunity to do just that when they tasted the chocolate made with their beans for the first time. A correspondent from Metropolis TV visited the farmers and gave them their first-ever chocolate bar – hit the jump to see a video of their reaction. Read the rest of African Cocoa Farmers Tasting Chocolate for the First Time – Priceless Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Africa , African , African cocoa bean farmers , chocolate , coast , cocoa , Cocoa farmers taste chocolate for the first time , farmers , farming , ivory , Ivory Coast chocolate , video of first chocolate bar

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African Cocoa Farmers Tasting Chocolate for the First Time – Priceless

Mashjar Juthour is a Living Museum of Palestinian Fauna and Flora Outside Ramallah

July 21, 2014 by  
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We’ve created a space up on our hill for our families, students, parents, teachers, artisans, and any nature lover in general to engage as environmental activists on sacred heritage land in Palestine. We hold weekly workshops, summer day camps, overnight trips, school field trips, and open accessibility for all visitors. We know skilled professionals that hold lectures and workshops, professors from Bir Zeit University , local craftspeople, leaders of other eco-building organizations in the area (like the creator of a permaculture farm near Nablus, coming to teach about grey water). The infrastructure that we convene around is designed to be run off alternative energy— solar panels , wind energy, and recycled water. This alternative capability is meant to convey to our community how their homes can also be transformed into green spaces. Mashjar Juthour has just started its crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo.com – please visit if you’d like to learn more or contribute. + Mashjar Juthour The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “solar energy” , alternative energy , eco-toilet , fauna and flora of Palestine , green design , greening Palestine , living museum in Palestine , Mashjar Juthour , Nablus , Palestine green projects , permaculture , Ramallah , water management , west bank , wind energy

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Mashjar Juthour is a Living Museum of Palestinian Fauna and Flora Outside Ramallah

Villa Escudero’s Waterfall Restaurant Lets You Dine at the Foot of the Falls

July 21, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Villa Escudero’s Waterfall Restaurant Lets You Dine at the Foot of the Falls Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: eco restaurant , eco vacation , eco-resorts , Environment , environmental , environmental resort , green resorts , green restaurant , green vacation , labasin falls , Nature , nature restaurant , Philippines , philippines resort , sustainable resorts , sustainable restaurant , sustainable vacation , villa escudero , villa escudero resort , waterfall resort , waterfall restaurant , waterfalls

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Villa Escudero’s Waterfall Restaurant Lets You Dine at the Foot of the Falls

DIY Hugelkultur: How Build Raised Permaculture Garden Beds

August 16, 2013 by  
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Although the term “hugelkultur” was coined by German horticulturalists Hans Beba and Herman Andra in the late 1970s, the actual technique has probably been used for thousands of years. Roughly translated into “hill culture”, this method consists of creating raised garden beds by covering rotting wood with compost and soil, and then planting into them. If you think about it, it’s really just recreating the effects of forest floor decomposition—just in one’s own garden space. Learn how to make your own after the jump! Read the rest of DIY Hugelkultur: How Build Raised Permaculture Garden Beds Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: compost , garden , Gardening , hugelkultur , perennial vegetables , permaculture , permaculture gardening , raised garden beds , soil        

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DIY Hugelkultur: How Build Raised Permaculture Garden Beds

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