California farmers find ways to work with less water

April 5, 2021 by  
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Water scarcity due to persistent droughts in California’s Central Valley is forcing scientists and farmers to find innovative and sustainable ways of utilizing this precious resource. Through collaboration, the community has found ways of reusing water several times in a bid to fully tap into its benefits. The process of conservation and recycling starts just a few miles downstream of all major rivers and streams in the state. With the main source of water for the Central Valley being the Sierra Nevada snowpack, the community relies on a series of infrastructures to utilize the water every step of the way. Structures such as the Pine Flat Reservoir are vital to the plan of minimizing water use. Related: Is high-yield vertical farming the future of agriculture? The reservoir serves as a hydroelectric power station point, utilizing the speed of the free-falling water to turn turbines to generate electricity for the region. Given that hydroelectric power is a greener source of electricity, locals ensure that they have cut down reliance on fossil fuels. Further into the Central Valley, the same water is put to use by farmers who utilize technology to minimize water use. Famers collaborate with local institutions such as the Fresno State Center for Irrigation Technology to adopt sustainable irrigation methods. “So we have basically three essential functions,” said Charles Hillyer, director of Fresno State’s Center for Irrigation Technology. “We do field testing and technology. We do research relating to agriculture specifically for irrigation, and then we have a laboratory that tests and certifies equipment for different research experiments that are all testing different aspects of water use efficiency. One is focused on a product that may reduce consumptive use of water .” Hillyer further explained that irrigation has become mandatory to all farmers in California because of droughts . As a result, they have to adopt methods of sustainable agriculture. “So irrigation matters to everybody who eats in California ,” Hillyer said. “That’s why sustainable production practices are important because this is how we’re going to continue to feed ourselves and the rest of the world.” From training irrigation managers to finding new, sustainable methods of irrigation, Central Valley farmers will have to adapt to the reality of climate change . But Hillyer noted that the future for sustainable water use is bright. “My hope is that this institution will continue as it has done in the past to generate research and pure science research that is useful not only to agriculture but other scientists,” Hillyer said. Via ABC7 Image via Mia S

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California farmers find ways to work with less water

Easy and unexpected radish recipes

April 5, 2021 by  
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If you’ve always considered the humble radish as a garnish, an afterthought or a minor player in salads, these radish recipes may surprise you. Late winter to spring is the best time for this vegetable. Here are a few things to do with those radishes you might find in your yard, your community supported agriculture box or product section at the grocery store. But first, a few radish fun facts. Radish 101 This undervalued root vegetable was a common crop in ancient Egypt, and probably originated in the eastern Mediterranean, China and Middle Asia. Ancient Greeks prized the vegetable , making small gold radish replicas. Radishes were one of the first crops that Spaniards tried out in the New World. They took to the soil, too — probably not surprisingly, as the vegetable’s name derived from rephanos, a Greek word meaning “easily reared.” Related: Grow and eat healthy spring radishes Radish roots are pink because of a pigment called anthocyanin. Their spicy flavor comes from the volatile alkaloid isothiocyanate. Radishes are full of antioxidants, such as pyrogallol, catechin and vanillic acid. These vegetables have practically no calories — only 15 in a 3-ounce serving, but they contain 30% of your vitamin C RDA and 20% of the RDA for calcium. Just think, one 15-ounce radish smoothie, and you have enough calcium to go on for a day. Joking! Don’t worry, these recipes are going to be better than a radish smoothie. How to cook radish greens “Don’t toss those radish tops!” said Kristina Todini, a registered dietitian and author of the Fork in the Road website. Instead, Todini promotes curbing food waste by sautéing radish greens for a wilted greens side dish. This is what she calls “Root to stem cooking at its finest.” Plus, you’ll get a good dose of vitamins K, A and C. While the stems are technically edible, most people find them unpleasantly tough. So cut at the end of the stems where the softer leaves begin. Because radishes grow in the dirt , the greens will need an extra-thorough wash to get the grit off. The soft leaves will cook quickly and reduce to about one-third of their original size. Add garlic, pepper and olive oil, and radish greens will taste similar to chard or other more familiar greens. Braised radishes Star chef Grant Achatz shared his recipe for honey mustard braised radishes and mustard greens with Food and Wine . Between the horseradish, Dijon mustard and the greens themselves, this one will be a spicy hit for mustard lovers. Of course, the entire stick of butter also enhances the taste and renders that above clause about 15-calorie radishes null and void. Vegans can substitute Earth Balance or similar in this recipe. Roasted radishes Roasted radishes are extremely versatile. This recipe from Real and Vibrant tosses oven-roasted radishes with garlic, lemon juice and fresh herbs. Roasted radishes make a good side dish at lunch or dinner. In salads, they pair well with balsamic vinaigrette or lemon tahini. Slice some up and serve on homemade bread for the best radish sandwich ever. Radishes complement pasta This recipe for roasted radish lemony chickpea pasta is both gluten-free and vegan and comes from Cotter Crunch , the website of nutrition specialist Lindsay Cotter. If you’re not gluten-sensitive, you could substitute any old pasta. Olives add extra flavor, but the lemony herb sauce is probably the best part of this roasted radish recipe. The sauce combines garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, mustard, onion and spices like sage or tarragon. This is a perfect light meal for summer or springtime. Quick-pickled radish Sure, you can use cucumbers to make pickles. But a jar of pickled radishes makes a more original snack or gift . If you go for a pickled watermelon radish recipe, you’ll have the prettiest pickles ever. A Beautiful Mess gives easy instructions for making quick-pickled radishes at home. All you need is water, white vinegar, salt, sugar and a jar to put them in. Oh, and your radishes, of course. You can make these pickles overnight and they’ll last for up to a month. Make them extra fancy with some whole pink peppercorns or sprigs of dill. Snack on sweet radish chips Pinch of Yum describes its recipe for cinnamon sugar radish chips as spicy, earthy, warm, a little bitter but still sweet at the same time. Intrigued? This recipe takes less than an hour from slicing the radishes to putting the finished product in your mouth, so give it a try. You’ll need olive oil, honey, cinnamon sugar and radishes. Vegans could try subbing agave syrup or molasses for the honey. You just bathe sliced radishes in this mixture and bake them on a cookie sheet. Radishes for dessert Just when you thought it couldn’t get any more unexpected, Veggie Desserts has a recipe for vegan cinnamon ice cream topped with radishes. True, if you’re used to eating delicious ice cream with mix-ins like peanut butter cups and Oreos, this healthy dessert recipe might be a hard sell. But don’t knock it until you try it. The ice cream is made from three frozen bananas and a teaspoon of cinnamon. The topping requires five radishes, a teaspoon of olive oil and a teaspoon of maple syrup. Images via Adobe Stock

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Easy and unexpected radish recipes

World Water Day 2020: The role of innovation in creating abundance

March 20, 2020 by  
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We are now beyond business-as-usual approaches for water, which is critical for watersheds such as the Colorado River Basin.

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World Water Day 2020: The role of innovation in creating abundance

Trend: Corporate climate reporting gets physical

February 17, 2020 by  
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With events such as the recurring California wildfires and mudslides, hurricanes Harvey and Maria and Typhoon Hagibis, which have had catastrophic human and economic costs, it is perhaps unsurprising that governments, regulators and investors have started to ask companies to disclose their climate risks, including physical risk.

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Trend: Corporate climate reporting gets physical

VERGE influencers offer reasons to be hopeful in 2018

December 20, 2017 by  
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Here’s what experts in clean energy, transportation systems and emerging technologies such as the blockchain and artificial intelligence believe could take flight.

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VERGE influencers offer reasons to be hopeful in 2018

How collaboration inspires sustainability heroes

August 15, 2017 by  
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Global results need collaboration, trust and communication. Just ask companies such as Apple and NGOs such as the EDF.

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How collaboration inspires sustainability heroes

How to make your materiality assessment worth the effort

August 15, 2017 by  
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First, visualize your options. Examples from Unilever and Target.

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How to make your materiality assessment worth the effort

The first smart state? The quest to link up the Land of Lincoln

March 13, 2017 by  
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Illinois is centralizing investments in technologies such as the Internet of things, while allowing cities to prioritize according to local needs. Texas may be next.

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The first smart state? The quest to link up the Land of Lincoln

Apple unveils nature-filled, solar-powered future for its retail stores worldwide

May 23, 2016 by  
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Foster + Partners is no stranger to working with Apple. The international architecture firm has overseen the design of several iconic Apple stores, such as the glass-clad flagship in Istanbul, as well as the new Apple Campus 2 in Cupertino that’s nearing completion. With Apple Union Square, the architects closely collaborated with Jonathan Ive, Apple’s chief design officer, and Angela Ahrendts, the senior vice president of Retail and Online Stores. Set across from San Francisco’s famous Union…

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Apple unveils nature-filled, solar-powered future for its retail stores worldwide

Fleet Farming transforms suburban lawns into sustainable gardens

May 23, 2016 by  
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Front lawns are all too common across the United States, yet they produce a huge amount of pollution through absorbing fertilizer and pesticides. Homeowners use 800 million gallons of gas to mow 40 million acres of lawn. Fleet Farming, an organization started by Heather Groves and Chris Castro in Orlando, Florida, aims to reduce pollution by transforming those inefficient lawns into gardens that provide food for their local community. It’s not only lawns that are an issue, but our…

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Fleet Farming transforms suburban lawns into sustainable gardens

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