A Mexican Village Where Aztec-Era Agriculture Remains

Posted on Friday, February 16th, 2018 by

As twilight hits the southern edge of Mexico City, campesinos (peasant farmers) glide through narrow canals between pastures as they make their way over the water to deliver crates of produce. It’s January, the middle of the dry season, and through the slopes of the surrounding hills and volcanoes, desiccated lettuce and spinach fill the fields amid the lagoons […]

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Phytoremediation

Posted on Thursday, February 15th, 2018 by

Phytoremediation is a form of bioremediation and applies to all chemical or physical processes that involve plants for degrading or immobilizing contaminants in soil and groundwater. The word (which does not roll off the tongue) actually makes sense. It comes from the Greek word phyto meaning “plant” and the Latin word remedium meaning “restoring balance.” When put together, the two […]

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A Method for Growing a Lot of Food on Little Land

Posted on Tuesday, February 13th, 2018 by

Over the last nine years, Ben Hartman’s farm in northern Indiana has become more efficient and profitable following the techniques developed by an unlikely source: Toyota. By adapting the production techniques developed by the car manufacturer—commonly referred to as “lean manufacturing“—Hartman has revolutionized his methods, cut down his work hours dramatically, and shrunk the size of his farm, […]

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Farmland could be used to sustainably offset America’s entire carbon footprint

Posted on Wednesday, January 31st, 2018 by

Amid the roaring debate on how to curb climate change in Bonn last year, an impasse was finally broken on agriculture. Both a cause and casualty of climate change, our food system accounts for up to 24% of greenhouse gas emissions. Yet hit by soaring temperatures and more frequent extreme weather, farming is becoming […]

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Why Urban Farming Is Key in the Fight Against Hunger and Climate Change

Posted on Friday, January 19th, 2018 by

The urban farms sprouting up and across cities around the world aren’t just feeding mouths—they are “critical to survival” and a “necessary adaptation” for developing regions and a changing climate, according to a new study. Urban farms—which include plain old allotments, indoor vertical farms and rooftop gardens nestled amongst busy streets and skyscrapers—have become increasingly popular and important as the world’s population […]

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The latest cutting-edge technology changing our landscapes? Trees

Posted on Sunday, January 7th, 2018 by

Most people round here think it’s pretty normal for the earth to just blow away,” says Lynn Briggs. “They seem to think it’s what happens and you just have to live with it. It’s even got a name – they call it fen blow.” But when Lynn and her husband Stephen moved on to their […]

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7 ways to spot a healthy forest

Posted on Saturday, January 6th, 2018 by

Sizing up the health of a forest may be hard to do with the naked eye. There’s a lot going on in there. Plants, animals, people and businesses all play critical roles behind the scenes. Forests are critical from every angle. Animals and people rely on them for food, clean air and fresh water. Businesses […]

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These farmers are doing the impossible: growing fresh veggies in the coldest parts of the planet

Posted on Tuesday, December 26th, 2017 by

Halfway between mainland Norway and the North Pole, the islands of Svalbard are a palette of blue, white and brown — from the Arctic Ocean to glaciers, frozen sea ice and permafrost mountains. Upon first glance, it’s not a destination that inspires much in the way of agriculture. “This whole island is about extraction: […]

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The Secret To Biochar’s Success Might Finally Have Been Revealed

Posted on Thursday, December 21st, 2017 by

  If you heat organic waste in a low-oxygen environment (pyrolysis), you get a substance known as biochar. Biochar’s excellence as a crop enhancer has been known for a century – and possibly much longer in cultures such as the indigenous inhabitants of the Amazon Rainforest. Indeed, in some circles biochar has achieved a hallowed status as […]

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The Simple River-Cleaning Tactics That Big Farms Ignor

Posted on Tuesday, December 19th, 2017 by

DES MOINES, IOWAIone Cleverley wasn’t eager to break up with her tenant, who had been farming 88 acres of her central Iowa land for more than a decade. He was affable and hardworking, but after harvesting his corn and soybeans, the farmer left her fields unplanted. Cleverley had learned that each spring, as the soil […]

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