2019/04/11: geothermal energy is predominantly known for power generation & district heating, low & medium temperature geothermal resources can serve as a sustainable & effective energy source for food production & drying
Our goal is to make farmers imagine, and collectively create, adequate equipment and the means of production on the farm. This is in contrast to a trajectory of over-investment, over-indebtedness and over-sizing.
We believe we can make technical choices and invent sophisticated low tech solutions. We don’t want to be overwhelmed by trendy, plug-and-play and miraculous high-tech tools that will only make us more dependent, will be more intrusive and less controllable.
In 2011, we set ourselves up as a staffed organisation working to promote farm-based inventions. Our aim was to collectively develop new technological solutions adapted to small-scale farming, and to make these skills and ideas widely available through courses and educational materials.
We have also been offering resources and guidance to farmer-driven projects involving the building or renovation of agricultural buildings.
We have five trucks equipped with the machinery and materials we need to run about 80 practical training courses on farms and workshops across France per year.
2018/09/28: While it is commendable to strive to reduce the ecological footprint of cities some realism is called for. For their provisions and waste disposal, cities need forest, agricultural, marine, and wetland ecosystems on lands many hundred times the area of the city itself.[xxii] If we are serious about feeding the cities more locally, we should look more to the perimeters of the city and to the interplay between cities and their hinterland. It is here that there really is a potential to feed the cities.
Silicon Valley meats Hollywood That is the best description of how we will get food in the future if we would believe the impressive number of food tech start-ups which will produce food without soil or animals. But few of them deliver on their exaggerated promises.
Because of how badly we humans have treated soils and animals it is understandable that people now are looking for other ways of producing food. Under banners of digital ecosystems, open source, individual foods, actionable intelligence, disruptive food systems and digital transformation, there are legions of entrepreneurs (mostly with background in the IT sector) seeking venture capital and researchers looking for grants.
3-D printing of food is expensive, incredibly slow and not capable of making most of the food we like to eat - today. Perhaps it will in the futures. My concern is rather that 3-D printing of food and robocooks seems to be far-fetched solutions to marginal problems, and it certainly has nothing to do with “solving the world’s largest food and farming problems”.
I turn my attention to methods of primary production which are not soil or animal based (I will leave wild foods and fisheries outside of the discussion).
Few people seem to realize that lab-foods also need a feedstock, and the companies marketing the products are mostly silent regarding the raw materials used. To grow maize as a feedstock for ‘artificial’ food or to produce chicken is not so very different. Chicken production, in many parts of the world, is already landless production, a kind of feed converter factory. And it is obvious that you can do a similar thing with fungi or bacteria. It is not obvious, however, that the process will be much more efficient (but possibly more ethically acceptable).
Tissue culture of beef is currently done on a serum extracted from unborn calves and it also involves the use of antibiotics.[v] Other resource demands are rarely documented, so the claims of being resource efficient still needs to be proven.
Though the cultivation of algae using man-made or natural ponds was initially simple, turning it into a viable feedstock has always been problematic. So our industry has always needed a system that could enable higher production levels, lower capital and operating costs, greater biomass density, better environmental control, and above all, industrial scalability.”[vi] Even bio-fuels could be made from algae, but the cost of production is prohibitive and would use enormous areas and water resources. In addition, it is very energy consuming and CO2 emissions caused would be much bigger than for fossil fuels. Therefore, almost all algae entrepreneurs are producing nutritional supplements and other specialty products which have prices two orders of magnitude higher than fuel or staple food.
Much aquaculture today is based on predatory fish, such as salmon, which are fed on undersized caught wild fish, other fish leftovers and fodder from agriculture. There is not a dramatic difference between modern fish farming and broiler production.
For aquaculture to really play a meaningful role in feeding a growing population in a sustainable way, we need systems that integrate aquaculture and farming. Such systems have developed over a long time in Asia where rice, fish and vegetables have been grown in the same system, sometimes also including ducks or pigs. There are also modern versions of such systems under development.
An extreme version of hydroponics are indoor vertical farms in cities. But the fact that it is possible doesn’t mean it is viable on a larger scale, and even less that it will take place in the cities. Vertical hydroponic farms are totally dependent on inputs that will need to be transported in, they are not part of any ecological context in the city, and if they are large, the crops will be put into the normal food distribution networks. In that sense, they are like any other assembly plant. And, like any other assembly plants, they are better located outside of city centres. But the rational for stacking crops on top of each other is gone where land prices are lower.
But it has little relevance for feeding the population, which is underscored by that the commercial application are all about growing baby lettuce, pak choy or herbs, crops which provide almost no food energy or proteins.
those technologies are not integrated into the ecological web of the city, rather the opposite, they need to be sealed off even from the people and the water used mus
2018/09/27: scientists trying to improve the solar cells themselves developed an integrated battery that works in three different ways. It can work like a normal solar cell by converting sunlight to electricity immediately, explains study author Song Jin, a chemist at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. It can store the solar energy, or it can simply be charged like a normal battery. It's a combination of two existing technologies: solar cells that harvest light, and a so-called flow battery.
The most commonly used batteries, lithium-ion, store energy in solid materials, like various metals. Flow batteries, on the other hand, store energy in external liquid tanks. This means they are very easy to scale for large projects. Scaling up all the components of a lithium-ion battery might throw off the engineering, but for flow batteries, "you just make the tank bigger," says Timothy Cook, a University at Buffalo chemist and flow battery expert not involved in the study. "You really simplify how to make the battery grow in capacity," he adds. "We're not making flow batteries to power a cell phone, we're thinking about buildings or industrial sites.
2018/09/18: The board can be used as a general purpose I/O and DAQ add-on but is specifically designed as a control board for aquaponics and hydroponics gardening.
2012/08/16: Eliodomestico, an open-source variation on a solar still.
It functions by filling the black boiler with salty sea water in the morning, then tightening the cap. As the temperature and pressure grows, steam is forced downwards through a connection pipe and collects in the lid, which acts as a condenser, turning the steam into fresh water. Once Diamanti established the fundamentals were sound, he experimented with a series of concepts for the aesthetic of the object. “My goal was to design something friendly and recognizable for the users,” he explains. “The process developed quite naturally to determine the current shape; every detail is there for a reason, so the form, as well as production techniques, represent a compromise between technical and traditional.” Primary field studies in sub-Saharan Africa revealed the habit of carrying goods on the head–also a common practice in other areas around the world–and this was integrated into Eliodomestico’s plan. And while solar stills aren’t a totally new concept, Diamanti says it’s rare to find them in a domestic context rather than in missions or hospitals
Because most plant varieties have been optimized for Big Ag and long-distance distribution, plant biologists can explore many new avenues to find cultivars that will perform even better when grown inside. Marcelis’s experiments, for instance, suggest that fine-tuning the lights in a food computer could double the shelf life of lettuce and double the vitamin C in tomatoes. A generation from now, mothers may pass along to their kids their favorite recipe for tomatoes along with the family recipe for tomato sauce.
Fraunhofer calls its unique installation, which mounts the solar panels high enough to allow farm equipment and animals to move freely underneath, agrophotovoltaics or APV. The results from the first experimental program near Lake Constance in southwestern Germany found combining agriculture and farming increased the output of the land by 60% over what it would be if the same land was devoted 100% to farming or 100% to solar panels.
The partial shading of crops planted beneath the APV scaffolding can reduce the need for irrigation. Various fruits which normally do not grow well in dry climates with high solar radiation can flourish when shaded by an APV system and livestock can benefit from less exposure to the sun. The electricity generated can power water pumps or desalination systems. In addition, it can be used for cooling and processing crops, making them preservable and therefore more profitable.
In remote regions, the quality of life is improved by access to electricity that provides improved access to information, education, and better medical care. In sub-Saharan Africa, about 92% of the rural population have no access to electricity. APV offers new sources of income to the local population and at the same time reduces the dependence on the fossil fuels that are often used to run diesel generators.
Per una Pasqua non violenta da anni Terra Nuova ospita con condivisione ed entusiasmo gli appelli delle associazioni animaliste, vegetariane e vegane contro la macellazione degli agnelli. Ma a rivendicare il loro ruolo e la loro attività sono quest'anno anche i pastori, in particolare quelli d'Abruzzo. Abbiamo voluto dare voce anche a loro, perché anche la loro prospettiva esiste. E dal confronto, cui vi invitiamo in maniera costruttiva, non può che nascere qualcosa di buono.
Inquadrando il QR Code stampato sull'etichetta siamo in grado di conoscere tutta la vita del prodotto che stiamo acquistando, risalendo l'intera filiera fino allo scaffale.
2014/12/03: for now, the country lives with a yawning digital — and cultural — divide that has left behind not only large swaths of Italians, but also Italy itself from much of the rest of Europe and the United States. Italy has one of the lowest rates of ultrabroadband connection per household in Europe — half as many as, say, neighboring Switzerland. Only 10 percent of Italy’s primary schools have a broadband connection.
Introducing ultrafast broadband would “sensibly increase” the country’s gross domestic product, the government says, and it could also slow or reverse the migration to cities that has depopulated villages like this one.
“A speedy Internet connection makes all the difference in the world when you are in the final seconds of an eBay auction,” said Eldio Ginevro, 76, a former mayor and passionate collector of over 270 postcards of Verrua Savoia sent to him from all over the world.
2018/03/08: Once again we see a resurgence of interest in intentional communities and in Utopian experiments in living communally. Even Time Magazine is advocating such ways of living as a solution to the problems of modern living. Over the last ten years I have made forays into alternative living; finding and testing out Utopian intentional communities.
Ultralight Membrane Mirror": Breakthrough for Solar Cooking & Community-Scale Industrial Processes
When it comes to being poor, geography is destiny. But do we just leave blighted communities to die?
Indian agriculture is going to witness Internet of Things (IoT) applications soon as SenRa, a pan
Community-supported model thrives without subsidies from Brussels.
Mobile internet use in the Philippines is growing rapidly, but so are associated digital inequalities. I've just published a new research report with my colleague Kevin Hernandez based on our study in the Philippines, which suggests that far from creating equality of access to information, the use of mobile and internet technologies is creating new class divisions in technology access and new forms of digital inequality. In the report we emphasise the need to add 'analogue complements' to our digital development initiatives in order to ensure that they don't unintentionally exacerbate existing social inequalities.
This week, we learned that tech guru and mega philanthropist Bill Gates purchased 25,000 acres of land in Arizona with the intent to build a smart city from the ground up. The community, called Belmont, will "create a forward-thinking community with a communication and infrastructure spine that embraces cutting-edge technology, designed around high-speed digital networks, data centers, new manufacturing technologies and distribution models, autonomous vehicles and autonomous logistics hubs," according to a spokesperson for Gates' real estate firm Belmont Partners.