New Jersey Star Ledger
By Valerie Sudol
Fungus gnats are a nuisance for many houseplant lovers and are especially apparent when container plants are brought inside for winter.
Potting soil may have been colonized by these common pests during the summer. When exposed to warmer indoor temperatures, containers can produce a bumper crop of gnats, which look like small mosquitoes.
Aquaponics offers flexibility of design - fish and plants can be produced almost anywhere, including roof tops.
What is aquaponics?
Aquaponics is the marriage between aquaculture and hydroponics. Essentially it is a "clean and green" method of growing fish and plants together in a closed system. The fish are reared in tanks and their water is pumped to the plants that are growing in soiless conditions. The plants take up the waste produced by fish for growth and the water is returned to the fish. The two systems actually benefit from each other.
Photograph by Linda Rosier, NY Daily News/Getty Images
Curt Ellis (pictured) and Ian Cheney won rave reviews for their 2007 documentary King Corn, about the drawbacks to industrial agriculture. They built on that success by filling up the back of a 1986 Dodge Ram with soil and planting tomatoes.
By Boy de Nijs
Growstones in Bato buckets in a commercial greenhouse trial in 2009 with tomatoes.
Crushed glass has growing media. It may sound a little crazy, yet controlled research trials done by Wageningen University and The University of Arizona/Controlled Environment Agriculure (CEAC) show that plants thrive very well on foamed glass aggregates manufactured for horticulture applications. This is how Growstone, Inc. was born in 2005. The substrate is already available for the hobby grower, but currently Growstone is looking to widen it's reach and transit into the commercial greenhouse market.
At the time the first trials were done by the University of Arizona, Paula Costa was a graduate student at Agriculture & Biosystems Engineering Department. "I was finishing my research project at the CEAC and very quickly got directly involved in setting the first informal greenhouse trials with Growstones crushed foamed glass in the Fall of 2005," says Paula who is now Growstone's R&D Director.
Photograph by Carlos Osorio, AP
Teens at Catherine Ferguson Academy in Detroit learn to grow plants in a greenhouse. The school serves pregnant and parenting teens, and teaches farming and gardening in addition to core subjects.
Photograph by Yuriko Nakao, Reuters
An employee harvests veggies grown inside an office "urban farm" in Tokyo. The Pasona Group, an employment and staffing company, established the growing area to foster a work environment that
Landscape designer Rebecca Cole shares the top reasons (and plenty of motivation) to start a delicious urban farm
By Rebecca Cole
- Teach the future generations: Our children can learn where food comes from by growing our own.
- Keep climate change at bay: Urban greening is responsible for reducing urban heat island effect by as much as 20%.
- Strengthen neighborhood bonds: Urban gardening builds communities, good will, economic growth and bio diversity.
- You can plant a garden anywhere: Stairwells bathrooms, libraries, living rooms and kitchens with windows. Community centers, restaurants and grocery stores with window.
- Delicious foods at the ready! For inside gardening, carrots, avocados, garlic green, micro greens, salad greens, tomatoes, lemons, mushrooms, scallions, ginger, cilantro, rosemary, and peppers all thrive.
Photograph from ClassicStock/Alamy
In 1943, young people tend a victory garden in New York City. During World War II, Americans were encouraged to grow some of their own food, to offset shortages caused by the conflict.
Photograph by Anthony Behar, Sipa Press/AP
by Green Gotham
With seven billion mouths to feed, human agriculture exerts a tremendous toll on the planet, from water draws to pollution, and from energy use to habitat loss. But there is also a growing set of solutions, from organic agriculture to integrated pest management.
More people around the world are taking a look at urban farming, which offers to make our food as "local" as possible. By growing what we need near where we live, we decrease the "food miles" associated with long-distance transportation. We also get the freshest produce money can buy, and we are encouraged to eat in season.
With climate change wrecking havoc on the world’s crops, it’s time to consider other options. Warehouse farms might be the answer to the global food crisis.
The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recently released their first report in seven years, and like many sequels, it wasn’t good. Beyond melting ice caps and unprecedented heat waves, the news that most shook readers was that "all aspects of food security are potentially affected by climate change."
Early proof of this impending disaster is playing out in California where farming-related losses in 2013 are estimated to be $5 billion and 2014 is not on track to be any better. Chipotle noted in a recent investor letter that they might cut back on their signature guacamole because of avocado scarcity. In a wry twist, this news caused much more concern for many Americans than the United Nations Nobel Prize winning team’s research tome of impending doom.