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Category — Soil

UK: Growing crops in cities will put an end to food waste

Coronavirus showed how vulnerable our global food supply chains are, but growing closer to home could also solve our waste problem

By Ellen Macarthur
Wired
23 December 2020

Excerpt:

In the current food system, when food flows into cities, organic waste is created in the form of discarded produce, by-products and sewage. This waste is full of nutrients that can be used to grow new food and create biomaterials, but in today’s system it is more likely to end up in landfill or go untreated. However, there are more viable – and greener – alternatives. In Italy, paper is already being made from pasta by-products, while orange peels, grape skins and excess milk are being turned into fabrics. In the UK, London has committed to ensuring that by 2026 no biodegradable or recyclable waste will be sent to landfill.

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December 29, 2020   Comments Off on UK: Growing crops in cities will put an end to food waste

Leave the Leaves to Benefit Wildlife

Where the leaves are in contact with the soil, I often find great numbers of earthworms that help make better soil for my garden.

By Scott Hoffman Black
Xerces
12 November 2020

Excerpt:

Out of sight often means out of mind for people and fall is a time when you do not see the bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects that where flitting around your flowers all summer. Where do these insects go when they are not visiting your garden? Some do migrate—like the monarch butterfly, flying south to overwinter in trees in Mexico or along the California coast—but the vast majority spend their entire life in and around your property. Many of our native solitary bees have laid eggs and provisioned nests in soil or in standing dead trees or hollowed out branches where the young are pupating. Bumble bee queens have found areas to overwinter under branches, in rock walls and in other relatively dry, snug places.

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November 18, 2020   Comments Off on Leave the Leaves to Benefit Wildlife

The Need to GROW Documentary Captures the Root of Agriculture’s Problem

The film delivers alarming evidence on the importance of healthy soil

By Food Tank
A Film by Rob Herring & Ryan Wirick
Executive Produced & Narrated by Rosario Dawson

Excerpt:

According to the filmmakers, The Need to GROW aims to illustrate the current fragility of the planet through soil—including soil’s role in all ecosystems and the rapid loss of farmable soil across the globe. The film focuses on three main characters—8-year old Girl Scout, Alicia Serratos; a regenerative urban farmer, Erik Cutter; and inventor, Michael Smith. Serratos leads a petition for non-GMO girl scout cookies; Cutter seeks to grow food in a resource-efficient manner; Smith’s Green Power House invention functions as a closed-loop energy generator that sequesters carbon, grows algae, and produces a nutrient-rich, organic soil vitalizer.

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September 9, 2020   Comments Off on The Need to GROW Documentary Captures the Root of Agriculture’s Problem

Could a Detroit Experiment Unleash the Power of Urban Soil?

A multi-year study underway aims to build healthy urban soil quickly at minimum cost, yielding local, fresh food and climate mitigation as a bonus.

By Brian Allnutt
Civil Eats
July 16, 2020

On 36 ten-by-five-foot plots, the project is evaluating how cover crops, compost, tillage, and other forms of cultivation can work together to improve a piece of land. Researchers are measuring factors like soil organic matter, water infiltration, compaction, and weed abundance to see how they change over time.

Although the ground under cultivation is fairly typical of Detroit’s heavy, alkaline soils, it probably mirrors conditions in other cities as well. And while the study does not address outright contamination, some research has emerged showing that, at least when it comes to heavy metals, vegetables from contaminated soils are generally safe, although direct exposure to the dirt through dust or root crops remains a problem.

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July 20, 2020   Comments Off on Could a Detroit Experiment Unleash the Power of Urban Soil?

Finland: Urban Farmer’s grow safe crops says Helsinki study

City food inspector Tiina Paavola examined vegetables and root vegetables.

By John Torrendo
Wire News Fax
20/04/2020

Note: The article is a translated version and some of it is difficult to follow. (Mike)

Excerpt:

the town cultivated vegetables quality in Helsinki is good, manifested in the city of Helsinki environment services report (go to another service).

the results obtained on the basis of the Helsinki yard, the garden and the balcony have grown vegetables for use as food is safe.

the city of Helsinki’s environmental services food inspectors made their first time in town, particularly in the cultivation forums cultivation of vegetables contaminants concentrations. In last year’s report was included in the 31 farmers and the samples were examined of 72 pieces.

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April 25, 2020   Comments Off on Finland: Urban Farmer’s grow safe crops says Helsinki study

This Farmer Wants to Help You Grow Your Own Food

Whoopi Goldberg’s Favorite Things | Farm-Based Foodie on The View from FARM-BASED FOODIE on Vimeo.

L.Be Sholar hopes to lead a food sovereignty movement with her mobile gardens

By Lindsay Campbell
Modern Farmer
Jan 13, 2020

Excerpt:

People in the city were very, very disconnected, especially where I was working; they were quite neurotic because they weren’t grounded.” she says.

In 2015, Solar descried to move back to Kentucky to work for her family’s soil Tech company, OrganiLock. While she worked at OrganiLock, she helped to develop reusable organic soil, and she started to experiment with how to grow her own food in it.

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January 20, 2020   Comments Off on This Farmer Wants to Help You Grow Your Own Food

Research Shows Dangerous Levels Of Lead In New York City Soil

It’s organic, but she’s learning it still may not be so safe.

CBS
Nov 4, 2019

Excerpt:

Dr. Anna Paltseva helped contribute to a 10-year research study by Brooklyn College and others, testing 746 soil samples, including some from many city-run community gardens and parks. The study proved the majority of the samples posed “significant risks to human life and ecological systems.”

“We found the soils are very different in different boroughs of New York. Specifically, for contaminants, they’re concentrated in some areas where there used to be lots of industry or very high-traffic areas,” Paltseva said.

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November 11, 2019   Comments Off on Research Shows Dangerous Levels Of Lead In New York City Soil