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Agriculture and the Natural World
This is an exploration of agriculture and how it relates to the environment. Whether you call it agroecology or eco-agriculture or permaculture these all offer alternative approaches to industrial agriculture that are far more sustainable. This page will highlight good, bad and neutral news related to environmental, economical and socially sustainable agriculture.
Curated by Darin Hoagland
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12 Great Drought-Tolerant Plants

12 Great Drought-Tolerant Plants | Agriculture and the Natural World | Scoop.it
These picks for drought-tolerant plants will thrive on a roof or in an arid ground-level landscape.
Darin Hoagland's insight:

Nice variety of hardy dry-climate plants that need little care. 

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Bamboo, Pyrolysis, Bio-Char & Mycorrhizal Fungi: Nature's Machine to Draw Carbon Down Exponentially

Bamboo, Pyrolysis, Bio-Char & Mycorrhizal Fungi: Nature's Machine to Draw Carbon Down Exponentially | Agriculture and the Natural World | Scoop.it
www.co2drawdownsolutions.com Charlotte O'Brien, Director of Bio Bamboo and CO2 Drawdown Solutions, explains how to significantly draw down Carbon from the at...

Via Alan Yoshioka
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Juan Wood's curator insight, July 20, 2013 6:13 PM

Muy bueno, lastima que no tenga subtitulos en Español...

Daniel LaLiberte's curator insight, July 21, 2013 11:45 PM

Great video about how we can very effectively work with nature to help us repair the centuries of damage we have been inflicting on nature.

Darin Hoagland's comment, July 26, 2013 10:55 PM
I like how integrated this idea is for it can be brought into the global economy and agriculture while working with nature. I only worry is bamboo can be powerfully invasive and out-compete indigenous plants. Once planted you will have it for a long time so there had better be dedicated harvesting operation.
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Local, self-sufficient, optimistic: are Transition Towns the way forward?

Local, self-sufficient, optimistic: are Transition Towns the way forward? | Agriculture and the Natural World | Scoop.it

June 14, 2013 Guardian Environment

Locally grown food, community-owned power stations, local currencies … can small-scale actions make a difference? Yes, according to the Transition network – in fact, it's our only hope..... http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/jun/15/transition-towns-way-forward

 

MONDRAGON: SPAIN'S GIANT CO-OPERATIVE - A GROWING ALTERNATIVE MODEL TO CAPITALISM http://sco.lt/79nTrF

 

 


Via pdjmoo
Darin Hoagland's insight:

Local solutions are worthwhile especially if self-sufficient.

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Can city farms feed a hungry world?

Can city farms feed a hungry world? | Agriculture and the Natural World | Scoop.it
There will be billions more hungry people in 2050. Growing our food on vertical farms or under radical new lighting systems may be key to ensuring they have eno (We have to get to this.. Can we??

Via Alan Yoshioka
Darin Hoagland's insight:

More city farms will become a necessity sooner or later.

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Mipygreen's curator insight, June 25, 2013 5:25 PM

YES WE CAN.....but even more WE MUST!!!!

Darin Hoagland's comment, June 28, 2013 11:37 AM
Every time I see another urban empty lot turned into a community garden in Oakland, California (my hometown) I am gratified and excited someone has made the space far more useful.
Mipygreen's comment, June 28, 2013 4:45 PM
Better soon as to late! I am living in South France, Toulouse And for the moment it's quiet difficult to transform an urban empty lot into a community garden. To much anti régulations and not enough citizen motivation
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Ollas: A Collection of Information and Techniques for alternative irrigation

This video is part research project, part experiment, and all about Ollas. Ollas are clay pots that are used for irrigation. The second half of this video wa...

Via ma8u
Darin Hoagland's insight:

Another good idea from traditional agriculture of the past.  It has great appeal for crop irrigation where water conservation is necessary.

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Darin Hoagland's comment, June 21, 2013 12:24 PM
Ollas are pronounced "oy-yahs" as the word has Spanish origin.
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So What Are Farm Subsidies?

So What Are Farm Subsidies? | Agriculture and the Natural World | Scoop.it

In the United States, subsidies tend to be lumped into a single term but there are actually several different kinds of subsidies.

 

http://www.trufflemedia.com/agmedia/article/2013/02/18604/so-what-are-subsidies


Subsidy programs include: direct payments, marketing loans, countercyclical payments, conservation subsidies, crop insurance, disaster aid, export subsidies, and agricultural research and statistics (Cato Handbook for Policymakers, 2009).


Via John Blue
Darin Hoagland's insight:

Understanding farm subsities is complicated enough to revisit the topic every once in a while.  This explainer helps so this.

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Lose Your Lawn the Bay-Friendly Way

Lose Your Lawn the Bay-Friendly Way | Agriculture and the Natural World | Scoop.it
Replace your lawn with a healthy garden that works for you. By using Bay-Friendly practices, you can conserve water, natural resources and prevent pollution. And with sheet mulching, you can plant directly on top of the lawn, saving time and money.
Darin Hoagland's insight:

Lawns have a traditional place in landscaping but unfortunately are a waste of time and resources for most residential or even commercial locations.  Weeding, fertilizing, mowing and watering efforts are much reduced in an established climate-appropriate native-friendly landscaping application.   Lose your lawn and gain a more beautiful and sustainable landscape.

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36th Annual International Wildlife Film Festival Award Winners

36th Annual International Wildlife Film Festival Award Winners | Agriculture and the Natural World | Scoop.it
The 36th Annual International Wildlife Film Festival is thrilled to announce this year’s award winners! Awards were presented at a First Friday ceremony on May 3rd at the Roxy Theater in Missoula, ...
Darin Hoagland's insight:

I grew up with nature documentaries and I still love them. Perhaps these winners with inspire you too.

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Fruit flies fed organic diets are healthier than flies fed nonorganic diets, study finds

Fruit flies fed organic diets are healthier than flies fed nonorganic diets, study finds | Agriculture and the Natural World | Scoop.it
Fruit flies fed an organic diet recorded better health outcomes than flies fed a nonorganic diet, according to a new study. Researchers found that fruit flies raised on organic foods performed better on various health tests.

Via Alan Yoshioka
Darin Hoagland's insight:

Facinating look at fruit fly health and organic diets.  Does this suggest better health for people who eat organic fruit as well?

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Alan Yoshioka's curator insight, March 26, 2013 4:28 PM

fascinating study ... apples to apples ... took organic vs conventional and it seems a positive outcome for organic   contrary to recently published and publicized studies ....

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Great tour & Example - Permaculture Keyline Water Systems: Don Tipping @ Seven Seeds Farm - imitate natural water systems for better water management

Permaculture seed wizard Don Tipping takes us on a 10 minute animated tour of the epic Seven Seeds Farm in the Siskiyou Mountains of Southern Oregon, USA. Th...

Via ma8u
Darin Hoagland's insight:

This short video tour provides a great example of permaculture design and implementation.  It is fitting that a permaculture farm in the Beaver State would try to imitate what beavers have traditionally done for water system management.  Great diversification, great water management means many benefits.

 

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Explore Caves, Oceans & African Plains With These 4 Zooniverse Projects

Explore Caves, Oceans & African Plains With These 4 Zooniverse Projects | Agriculture and the Natural World | Scoop.it

Contributing towards scientific research doesn’t always require you pay a monthly fee to your favourite projects.


Via Sharrock
Darin Hoagland's insight:

Crowdsourcing and citizen science at its best. I like this.

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Free with charity contributions: Online Permaculture Design Course offered

Free with charity contributions: Online Permaculture Design Course offered | Agriculture and the Natural World | Scoop.it
Develop a FREE online permaculture design course, taking principles of sustainable living and design mainstream.
Darin Hoagland's insight:

Ambitious and creative charity offers free online permaculture design course that can benefit interested individuals and boost permaculture ideals generally. As someone who likes online education and permaculture I wholeheartedly support this.

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Mapping Urban Agriculture From the Sky and Google Earth

Mapping Urban Agriculture From the Sky and Google Earth | Agriculture and the Natural World | Scoop.it
Google Earth could help quantify urban gardens much better than advocates on the ground.
Darin Hoagland's insight:

It's a useful realization in this news article about Google Earth assisting surveys of residential vegetable gardens but not surprising when you think about it. As an county agricultural aide monitoring for invasive exotic fruit flies, I search for fruit and vegetable host sites in the residential area I am assigned all the time. Many are obscured from the street view. I have used Google Earth to plot out where new streets are and realized it showed where vegetable gardens were, as long as they were sizable. Vegetable gardens come and go every year because someone has to take the initiative to start a veggie garden annually in most cases.

 

I like remote sensing in learning more about agriculture.  It has useful applications in both urban and rural agriculture.

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15 Seed Saving Initiatives Protecting Biodiversity for Future Generations

15 Seed Saving Initiatives Protecting Biodiversity for Future Generations | Agriculture and the Natural World | Scoop.it
Food Tank and SEHN are highlighting 15 important seed-saving projects across the globe that are helping preserve global agricultural biodiversity.
Darin Hoagland's insight:

A nice list summarizing seed saving projects around the world.  Some I already knew about and others I was not familiar with.  

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Darin Hoagland's comment, August 3, 2013 2:32 PM
In situ conservation has to be a part of the seed saving goals in all of these projects because there are limits to how long seeds can be saved and remain viable. This is why seed saving projects are an organizational challenge since seeds either need to be replaced by fresh supplies and/or taken out and grown again for new seed production. I like this list regardless.
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If We Didn’t Have California, What Would We Eat? From Slate

If We Didn’t Have California, What Would We Eat? From Slate | Agriculture and the Natural World | Scoop.it
Darin Hoagland's insight:

California's riches are not just its variety of landscapes, people and industry but its agriculure output as well.

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Living Fences: How-To, Advantages and Tips - Modern Homesteading - MOTHER EARTH NEWS

Living Fences: How-To, Advantages and Tips - Modern Homesteading - MOTHER EARTH NEWS | Agriculture and the Natural World | Scoop.it

Your first choice for such a multifunctional homestead necessity may be manufactured fencing: woven or electric wire, welded livestock panels, boards on pressure-treated posts, or even virgin or recycled plastic. As the energy and environmental crises deepen, however, such options are becoming less appealing and more expensive. The chemical preservatives, paints and galvanizing agents used in fence manufacturing and maintenance may have toxic spillover effects in the environment. Furthermore, most manufactured fencing is a “one for one” solution. A woven wire fence meant to contain livestock, for example, provides that service and nothing more. The key to a more self-sufficient homestead that imitates natural systems is finding solutions that simultaneously solve more than one problem, provide more than one service and support more than one project. Enter living fences. Read more: http://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/living-fences-z10m0sto.aspx#ixzz2Xv2ZmfKE


Via David Rowing
Darin Hoagland's insight:

Think hedgerows instead of artificial fencing.

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Mexicans pushing for return of ancient grain amaranth to agriculture | PRI.ORG

Mexicans pushing for return of ancient grain amaranth to agriculture | PRI.ORG | Agriculture and the Natural World | Scoop.it
Amaranth and corn powered the Aztec empire. But when the Spaniards came in an conquered what became Mexico, they banned amaranth because of its connection with Aztec human sacrifice ceremonies.
Darin Hoagland's insight:

An alternative grain for a climate-changing agricultural world.

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Illumination: Next Steps in Ag- Jobs- for the Willing and those who work hard!

Illumination: Next Steps in Ag- Jobs- for the Willing and those who work hard! | Agriculture and the Natural World | Scoop.it

"Whereas job growth in many sectors is stagnant, there is huge demand for skilled horticulturalists, that is, students trained in fruit and vegetable crop production. We need people that understand plant physiology, plant nutrition, plant pathology and entomology, along with a handle on business and communication".


Via Mary Williams
Darin Hoagland's insight:

Agricultural jobs working with plants and especially plant scientists are no doubt available in many sectors of crop production.  However, a strong work ethic is critical as some of these jobs require long work weeks with little time for personal life.  Thus this blog post is both hopeful and cautionary for those seeking this type of work.  

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Scientists develop CO2 sequestration technique that produces 'supergreen' hydrogen fuel

Scientists develop CO2 sequestration technique that produces 'supergreen' hydrogen fuel | Agriculture and the Natural World | Scoop.it
(Phys.org) —Lawrence Livermore scientists have discovered and demonstrated a new technique to remove and store atmospheric carbon dioxide while generating carbon-negative hydrogen and producing alkalinity, which can be used to offset ocean...
Darin Hoagland's insight:

Interesting renewable fuel possibility and global warming correction.

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Daniel LaLiberte's curator insight, July 27, 2013 10:59 AM

Seems natural to build such a process into a large number of offshore wind turbines, maybe combined with wave energy and solar energy systems.  The distribution of acid-neutralizing carbonate and bicarbonate would be as diffuse as the distributed energy generation. 

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Contact Us - How to find Master Gardener Help - A useful resource especially for residential gardeners

Contact Us - How to find Master Gardener Help - A useful resource especially for residential gardeners | Agriculture and the Natural World | Scoop.it
Alameda County Master Gardeners - Contact Us - How to find Master Gardener Help
Darin Hoagland's insight:

A great resource I refer people to in my daily interactions of people in my civil service agricultural job. 

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Be an armchair taxonomist! A challenge from the Encyclopedia of Life - Boing Boing

Be an armchair taxonomist! A challenge from the Encyclopedia of Life - Boing Boing | Agriculture and the Natural World | Scoop.it
Darin Hoagland's insight:

Another crowd-sourced biological classifacation or taxonomy project anyone can contribute to.  Get ready to do some research for a great cause.

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Aquaponics: one solution to many urban problems? The Farming Technique That Will Revolutionize the Way We Eat

Aquaponics: one solution to many urban problems? The Farming Technique That Will Revolutionize the Way We Eat | Agriculture and the Natural World | Scoop.it
Aquaponics uses fish to create soil-less farms that can fit into cities much easier.
Darin Hoagland's insight:

A very good essay supporting aquaponic agriculture. Scaling up this type of enterprise maybe a problem so care should be taken to balancing fish and produce production at a local level. Nevertheless this solution offers help to a number of urban problems. Thanks to the writer, Roman Gaus. What is your take?

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The Neighborhood Farm: An Inspiring Urban Farming Initiative ...

The Neighborhood Farm: An Inspiring Urban Farming Initiative ... | Agriculture and the Natural World | Scoop.it
The Neighborhood Farm: An Urban Farming Initiative in and around Needham, Massachusetts. Linked by Michael Levenston. barrow. Painting by Abbi Canney. Kate Canney wasn't going to let living in a suburban ...

Via Alan Yoshioka
Darin Hoagland's insight:

Nice article if you need some inspiration.  Countering productive farmland loss from sprawl while boosting productive use of empty urban land and community health. 

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Susan Davis Cushing's curator insight, February 11, 2013 12:19 AM

Urban Farming for Sustainability: It's workiing in more cities. 

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From Nature: Essential Biodiversity Variables


Via Bioversity Library
Darin Hoagland's insight:

Good information.

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Bioversity Library's curator insight, January 18, 2013 4:00 AM

Reducing the rate of biodiversity loss and averting dangerous biodiversity change are international goals, reasserted by the Aichi Targets for 2020 by Parties to the United Nations (UN) Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) after failure to meet the 2010 target. However, there is no global, harmonized observation system for delivering regular, timely data on biodiversity change 

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Ivy League Permaculture Flourishes at Cornell University - Boon for interested students

Ivy League Permaculture Flourishes at Cornell University - Boon for interested students | Agriculture and the Natural World | Scoop.it
Permaculture is alive and growing at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. The university recently offered its first Permaculture Design Certification course in the Department of Horticulture. Organized by FLPCI instructor and cofounder Steve Gabriel.
Darin Hoagland's insight:

Noticeable and encouraging trend for highly respected Universities to offer courses like this.

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