Category Archives: agriculture

Future Food: Ferming

George Manbiot has an interesting opinion piece in The Guardian: Lab-grown food will soon destroy farming – and save the planet. To quote him:

It’s a primordial soup of bacteria, taken from the soil and multiplied in the laboratory, using hydrogen extracted from water as its energy source. When the froth was siphoned through a tangle of pipes and squirted on to heated rollers, it turned into a rich yellow flour. Continue reading Future Food: Ferming

Intercropping

Recently we discussed the intercropping of coffee and bananas, though this is far from the only possible combination. Here are a few links to other examples of polyculture:

Rubber with coffee or cocoa

Coffee and macadamia

According to the first link the combination of rubber and lemons were never profitable. This because of the low price of lemons. However, this might (or not) be different if the peels would be used to produce textiles.

The second article states that not only does the combination of coffee and macadamia result in much larger yields but also improves soil fertility.

Garden cities

Casey Schreiber explains in the video below the Garden City concept as envisioned by Ebenezer Howard.

Here is an interesting read by Jean-Yves Tizot on the political theory behind the garden city movement.

We will discuss the topic of garden cities in more detail in a future posts, in relation to, of course, space habitats (O’Neill cylinders in particular), permaculture and land ownership.

Permaculture and Space Settlements

We are great fans of permaculture, as it perfectly fits into to the second of the Four Goals as formulated by O’Neil:

There should be found an optimal living climate for the entire world population

But what is permaculture? In the video below the principles of permaculture are explained.

One type of permaculture is the food forest and this is explained in the video below:

Food forest are nice way to realize to vision O’Neill had for the design of the interior of the O’Neill cylinder: villages separated by forests. And additionally it combines goal #2 with #1, to eradication of hunger and poverty.

Raspberry picking robot

The Guardian has an interesting article on a robot designed to pick raspberries – and potentially also other crops as well. This robot is able to about 25,000 berries a day, whereas a human picker can only do 15,000. It took about 700,000 Pound to develop this machine and it is expected it will come into production next year.

Farm automation is a rapidly developing field and one that is of great importance for future space settlements as we discussed earlier on this site.

Refuse-derived clothing

Two Italian fashion designers have developed a technique to make a silk-like fabric from citrus waste, called Orange Fiber. The orange juice industry produce a very large amount of waste in the form of peels. The use of citrus peels as a resource for the production of textiles, is interesting as it increase the value of citrus fruits and hence potentially increasing the income of citrus farmers.