Grow Food Locally Even During Winter

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Our Thursday green news brings you the latest on green architecture, climate change, energy and communities:Grow Food Locally, food production

  • Grow food locally even during winter: Boston-based company Freight Farms, founded in 2010 offers a new solution to grow food locally even during sub-zero winter temperatures. The company sells converted and insulated shipping containers nicknamed Leafy Green Machines outfitted with vertical hydroponics, high efficiency LED lights and an automated climate control system allowing its users (farmers) to easily produce “high volume and consistent harvests.” The company has sold 25 units so far, each starting at around $76,000. As one of the founders Mr.McNamara explains: “We can take this all over and to places that don’t have access to food. Between 50 and 100 people a month come in and say I want to get involved with this.” Although growing food locally might be the world’s oldest profession, Freight Farms‘s founders Friedman and McNamara are bringing food production into the 21st century in their own way. “Each farm is a wifi-enabled hotspot, so your farm is immediately on the web and all of our farms are connected to our network. All of our farmers use our farm hand mobile app to monitor their farms 24/7; they can set alerts and alarms from the comfort of their home.”
  • Baking soda and climate change fight: Research team consisting of scientists from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the Harvard University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, have created a carbon capture technology utilizing common baking soda (sodium carbonate) to react with and absorb carbon dioxide (CO2). Their study was recently published in journal Nature Communications. The technology houses the sodium carbonate in a microcapsule or small bead made from a permeable polymer in a way that the gas can enter the core of the microcapsule where it reacts with the sodium carbonate and then gets trapped. The idea is to take the microcapsules and purge them while safely storing the carbon dioxide underground. Later, the microcapsules could be reused for a next cycle. The principle has been tested in practice already.
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