Feed #110 – Farming inside a warehouse & the Great Barrier Reef is bouncing back!

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Fitting a farm inside a warehouse

Have you heard of vertical farming? A few weeks ago we shared a story about two highschool students who were growing fresh greens on multiple levels inside a vending machine. Well, vertical farming takes that idea to a whole other level.

As weather patterns become more erratic, and the need for a reliable local supply of fresh produce heightens, companies like Europe’s One Farm are looking to vertical farming as a solution. Vertical farms can fit inside warehouses, growing acres of fresh produce on multiple stories, essentially stacking a large fields’ worth of growing room into one building!

Growing food this way doesn’t just save space. Crop yields are much more consistent, thanks to the reliable temperature and light supply inside the buildings, and the power used to run them is mostly renewable. Growing food locally in cities also means there’s barely any ‘food miles’ (the distance food travels to get to your kitchen) involved, so these farms have a very small carbon footprint.

The aim isn’t to replace traditional farming altogether, though. “We’re just another type of farming,” One Farm’s CEO, Mira Merme, explained in an interview. “It’s all very well to think of us as tech, but actually the aim is to produce very high quality, highly nutritious and affordable food with almost no impact on the environment.”  

Why your home (probably) needs more trees

We all generally agree that more trees = good. But a lot of us still don’t really understand how trees benefit our day to day lives. Sure, you know they’re important for the planet – but did you know they can help you save on your energy bills?

Trees do a lot more for us than just make the air we breathe – which, hey, no small thing right there. But they also stabilize our soils by gluing them together with sugars they secrete from their roots, and act as buffers against high winds in storms.

We did a little digging, and we found 7 reasons why everyone (who can) should plant more trees around their home. And, yep, reducing your energy bills is one of them!

It’s been a good year for the Great Barrier Reef

Fans of Finding Nemo (and ocean life in general) will be excited to hear that the Great Barrier Reef is making a comeback!

After many devastating storms and bleaching events, the reef is experiencing an explosion of coral cover! The new coral cover is the highest ever recorded in 36 years, since the Australian Institute of Marine Science began the Long-Term Monitoring Program that keeps an eye on the reef’s health.

Unfortunately, much of the coral regrowth is a single fast-growing species that’s quite vulnerable to temperature changes and coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish. So, while it’s a wonderful sign that the reef has bounced back, there’s still a long way to go in reviving the diversity of life it needs to truly thrive long term.

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