Thursday, October 29, 2009

Redesign Your Farmers’ Market

Since 2006 GOOD is a collaboration of individuals, businesses, and nonprofits that have been making a magazine, videos, and events for people who care about health cities and the environment..

This website is an ongoing exploration of what GOOD is and what it can be. they recently ran a competition that asked for design solutions that would help food grown by local farmers to be more effectively delivered and distributed to urban residents.

the winner 'Farm on Wheels' by Mia Lehrer + Associates is a simple proposal that targets the problem effectively and creatively. It is mobile vending concept consisting of a fleet of electric trucks dispatched from three permanent markets to disperse fresh produce more effectively in Los Angeles.

The program selects fresh fruits and vegetables from local farmers and distributes the produce through a network of farm trucks. To engage more people in the consumption of fresh foods and support local and urban agriculture, Farm on Wheels creates a simplified and convenient food distribution network between farmers and consumers.


The small town of Ludlow in western England has a pioneering anaerobic digestion plant.
Run by BiogenGreenfinch the plant is intended to deal with the food-waste crisis at the same time as generating clean, renewable energy. The process works by the use of microbes that thrive in the absence of oxygen break down the organic matter, releasing methane as they do so Inside metal tanks.
these microbes are an opportunity in the struggle to deal with unwanted food.
The process starts with the waste being pulverised and then pumped through four processing tanks. These are linked to each other by pipes channeling gas, fluid and solids to their particular destinations.
Once the microbes have completed their job, in about a month or so , the organic waste comes out and farmers collect it and spread it on the land. “The methane is burned to create electricity and hot water, or it can be pumped directly into gas mains, or bottled and used as vehicle fuel.For every ton of food waste, the Ludlow plant generates 255kWh of renewable electricity, which it sells to Marks & Spencer, saving 110kg of carbon-dioxide emissions.”
In addition A government-commissioned study in 2007 identified “that if this system were extended to all households, it could provide between 0.5 and 1 per cent of Britain’s domestic electricity. Plus, this would avoid sending the waste to rot in landfill sites, where the methane can escape into the atmosphere, acting as a greenhouse gas 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide.”
The difficulty is that anaerobic digestion plants are costly to build and complex to run.

Omega Garden's

video links:

Omega Hydroponic Garden is a mega Garden system that can make high tech urban gardening economically feasible and actually more energy efficient than growing outdoors.

Omega Garden's Carousel system rotates the plants around the bulb and they claim "Using green power sources coupled with local consumption of the goods produced, would generate close to zero fossil fuel inputs compared to the present system of production with farm tractors, pesticides, a 1500 mile farm to market transportation statistic per food shelf item, along with packaging, refrigeration, etc., all of which are heavily dependent on fossil fuel inputs."

In addition to claiming that the process and strategy reduces water consumption by 99% and eliminates runoff.

Moreover the rotation of the plants actually increases the yield significantly. They explain this by declaring that "Geotropism relates to the effect of gravity on plant growth hormones called Auxins... if plants are continually rotated horizontally top to bottom these Auxins are evenly distributed throughout the plant aiding in plant growth and strength. The distribution of Auxins due to plant rotation increases plant growth rates by several times that of a stationary plant assuming that all other factors are equal. This phenomenon has been termed "Orbitropism" by Omega Garden Int.".


Location: USA

due to the difficulty of identifying the pesticides used and the route taken to grow and transport food to our local supermarket, foods grown locally make are safer for those who want more control over what they put into their bodies.

In addition locally grown food helps in the fight against global warming.Rich Pirog of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture states that "the average fresh food item on our dinner table travels 1,500 miles to get there".

Moreover eating locally benefits the local economy and farmers in particular.
according to treehuggers website ( "farmers on average receive only 20 cents of each food dollar spent...the rest going for transportation, processing, packaging, refrigeration and marketing".

website to find farmers' markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area, where you can buy produce, grass-fed meats, and many other goodiesare more common now and help you make easier decisions about eating healthy.

one such website is local harvest which helps you find farmers' markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area, where you can buy produce, grass-fed meats, and many other goodies by just typing in your zip code, city, or state.





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Sourcemap is an open project

You might have been advised that buying local is "greener". You might have also heard the counter-arguments that state that efficiently made and transported products might be more sustainable than a local product. But if you don't know where your stuff comes from then you have no way of comparing.

SOURCE MAP is an attempt and project to create a platform for researching, optimizing and sharing the supply chains behind products. It believes that people need to be aware and have the right to know where things come from and not only where they are put together. Source map assumes that because we don’t know those details, we are more likely to make unintentionally unsustainable choices. It recognizes that it’s nearly impossible to find out how products and services impact the earth and society and believes that source map will help. Even though source map does not seem to be limited to food maps it suggests a possible new way of eating sustainably.

Public Farm 1 (PF1)

Location: NYC-USA

Years: 2008

Funded by: MoMA/PS1 Young Architect Program

Designed by:
WORK Architecture Company

In the P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center's courtyards , the temporary installation introduced a functioning urban farm in the form of a folded plane built entirely of biodegradable and recyclable materials .

In addition the farm was powered by solar energy and irrigated by a rooftop rainwater collection system that kept the project off the city's grid.

PF1 combines infrastructure with public space, engaging and challenging the users to re-imagine and question rural engagement in urban environments.
The installation was grown picked and used within a commercial farmer’s market. plantings included basil, lavender, mint, rhubarb, strawberries, broccoli, watermelon and herbs. at the same time the project provided shade over pools of water with the well designed and interesting 'daisy' pattern.