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urbanaturalist

Sustainable Agriculture and Aquaculture in the City

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So the U.S. is approaching 300 million people, and world is reaching for that 7 billion in probably less than a decade. Pure Capitalism and economics dictate that we have to extract all the resources we can to supply demand through a free market system. In the case of agriculture, growing human population and growing wealth is increasing the demand for many food products, that travel hundreds and thousands of miles to get to someones dinner table. Modern agriculture, besides organic farming, involves the use of thousands of tons of chemicals that eventually we find out are many times carcinogenic, and dangerous to animals, and and denigrate our rivers/oceans. The use of GMO (genetically modified) crops reduces crop diversity, and unlike its claims tends to use more fertilizers and pesticides, has unknown consequences on biodiversity, and not surpisingly creates a "patent" on seeds that puts small farmers in a precarious situation. So called pharming (farmacueticals), or using outdoor grown crops as incubators for pharmaceutical drugs has huge unintended consequences, much like GMO, since the wind, insects, and birds will distribute seeds anywhere. The demand for agricultural products tramples on wilderness areas, Amazon anyone? Burning Indonesian rainforest!? Drying up acquifers around the world from Texas to India, owe their dire situation to lax water policies being used on farmland. New uses for crops like corn for plastics and ethanol fuel means more land will go into production as well. Not to mention, unrestrained sprawl is affecting thousands of acres of farmland every year.

And fishing practices, well I could write for hours about the devastation we are putting on fisheries and oceans and waterways in general.

Its simple unsustainable practices, that tend to be cheaper in the short run, but have incredibly devastating effects in the long run

We are cursing ourselves, as humans, with unsustainable agriculture and fishing practices. Let me say, I love to eat, as we all do, but there has got to be some better solutions. I think there are .

Vertical indoor agriculture and aquaculture, I believe, will help usher in a localized organic sustainable method of providing for the masses. In conjunction with skyscrapers for homes and business, we could LITERALLY build edifices that house organic hydroponically growned food crops all year round. Similarly, fish farms could be housed in multistoried buildings, providing year round access to omega-3 fatty acids. In the same fashion that greenhouses are horiztontal and take up space in a sprawl manner, a vertical form of agriculture would be the "smart agriculture" solution to increasing yields. Think strawberries, cucumber, tomatoes, potatoes, etc that are available all year around from a

tower(s) in the sky. Are there enormous implications of such a plan if fully implemented, OF COURSE, but it can be a supplement to our current agriculture practices.

SOUNDS FOOLISH and to much like SCIENCE FICTION RIGHT??

WE CAN PUT A MAN ON THE MOON....supposedly.......BUT WE CAN'T BUILD A SKYSCRAPER FARM???:

DISCUSS

www.verticalfarm.org

www.cityfarmer.org

www.cityfarmer.org/fish.html

www.indoorfish.com

www.organicity.org

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The vertical farm site is cool! I need more time to explore it, but I'm fully in on the concept. It makes sense for sure, though as we all know, bottom line $$$$ will for the foreseeable future win out over what might be "right". Still, worth pursuit for sure! :thumbsup:

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While I wasn't living in a very large city at the time(Mountain City, TN pop. 2419 est), the Vocational High School there had an excellent Aquaculture program. They are trying to entice locals to switch from Tobacco to alternative crops. They raise Tilapia and Koi. This program has brought numerous visitors to the center. The facility is 9,000sf and has a computer controlled geothermal heating and cooling system.

Johnson County Tennessee High School's Website about Aquaculture Program

The geothermal system also heats the greenhouse and supplies heat to the school buildings as well.

Specifics on the Johnson County Vocational School Aquaculture Facility

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