Saturday, April 22, 2006
Mission Statement and Action Plan
Alleviating World Poverty through Innovative Applications of Agricultural Technology
Hydroponic Farming in Sub-Saharan Africa
Current irrigation technology does not support sustainable, lucrative agriculture in areas of poverty and drought. Hydroponic growing uses 10% of the water used in any non-circulating, “open” systems, which allow the land to absorb the majority of water which has been labor intensively pumped to dry regions. Hydroponics also drastically increase yield—to the extent which will be explored in our project. In Africa, a 1% increase in yield correlates to a 0.72% reduction of poverty—the highest rate of poverty reduction of the areas targetted by the MDGs (East Asia, South Asia, Latin America, and Africa).
The website will continuously expand. Develop series of proposals: 1) to Jeffrey Sachs at the Earth Institute, 2) mechanical/environmental engineers to design most appropriate system for water availability and ideal crops in Sub-Saharan Africa, 3) investors in the private sector interested in increasing their yield of high-quality produce, 4) representatives of the UN working on the MDGs with evidence of economic gain, and 5) government officials in charge the public farming sector interested in reforming Eventually, take hydroponics to Africa.
Mission Statement at the end of the Project
New-Farms offers innovative ideas for the application of hydroponic technology in a growing world with continuously diverse and varied needs. New-Farms seeks to apply forward-looking technology and research to existent businesses and programs. Our goal is to offer private business’ the tools and information necessary to utilize and capitalize on this ground-breaking technology. At its core, New-Farms is an environmental conscious-raising organization. In addition to our support and advocacy of general environmental issues (cleaner air, reduction of the waste of natural resources) we adamantly support issues of public health. More specifically, New-Farms is concerned with issues related to poverty, malnourishment and malnutrition. New-Farm’s hopes to use its interaction with private companies and businesses and its promotion of hydroponics as a forum for research and awareness raising. New-Farms believes that there is tremendous poverty reduction potential in hydroponic agriculture and in agricultural reform.
Friday, April 21, 2006
Recipe for Positive Action
Begin with clean-slate/empty vase; a naïve good-doer type. If none can be found then substitute with cynical, jaded but good-hearted and eager type. If using substitution, pay no attention to their skepticism. It will settle eventually and if it does not it can be rinsed and strained out with sieve.
Collect all materials together in one room. Let stir and swell.
Skim the residue: the sense of unimportance/failure/defeatism off the top. Make sure to continue to stir adding in flavors or spices that you enjoy. (Warning: some meat may not take to all additives).
Let flavors absorb. To encourage this, gentle nudge with spoon/fork/hammer/fist/your voice.
Let rest. Allowing your dish to change its shape if necessary (this is almost always necessary).
Add enthusiasm and care. Encourage your meal. At this point you may stop stirring. This step can be difficult but you have to let the dish cook on its own.
Stop while still pink on the inside. It should still be tender because it will harden with time.
Enjoy. You have made something great.
Saturday, April 15, 2006
The Benefits of Hydroponic Growing: Why Hydroponics as Opposed to Traditional Growing
The following are the benefits as outlined by International Consultants to Practical Hydroponics and Greenhouses. The following has been taken from: http://www3.telus.net/public/a6a47567/Food%20Security.pdfv. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org or vist www.chasque.net/aquafood
- Isolation from soil. Planting takes place at a convenient height, where soil pollution has no impact. Plants are grown in water containers or in low–cost natural substrates (sand, rice husk, pumice, etc.). With this system, it is possible to grow a vast range of vegetables, for example, lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, celery, watercress eggplants, beans, parsley, wild radish, leeks, strawberries, melons, aromatic and medicinal plants, etc.
- Use of limited space. One of its main advantages of hydroponics is the possibility of using urban spaces which until now had not been considered adequate for growing food
- High efficiency in the use of irrigation water. Water is recycled and does not pollute the environment.
- Pest, disease and weed control. Hydroponic systems facilitate the adoption of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs. There is also a significant reduction in the use of chemicals once used to control pests and weeds. Moreover, neither the produce nor the environment is contaminated by chemicals.
- Higher yields and shorter times between harvests. Hence, total output is greater than the case of conventional soil systems.
- Easy to learn. The technique is easy to understand, it does not require prior knowledge and concrete results are achieved quickly.
- Potential use of recycled materials. It is possible to use recycled materials to build growing systems. Subsequently, growers can use materials they already have on hand, e.g. wood, disposable packaging materials.
- Source of income from direct sales. It promotes family or community owned micro-enterprises.
- Food is of a high quality. Fruit and vegetables have a high biological and dietary value. Crops for household consumption are harvested when they are ready to be used. Hence, produce is fresh and has its nutritional and medicinal properties intact (vitamins, minerals, phyto-nutrients, etc).
Just Foods and Columbia University Special Interest Housing Project
New-Farms seeks to apply hydroponic methods of growing to existent Just Foods farms. By introducing hydroponic technology to community gardens, New-Farms believes that we can help Just Foods increase their output. Hydroponic technology addresses and provides solutions for many of the challenges facing Just foods and their local gardens. These issues include space limitations, and consequently limited output, soil contamination and restricted access to water. Additionally, Just Food’s is any environmentally conscious organization that seeks solutions that are environmentally sound.
The implementation of hydroponic technology would help Just Foods manage the need for space. The International Consultants to Practical Hydroponics and Greenhouses asserts that “patios, small gardens, party walls, balconies, rooftops” can all be used for major food production. The addition of this technology would allow Just Foods to maximize the space available in order to boost their overall output. In addition, Hydroponic growing methods reduce the potential for crop and soil contamination. Finally, the addition and use of the hydroponic method of growing allows locations with previously insufficient access or use of water to agriculturally produce. With the employment of hydroponic systems on rooftop gardens, or other areas where traditional irrigation is not possible, and small or out-of-the-way plots can become food producing farms. Finally, New-Farms believe that our shared aid and poverty reduction goals will encourage a strong partnership. New-Farms does not economically benefit from the use of hydroponic growing systems. Like Just Foods, are objective is to raise awareness and provide ideas or links to possible solutions. Both organizations are committed to poverty reduction through environmentally sound means. New-Farms believes that Just Foods’ efforts to provide self-sustaining food production will help increase the amount and quality of inexpensive food that is available to lower income communities.
A Columbia University Student Environmental Activist group has petitioned the Columbia University Department of Residential life for special housing. When their bid is approved the Department of Residential life they will be given the use of a dormitory. New-Farms would like to offer our services the residence of the environmentally friendly special interest house. New-Farms will work with this special interest house, helping its residents become more self-sustainable. Using the website as a method by which information can be shared, New-Farms will help connect residents with information about, ideas and tools for better growing and links to hydroponic system’s providers. Using hydroponic systems, residents of the special housing program will be able to minimize their need to purchase food.
New-Farms Mission Statement and Executive Summary
Through the advent of new forms, applications and innovations in hydroponic technology New-Farms will offer environmentally beneficial business options and opportunities for organizations. Our first task is to engage with private companies in order to apply and demonstrate the advantages of this technology. New-Farms will locate companies looking to expand, diversify or change their food producing structure. New-Farms will find organizations where hydroponic agriculture could be successful and to encourage these companies to implement this technology. Though we advocate and promote the use of hydroponic systems we do not manufacture the systems ourselves. Instead we rely on the many companies that produce hydroponic systems to provide private organizations with the resources necessary. In addition to providing information to companies about hydroponic agriculture, we will also continue a relationship with said companies so as to track their progress. This will allow New-Farms to build a database of evidence that will show the economic as well as environmental benefits of hydroponic agriculture. By following the progress of companies that we work will we will gain information as to the effectiveness of the implementation of hydroponic growing in the private sector. This information will then be compiled and made available to the public on the New-Farms Website. By publishing this information as well as general information about hydroponic growing systems on the web, we hope to generate interest in this cutting-edge environmentally advantageous technology.
New-Farms is interested in implementing hydroponic technology in urban environments. According to International Consultants to Practical Hydroponics and Greenhouses, planting in urban areas is becoming more and more popular. At New-Farms will connect those interested in urban farming to groups beginning similar growing projects as well as to manufactures hydroponic systems. New-Farms feels that the best way to generate excitement is to fill the needs of this infant market. By promoting hydroponic technology in a market that is not already established we can court a loyal market base. Additionally, there are many new companies and growers that are struggling to grow and profit from urban farming. New-Farms sees urban farming failures an opportunity to offer an alternative method’s of planting. Essentially, New-Farms realizes that those unable to generate profits by traditional means may be more inclined to adopt this innovative approach. New-Farms will promote hydroponic growing to organizations that have had previous exposure to traditional growing methods in urban settings. This will allow us to address the shortcomings traditional forms of agriculture in non-traditional settings.