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Molasses Powder

4.67 out of 5

Molasses provides your plants with a natural sources of carbohydrates (sugars) and plant nutrients. Great for use in indoor or outdoor environments. Use in soil or hydroponics in conjunction with any other nutrients or fertilizers.

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Plenty – Can it Be So?

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Touch the Soil News #710 (photo courtesy of Plenty) The information is sketchy, but unusual. Vertical hydroponic farming has been around for a few years and attracted a considerable amount of Wall Street money. There are claims that vertical hydroponics can produce more than 125 times that of field crops in the same space and use only 5 percent of the water. Recently, a new upstart called “Plenty” has garnered the attention of the Wall Street Journal and Fast Company. You can visit Plenty’s website at http://www.plenty.ag/ and read the articles. Different from rows of hydroponic plants with LED lights above them, Plenty uses 20 foot vertical towers with LED…

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Contortions in the Food Chain

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Touch the Soil News #709 (feature photo – CC SA 4.0) We’ve been following the restaurant scene as part of our larger food-chain awareness efforts. In an earlier news piece (#632-Restaurants in Trouble) we reported that overall, approximately 93 new restaurants opened every day in America, but 128 restaurants were closed every day. That is a net loss of 35 restaurant locations a day. Technomic, a foodservice research and consulting company, has also been crunching the numbers. According to Technomic, the bottom line is that fewer customers are visiting restaurants less often than they were a few years ago. Technomic is scratching its head – If the economy is improving…

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Corruption Begins to Topple World’s Largest Meat Company

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Touch the Soil News #708 (feature photo – Bo Pilgrim statue in front of a facility principally owned by JBS SA – CC SA 3.0) JBS SA, headquartered in Sao Paulo, Brazil, has the title of being the world’s largest meat processing company by sales. They specialize in beef, chicken and pork. The company has over 150 plants around the world and employs approximately 200,000 people. The company was founded in 1953 and is presently managed and controlled by Joesley Batista and Wesley Batista – both billionaire stockholders. In the United States, most folks have purchased JBS SA meat under the brands of Pilgrim’s Pride (the largest chicken producer in…

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Kelp4Less News – Discovering the Mega-Trends for You

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Touch the Soil News #707 (photo – Kelp4Less News Editor Benjamin Gisin) For those of you familiar with our news postings, you know we cut a broad swath as relates to happenings in the food chain. We are now well into our third year of publishing the “News” page. During this time, we are keen to discover trends. Following are three (3) mega-trends we see unfolding that may have relevance to what you are doing: Food tremors (when things go wrong in the food chain) are increasing in size and number. There are two main reasons for this. 1) The financial world has pushed the industrial food chain into a…

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China – Where Will Food Come From?

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Touch the Soil News #706 Bloomberg News recently reported that China is scratching its head as to how to feed its 1.4 billion people in the future. China can’t feed its people today on its own as it must import millions of tons of staple crops each year. The problem is that by 2050 there will be another 2 billion people (besides the Chinese) that the world will have to feed. Much of China’s original farmable land has been urbanized, industrialized and polluted, leaving it unable to feed itself. China has 290 million acres of prime farm ground – roughly two tenths of an acre per person. The U.S. has…

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Billion Dollar Checkbooks Still Buying Farmland

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Touch the Soil News #705 (feature photo – Ethiopian women picking beans – source, Executive office of the President of the U.S. 2005) The Australian Government recently released the latest statistics about who is buying Australian Farmland. As of the 2015-2016 farming year, foreign investment in Australian farmland hit $4.6 billion, up from $2.5 billion the year before. It is interesting to see where the foreign buyers were coming from. The top four buyers were: American investors bought $1.3 billion in Australian farmland Chinese investors bought $996 million in Australian farmland U.K investors bought $338 million in Australian farmland Canadian investors bought $240 million in Australian farmland   So how…

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Svalbard Global Seed Vault

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Touch the Soil News #704 (feature photo – CC SA 3.0) The Svalbard Seed Vault is a repository of global plant diversity. The seed vault is in an abandoned Arctic coal mine, deep inside a mountain on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen. The island of Spitsbergen covers an area of 14,546 square miles, slightly larger than the state of Maryland. It has a permanent population of 2,600 people and borders the Arctic Ocean to the North. With over 4.5 million seeds in its vaults, the Svalbard Seed Vault has become the “safety net” of humanity. It recently served to provide genetic seed stock that was destroyed in the ongoing war…

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Duking it Out

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Touch the Soil News #703 Grocery stores are the realm of big capital. Unlike the small neighborhood grocers of 50 years ago, billions of dollars of investments have muscled into the backrooms of every grocery chain. Big investors have always warred against each other, but more aggressive incarnations are erupting in the grocery industry. As we speak, Canadian grocery stores continue to take a walloping from U.S. grocery giants that moved in. A recent story by the Canadian Press revealed that between 2004 and 2015, Canadian grocers lost over 11 percent of their market share to the likes of Costco and Wal-Mart. In the United States, American grocery stores are…

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Sundrop Farms – Wow!

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Touch the Soil News #702 (Photo – Aerial of Sundrop Farms – CC SA 4.0) Sundrop Farms in Australia is a testament to human ingenuity. The farm is a 90-acre facility that includes greenhouses and a concentrated solar power generator to desalinate water (from the ocean) and power the greenhouses. To start with, Sundrop produces tomatoes. Estimates are that the facility has a potential to produce 30 million pounds of tomatoes a year. Initial production is under a contract with supermarket chain – Coles. Coles has 776 supermarkets throughout Australia employing some 100,000 people. You’ve got to see the video below. Sundrop plans to employ about 200 people and all…

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