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A Nation Celebrates its Foray into Electric Buses

Positive Future #335 (Feature photo – 100 New BYD Buses Lined Up at the Delivery Ceremony – Courtesy of BYD) In the Chilean capital of Santiago, the government is celebrating the delivery of 100 new fully-electric buses from BYD. The event was deemed so important that all the buses were lined up for a ceremony with the attendance of Sebastian Pinera (President) and Gloria Hunt (Minister of Transportation). News of new electric buses is not mainstream, However,it is these kind of events happening around the world that will actually usher in a new age – long after the politics and rhetoric of today have passed. These new busses will serve…

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It Happened – A Federal Office of Urban Agriculture

It Happened – A Federal Office of Urban Agriculture   Touch the Soil News #1201 (Feature photo – Urban Agriculture – Public Domain) For many years now, activists, concerned citizens, organic farmers, urban farmers and community groups have supported the idea of establishing an Office of Urban Agriculture within the United States Department of Agriculture. The enactment of the 2018 Farm Bill includes a provision for the Secretary of Agriculture to establish an Office of Urban Agriculture. The new Office of Urban Agriculture is charged with encouraging and promoting urban, indoor and other emerging agricultural practice including: Community gardens and farms located in urban areas, suburbs and urban clusters. Rooftop…

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We Gotta Get Out of This Place

Positive Future #334 (Feature photo – Houston Traffic from Hurricane Rita – By Ashish from Houston, TX – I-45 & louetta… Rita Evacuation, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2612379) Fires, Hurricanes and Tsunamis seem to be increasing in frequency and intensity. People living in major metropolitan areas now have more to worry about than just the natural catastrophe at hand. How to get away from a natural or man-made disaster has become the latest logistical science. After the catastrophic fires in California this year, Los Angeles and other major cities are now starting to think about how to best evacuate a major metropolitan area. You can read the full story below: https://la.curbed.com/2018/12/13/18131163/wildfire-earthquake-evacuations-cars…

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What to do with 50 Tons of Food Waste a Day – Feed it to 1 Billion Cockroaches

Positive Future #333 (Feature photo – Cockroaches – CCA SA 4.0 International) Jinan, a city of almost 7 million people in China, produces 50 tons of food waste a day. They are running out of places to dump it. In a novel approach, the city has employed 1 billion cockroaches to eat the food waste. After the cockroaches multiply, eat and die, they become animal feed. You can read the full story here: https://inhabitat.com/in-china-a-billion-cockroaches-are-leading-the-fight-against-food-waste/ Want More? – Sign up below Special Deals Ahead…Sign up!

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Bigger Dollars Flowing Into Vertical Farming

Touch the Soil News #1200 (Feature photo – Vertical Farming – CCA SA 3.0 Unported) The production of food is taking center stage more often these day as experts scratch their heads about whether or not we will all eat in the not-too-distant future. As it stands, the world will need to produce more food in the next 30 years that it has in the last 10,000. Bowery – a vertical farming company – just received another $90 million in new funding from an array of venture capital investors. The company is planning on creating large indoor farms around the world. You can read the full story here: https://www.theboweryblog.com/home-1/new-funding-to-grow-food-for-a-better-future Want…

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Which States Have the Most Electric Cars?

Positive Future #332 (Feature photo – U.S. Army Neighborhood Electric Vehicles – Public Domain) It is not hard to guess that it is California. However, there are roughly 2.21 plug-in cars per 1,000 people in the U.S. That equates to roughly 720,000 plug-in cars nationwide. That number is set to grow quickly as plug-in sales in the U.S. in 2018 are estimated to exceed 350,000. InsideEVs provides the full story on all of the highest states. You can read the full story here: https://insideevs.com/state-plug-in-electric-cars-per-1000-residents/ Elsewhere in the world, China is moving ahead of every other nation in terms of its plug-in car sales. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XgvWh_VbTW8 Want More? – Sign up below…

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Industrial Hemp to Be Delisted as a Controlled Substance

Touch the Soil News #1199 (Feature photo – Industrial Hemp – CCA SA 3.0 Unported) Ag-tech news portal – AgFunder – reports that the growing, harvesting and processing of industrial hemp will be delisted as a controlled substance with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill. It is expected that the Farm Bill will be passed on Thursday (12/13/2018). With that passage, the processing and selling of CBD oil will also become legal in all states. Under non-federal State programs, 42 states had already implemented pilot programs for industrial hemp. Hemp acreage grew from 5,000 in 2015 to 30,000 in 2018. It will be interesting to see how much acreage…

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Is the Growing Population on a Collision Course With the Availability of Farmland and Water?

Touch the Soil News #1198 (Feature photo – Farmland – Public Domain) Should civilization strive to balance the size of the population via education and good stewardship with Earth’s finite resources? While the ethical, moral and religious debates can go on forever, there is one sector in our modern civilization that is certain that a collision of some sort is coming – the investment community. With more money out there then there are sustainable investments, money is looking for a new frontier. That frontier is farmland and water. The game is over how crops grown on limited resources (farmland and water) will become ever more valuable – making people ever…

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Re-inventing Eating Out – Food Halls

Touch the Soil News #1197 (Feature photo – Food Hall – CCA 2.0 Generic) Phil Lempert ( https://www.supermarketguru.com/ ) explores how a media company – Time Out – is looking to change how we eat out. Time Out is a media (magazine) company that has dining and entertainment guides in 108 cities in 39 countries. Estimates are the Time Out has a monthly audience of 217 million. Time Out is focusing on building food halls. You can see the story here: Want More? – Sign up below Special Deals Ahead…Sign up!

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How Can Cities Be Smart Without Food?

Touch the Soil News #1196 (Feature photo – New York City – CCA 4.0 International) Someone once said that asking the right question is one of the most powerful game-changers. The power lies in how people work to try and answer the question. How can cities be smart if they are at the end of thousands of miles of rail track and roads from the food that sustains them? The short answer is that it is not smart. Most cities do not even have enough food in stores and warehouses to last two days. A recent story on Food+City delves into the question of how cities are forgetting food. How…

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