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Will the Perma Cube Change the World?

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Touch the Soil News #769 (Feature photo courtesy of Perma Cube) Estimates are that 90 percent of Americans used to grow food. Now that number has dropped to 10 percent. America has transitioned from an agrarian society to an industrial one. Enter the Perma Cube. Designers of the Perma Cube bring lots of stuff to the project to include: Each Perma Cube contains enough room for 72 square feet of growing space. A chicken tractor holds up to 10 chickens. The aquaponics system can hold 50 to 70 fish. A filtration system and atmospheric water generator ensure you have clean water available. Together, the vegetables, fish, chickens and eggs provide…

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On the Edge – Re-inventing Food

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Touch the Soil News #692 (photo courtesy of Lawrence Community Garden) Federal Government finances seem to always be a few months away from shutdown. But economic shuttering in many areas of the U.S. has become a stark reality. The small town of Lawrence, Indiana, which is on the edge of the Indianapolis metropolitan area of some 2.5 million people, just happens have some of the largest food deserts in America. A food desert is an area where robust finances, food stores and many jobs have left the scene. In response to the situation, the Lawrence Community Gardens was born. It is not your typical community garden in that there are…

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The White House Kitchen Garden

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Touch the Soil News #507 (Feature photo – President Obama hugs First Lady Michelle at the dedication of the White House Kitchen Garden to future generations (photo courtesy of the White House). Few folks know that in 2009, under the direction of First Lady Michelle Obama, a kitchen garden was launched and carved out of the White House lawn. Recently, Michelle Obama was celebrating what would be her last tour of duty in harvesting the produce from the White House kitchen garden. The kitchen garden has been a focal point for tours to the White House and the hundreds of youngsters that have come to help in the mundane duties…

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Allotment Awareness – An Awakening Giant?

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Touch the Soil News #457 The week of August 8 is National Allotments Week in the U.K. Allotment Gardens are primarily a European and U.K. phenomenon. An allotment is an area of land, leased either from a private or local authority, for the use of growing fruit and vegetables. In some nations, some allotments are protected by national law and obligations of governments to provide allotment gardens to the citizenry. U.K history is steeped in allotment garden rights and laws. The U.K is celebrating National Allotments Week this week. The National Allotment Society of the U.K. reports that there are approximately 330,000 allotment plots in the Kingdom. When you consider…

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Allotment Food Gardens – Under Pressure to Also Serve As Residence

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Touch the Soil News #443 As the world continues to grow mega cities, it’s not particularly what people want. The need for open space and gardening cannot be erased with pavement. In economics, when millions of people compete for a limited space, the free market can push housing prices out of reach – pushing people away from the city. In Europe, gardening has had several centuries of evolution. The allotment garden – a legal obligation of government to provide gardening space to citizens – was historically a place to practice horticulture. In some European nations, like Denmark, there is an evolutionary trend to “colony gardens.” A colony garden is when…

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Victory Garden Nostalgia – Some Are Trying to Bring it Back (Part 2 of 2)

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Touch the Soil News #399 Victory garden nostalgia is a powerful force. Posters from WWI and WWII strike at the heart of people’s emotions about food, home and country. For the benefit of our readers, we thought you might enjoy some of the colorful posters of the past related to food gardening. Enjoy. Following is a rare 1942 urgent broadcast in the United Kingdom which is an urgent plea to request an allotment garden plot and to grow food. The nation at war is desperate for adequate food supplies: Want More? – Sign up below Special Deals Ahead…Sign up!

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Victory Garden Nostalgia – Some Are Trying to Bring it Back (Part 1 of 2)

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Touch the Soil News #398 Victory garden nostalgia is a powerful force. Posters from WWI and WWII strike at the heart of people’s emotions about food, home and country. For the benefit of our readers, we thought you might enjoy some of the colorful posters of the past related to food gardening. Enjoy. Want More? – Sign up below Special Deals Ahead…Sign up!

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Government Support for Grow Your Own – Should the U.S. Take a Hint?

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Touch the Soil News #391 The nation of Malaysia, interestingly, has a flag that is very, very similar to that of the U.S. This small nation of 31 million people (located between Australia and Asia), faces similar problems to first-world nations. Those problems being the cost of food and employment sufficient to buy food. The U.S. has more people food-insecure (between 45 and 50 million) than the entire population of Malaysia. Malaysian flag – unusually similar to the U.S. Flag. Malaysia is officially fostering home-grown food and community development along those lines. Recently, the Malaysian newspaper the Star, featured an interview of Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek – Malaysia’s Minister…

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Economies are Complicated – But Raising Your Own Food Cannot Happen Overnight

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Touch the Soil News #317 The economics of food are quite simple. You have to have something to sell (your labor or a product) so you can translate what you have into dollars. Once you have the dollars, you can then buy food. This plan, however, is fraught with danger. Financial shenanigans, currency speculation, currency devaluations and commodity speculation can turn a simple plan into a national nightmare. There is no nation that isn’t at some level of economic danger due to an inability to adequately incorporate its citizenry into the economy and in a stable way. In the spotlight is Venezuela – a nation of 31 million people who…

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Recycling Freight Containers for Farming

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Touch the Soil News #248 Called Freight Farms, the company manufactures what they call the “Leafy Green Machine.” It’s a fully contained farm in a used 40 foot shipping container. The unit comes with its own computerized brain that allows you to monitor and control temperature, moisture, humidity and nutrients flowing to the hydroponic system. And, you do all of this with your smartphone. All yours for about $75,000 per container. The growing lights are a pink hue and there are Bluetooth-connected speakers embedded in the ceiling making it easy to access our favorite playlist. But, don’t let the smallness of the shipping container fool you. In an area of…

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