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The Foodwall – Tech is Getting Smarter

Touch the Soil News #782 (Feature photo courtesy of Foodwall) Our friends from down under are learning about water efficiency and food gardening efficiency using information and technology. Marc Noyce, CEO of Foodwall is from Melbourne, Australia. A city of almost 5 million people, the city has done what other cities around the world do. They pave the world’s most fertile farmland for urban growth. Noyce decided he wanted to make a difference in lowering the barriers to home food gardening and invented what he calls the Foodwall (see photo above). Noyce discovered innovations as relates to watering, automation and physical growing structures that can triple the growing space. The…

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Valuing Your Yard and the House Water Spigot

Touch the Soil News #714 Few years back, we tried to estimate the economic value of a residential lawn and access to public water for food growing purposes. For an average, we wrestled with numbers ranging from $15,000 to $30,000. While it is hard to justify this value based upon just the output of food crops, there are other issues. There is the growing need for food as medicine with Americans spending an average of $11,000 a year for health care costs. Then there are the psychological and health benefits of working in nature. Despite the positives associated with residential land around the house and water, an unquantifiable driver of…

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Should You Join the Urban Food Movement for Economic Reasons?

Touch the Soil News #495 Officials say the U.S. economy is getting better. Poverty has marginally decreased, hunger in America has gone down by a percent or two and average incomes are up by a hair. Who are we trying to kid here? Each year, the U.S. Census Bureau does what it calls the American Community Survey. In the survey, they divide the population up into 5 parts (quintiles). Each quintile represents 20 percent of U.S. households. The average household has 2.54 people. The following Info Graphic #1 illustrates income averages for the U.S. population broken up into fifths (quintiles): Translating labor into dollars is becoming more of a challenge.…

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