farming

Monster Machines: This Weed-Seeking Airport Tractor Spells Death For Dandelions

Weeds growing up through the cracks in airport tarmacs aren’t just unsightly, they can create traction hazards for landing aircraft. But rather than rely on a squad of human herbicide applicators, one French airport is leaving the job to a single computerised spraying system. They call it “The Weedseeker”.


Tour The Fish Farm Hidden In A Hong Kong High-Rise

In cities as crowded as Hong Kong, there is nowhere to go but up, up, up — even for fish. So, on the 15th floor of a high-rise, is a mini ocean in the sky: 80,000 litres of salt water where young groupers swim under cool, blue light. Could this be the future of urban farming?


The US Grows The Most Productive Plants In The World, Says NASA

Remember learning about America’s “amber waves of grain?” Well, it turns out that the United States’ bread basket — a.k.a., the Corn Belt — is even more productive than previously thought. In fact, during its growing season, it’s the most productive land on Earth, according to new NASA data.


How Mexico's Drug Cartels Are Driving Up The Price Of Limes In The U.S.

A lime shortage is threatening the U.S. food and beverage industry, with some bars and restaurants jacking up drink prices, charging extra for a slice — or refusing to serve the citrus at all. But there’s another reason to rethink that margarita: The pricey limes you’re buying from Mexico might be supporting drug violence.


You'll Never Believe All The Things Made Out Of Chicken Feathers

As a nation, the United States consumes a whopping 8 billion chickens every year, and this results in a few mountains’ worth of chicken feathers in pure waste. But no more, some entrepreneurs say: chicken feathers could be the future of plastic.


Inside A World War II Bunker Turned Massive Underground Farm

Last week, we wrote about a project in London that sounds straight up apocalyptic: A massive underground farm inside a 60-year-old bunker, originally built to protect Londoners from Nazi bombs. Now, we have video — and it’s every bit as spooky as you’d think.


Why This Small Town Is The Mushroom Capital Of The World

To grow mushrooms is to let things rot, so something’s a lot of things are rotten in the US state of Pennsylvania. The Atlantic’s deep dive into the dark side of truffles last week got us wondering about their more prosaic cousins: the portobellos and white buttons you find shrink-wrapped at the supermarket.


A Discovery That Literally Turns The Maple Syrup Industry Upside Down

And, yes, we do mean “literally.” But, before getting into the physics of it, let’s take a minute to imagine what a maple syrup farm today looks like. Tall maples, snowy woods — pretty much an idyllic New England scene. A recent scientific discovery, however, means that forests of mature trees could be replaced by fields of dense saplings, much like the row crops of Big Ag. No longer would maple syrup be a product of the wild. No longer would it have to abide by the rhythms of nature.


Is Human Pee The Future Of Fertiliser?

Among the things I found mortifying about my parents when I was a teenager was their habit of leaving buckets of pee in the bathroom. Instead of flushing all that phosphorous- and nitrogen-rich urine down the toilet, they saved it for our backyard vegetable garden. Pee as fertiliser has since — contrary to everything my teenage self wanted to believe — become a hip idea among some eco-minded backyard farmers.


Brave People Are Building Futuristic Farms On Japan's Radioactive Soil

What does radioactive salad taste like? How about rice sprinkled with nuclear fallout? Well, if you’re truly curious, consider taking your next vacation in Fukushima, where some intrepid farmers have begun the daunting task of farming the region’s tainted soil.