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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.
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.
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.
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.
Hog farmers across the country are dealing with a pretty shitty problem. A mysterious faecal foam has begun bubbling up from beneath barn floors, down in the darkness where pig manure falls, burping dangerous quantities of methane and hydrogen sulfide. Sometimes, though, it ignites, blowing up not just the barn but all of the pigs inside.
The World Expo Milano 2015 is still a few years years off, but details about the pavilions are starting to emerge. Today, we learn that a building sponsored by Dutch agricultural machinery company New Holland will feature a sloping rooftop field farmed by two “zero-emission, robotised, self-driving tractors”.