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tv   Earth Focus  LINKTV  March 11, 2019 7:30am-8:01am PDT

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mamaday o on " "earth focus, e new w ways to grow in cities. growing fruit on trucks? this entrepreneur and filmmaker may be onto something. his film "truck farm" looks at innovative ways to grow food in cities.
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>> this is n no ordinary route first posted barrier that keeps e roroots out ofof your brain it helpsps the water t to drain then you have a blanket and erosion blanket that keeps us all l from washing a away and then you have some special special lightweight soil that gives the roots of place to play. truck farm is like a roof truck farmers like a roof but you cannot drive around in a roof # the insnspiration for t the
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project was s born of necessity. i momoved to newew york ty, wand to have a place to g grow some f my own f food, but did not havae any plplace to do o it. i took a good lolong look k at e back of f my all dododge pickup trtruck and realized it was abot the same size as a backyarard gardenen bed. borrowing some technology from rooftop gardens, i made a truck farmrm happened. .ost of us grow up i in cities the majority of the e worlds population is an u urban popupulation. in the united states, we have long been for severall generatitions are predominantlty urban people. what that means is that we grow up w without an understanding of certain fundamental things that are -- that our grandparents or great grandparents have taken fofor granted -- where f food cs from, where water comes from. truck farms do one tiny little part of that, even by driving
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through the neighborhood or being parked on the side of the street. they are a visual rereminder that food d comes frm somemewhere. it needs resources to survive, and needs healthy soil, rainwater, access to sunlight. it has a back story. i think the more reminders we have that the stuff f we consume every daday actually has a back story, the more careful we will be about what we choose to buy. the decisions willll rippl backk through the economomy to makee every aspect of our supply chain and rfid sysystems more susustainablee -- our supply chn and our food systems more sustainable. i i think that truruck farms t h usus that to o make the f food f sustainanable, maybe we need t o injectct some amount of whimsy
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and out-of-the-box thinking into the way we are designing our system. i have seen truck farms get a much broader circle of young people interested in growing food than we might have otherwise. i think there is a lot of room for creativity and innovation. not long ago we launched a truck farm fleet where we encourage groups and individuals around the country in cities and counties all across the country to start their own truck farm, ththeir own momobile gardens, to educate young people about how fun and easy it is to grow their food. they h have been popping u up everywywhere. ththe first summer of trtruck fm fleets -- - at the s summer we d 2525 truckck farms and cities al ross the countntry. they are contitinuing to pop up. the latest one t that over - --
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emerged is o overseas papalestine. who know? may be able take fire internationally as well. we're making making our first delivery of truck farm produce to nutritionist who has paid $20 for d descriptionon. >> i it is very casual. i kind of let things do what they do. but t it has some intereststing food. it has, for example, blueberries. there is your truck farm. i once talked to her produce manager for one of the big fofod chains in california aboutut how long it took to o get california toduce from vegetable farm one of t the groceryry stores ie
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neneighborhood. he explalained that thwhwhole thining was abouout two weweeks. it in pick this and put your refririgerator and kekeep n yoyour refrigegerator, you can l eaeat it. it will bebe fine. from cannot keep produce califofornia for a week. will l be mushyhy. its much oldlder and the nutritional quality y will havae deteriorateded. the e taste is g gone. broccoli from california does not taste anything like that or durable creature is going to taste. thank k you. this is wondererful. it looksks delicious. you don't think k that i can -- ohoh, it is good.. >> the truck farm is not the solution to our ururban food probms o or global f food problems. it is our garden in a pickup truck. it was nev meant to be a suggestion that t everybody shod
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abandon their farms and plant food and p pickup trucks or that everybody in the city had aa pickup t truck filled with foods and everything would be ok. but i t think that truck farmrms teach us a few t things. foodod is fundamental. we all have to he. -- we all have to eat. but it is a window ontnto larger issues -- a window ontoto environmnmental and socicial and popolitical l issues. by understanding h how we eat ad how we grow our food, we can understand a lot about what makes our world take, and through that, underststand bettr how to p promote a m more suststainable fufuture. the e way we eat has a a tremens ,mpact on the natural world and ththerefore on the ability f future genererations to o survi. if we can figure out a way to eat, we can n not only make our owown lives bebetter and h heal, but we can figigure out how to make the planet more sustainable in the long run. pre-k's
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#that's a lot of food you might say y how muchch food d do we realllld anand how muchch food can n we , mys get down to the facts friend this is something we would all like to know there are 32 teeth in the human mouth and 20 feet of intestines forwater in niagara falls the 150,000 gallons per sesecon the largest dinosaur with 200 totons only 75 on mars not every man drove a mustache but p people like the smemell ow cars myys get baback to thehe facts friend this is s something wewe would l like to o know thanswers we need a lot of food we should grow at every place we go #
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. >> the project is all about making it possisible for new yorkerers and urban dwellersrs o grow food in their apartment year-round. thehember looking at interirior courtyard of mymy building, , a six-story multifamily buililding that was just the central area where you leave all of your garbage. the whole area is j just covered with w windows going all the way out t of it i remember takakinga picture of it and thinking, what if we were just growing food inside this unused space acko -- i in this unused space? it i is posossible for peopleleo
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leararn much more ababout how ps work and how to grow theirir own foodod and just building up our own confidence, basically, about our ability to survive on our own. -- foundhahat >> i thihink it was veryry surprising and instructive to think critically about urban agriculture and question whether truck farming or r rooftop gardening or vacant lot farming or windofarming, growingg food onon boats, , whether ththis isd idea or not. f few of these farmers were suggegesting that these were the sololutions to or globalal food proboblems.
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but it was sllll helpfulul to sy , because we doing this it sheds a lot of lilight on wht we need to in cities. a lot of people are growing food in cities because they miss working with their hands, and theyey also missss the taste o f freshly y grown food. on a larger scale i think a lot of people are grgrowing food in cities because we e like the ida of being able to live in a vibrant sosocial environment b t not bebe totally divorced from e natural world. farmers are all part of this project to figure out what cities of the future could and should look like. # a familily of unusual farms truck fafarms as a family now mymy lononeliness isis gone andy
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vegetables are here and soon we will be planting #gaiain >> truck andnd window farms provide healthy produce, bubut the needs s of growing urban areas will also require large- scale sustainable solutions.. tagoneden, the ceo of plan is p planting a new seed for agriculture. ill conststruct a cuttg-g-edgereenhohoe to ododuce more food using less spacace, , to deliver f fresh pe a lolower cost b by marketining directctly to consnsumers, and o embody a new business model, one that makes mononey whihile doing
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good. plantagagon and her natational is n new conceptpt. what i is it wackoko - what is it? >> we are trying to figure out how to feed the megacities of the woworld. we have many reasos , large-scalale, ininside our cities, and we want to be papart of the developmentt of solutions to do that. we believe we will have three different problems to feed people living inside the city. one is the vast geographical sprawl of the cities. 42,050, most scientists agree that 80% of people willll live inside cities. alady totoday, we are e reducing 80% o of the arable land that we
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have for thehe whole town. if you put thesese deveveloping curves together and you eaeasily realalize that t what wilill has that we haveve to grow food, large-scalale. ththe city is s a dense enenvir. the landnd is really expensive. if you want t to grow things in the city,, you have e to go verticalal, and toto go vertical you have to dedevelop tactical solulutions. crcrack vertical l farming, h how doest work? how much global area you can get out of the building. growing things vertical ali make sense if you do't have e enough land where you want to g grow yr food.. the way ththat we sosolve it is from building, constructing a ildiding where you don't rkrk th hororontal stories. instd we have an open
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coconsuctionon ung a helicical shape, but much -- which letsts much more sunlight into the core of the building. then we have a logistics systetm for how to move our crops at the sasame time e as they grgrow ine vertical building. >> when will the plantagon begin prproducing and what willt produce? 2013.the end of depends on the local authororities.. we are ready t to start building atat this stage. we will hahave a production of 300 to 500 tons every y year. on that building, the e footprit on the ground is 4 400 square meters. that is the whole poinint of dog things vertical. on the footptprint on the grorod of 400 square meters, that is like a normal garden that you have your house. we produce 500 tons of food
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every year.. inwill be going back k troy -- the dirty city envirironment you neneed to growow things in a a d system, or at least a semi- closed sysm. that m means that you have t to hahaveeoeople ing into o the system as he possibly could to protect t this from m being -- having to o use pesesticides and other r things. what we and everyonone else is developing is consistent -- like everything goes arouound. you plant at the same place as you harvest. that meansns that t the whole is much mororene efficicient than if you woululdo this on freelance, bececause you move things around. here you are actually moving the field that you are growing on. insteaead of moving people a and machinines, youou move the e ths
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ththat are growing.. ththat means it gets much less labor-intensive. this i is both good and bad, because you take work opportunitities away in one sen. onon thehe other hanand, if yo't compete, you don'didistur the markets and their r jobs. .nd you create n new jobs also opening up for a sort ofof new w people bececoming foreigns -- becoming farmers.s. if you w would ask m my childref it b be cool to becomeme a farmi thinink they would say noo. if you asked them if f they woud be interested to w work in this kind o of high-tech, futuristic buildingthat are produci, ey migig very we say yes. and one of our main work, this is the main reason for that, to get young people interested in becoming farmers. n normal green
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specialist, it is much less expensive to build a normal greenhouse. on the other hand, to r run a normal greenhohouse is much more exnsnsive thanan to run one of hoururs. ,he lilifecycle of one of hours real estate where yocan grow food at the sasame time. the greenhouse -- you build them, you take them awaway after 20 and a at the mosost 30 yearst then y you build a new one. we are rationalizizing an old indury and m makg it like e a .esecond-generation raiain house -- greenhouse. when you do things like this, when you industrialize an old system, you have higher investment and lowower costs at the end. is about fifive years on the whole buildining. the business case for this is really really good. you also have to remember that the cost of a tomato -- if you
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buy a tomato at the grocery is cost oft 60% transportation in the store selling the tomato. we have e taken all the w way. -- all that t away. itit has much h less coststs ate end for ouour sales. >> meeting tomorrow's food nenes beyond cities. rainfall patterns arare less prpredictable t tree provididind to growing numbebers of people becomes increasingly challenging. scientists at penn state university, working with the national science foundation, m y hahave the answer. they arere finding ways to adadt plans to stressful conditions like lack of water. wee are in your greenhnhouse. it i is part of your researchh laboratory system. what is going on he?e? we're doing here isis
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growing planants under s stress condions.. looks like theit third worlrld, developing coununtries. pepeople cannot afford to irrige and fertilize their crops. is moren hungry people hungry people than we have ever had in the history of our spspecies. the affected challenenge our spspecies and it will be unprecedented, whihich is how do you sustainably f feed a popopulation o of 9 bililli or 0 million?n? most peoplple cannot a affor fefertilizerss and irrigation, o thee crops h have to deaeal with fefertility anand drought.t. drout is a problblem in countries like the u.s. we are trying to understand d hw get p plants to a adapt to thee conditionsns and grow together despite the stresses. >> how can you grow w crops wiwithout nutrtrients and war? willif you want a plant that
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do well under drought conditions o or soils, you needo go to a a system. scientists have known this for many years. it is s portant r r getting water. but whwhat ectly is aboutut roots that is most important? what is the differencece betweea good root system a and pentt system?? -- syststem? one e of the main components of the system i is ving good architectu, meaning thehe shape of the system, where it is in the soil. the main backbone routes of the root system of the main structural, architectural scaffolding of the root systemem from which the lateral roots and all the ferer roots ememerg. they can be shallow going out of the topspsoil or thehey can be . surpririsingly, this is the e kd of thing thatt, in retrospect, s
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on had -- is odd that it had not been done before. ---s that had shallow roots plants that had shshallow roots were much big - -- better at picking up the roots in the topsoil. pets with deep roots are much bebetter at pipicking up water e there is a trade-off here. athe cost o of reduced water acquisition,n, renewed drought tolerance. we had a studentnt show that in e e field in h honduras. significant grorowth advantage under l low phosphoru. deep-rooted plants, you have increased drought toleranc inonduraraand other countries, ey h havwith d drought andnd low salt ferility. >> otherelececte comombi bothh systemnear to e surface? >>e ththin we e ha discocored
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a trait at wouldelp us get shallow and deep. we are workrking on a couple mo. the ways we can n combine totopl foforaging. this is exactly why the research is needed. nobody knows the answer to your question. nobody knows if we can do applieied if we can -- and plplt thatat can do boboth well. they havave to be veverified wih actual plants s in the field. we thinknk we have somome -- i k we have some solutions.. by tryining to develelop plans o put roots where the goodies are , that is how we a are going to imimprove crop production in the environments. but in thesese poor countries, people may not be literate, may not have access to government services, may not have much money y or capabilility to do se sort of new farming system or
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machinery.y. one thing they can do is plant a new seed. they are planting seeds now and if you give them better seats, this might get significacantly foodod. that i is an important improvemt there. in the u.s., if we had corn plants t that need less fertrtilizer, we can reducuce te cost f for american farmers s ad reduduce the envirironmental im. how far off is e e end resusu? >> tre are vieties being grown toda in afri, asia, amica, that have better roo, betterieields. at is s ppening today. uble andriple thyields thout feilizerer, st by lectininfor the tttter nutrient whenen we look at ththlines with the good root traits for nitrogen and water acquisition, we are talking a tee to four fold increase in yield undnder drought.
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in a s sdy published last year,, we had an eightfold increase. that was eight times more healed without water. instead of putting on morore fertilizers s and water, we are just selectiting for a better seeded. by havg a better r root system, wewean havave much better crop. i i think the e impact is s goio continue.. the overall picture is t that we are really coming up with -- against biologal limits of what we e can do. you cannot just assume that we will be able to continue making on morreilizer, putting irrigagation systems. therare plenty of f resources to go around. we can't make proesess onhiss problem. -- we can make progress on n ths proboblem. it is s not going to take sosome kind of magigic technonology tht has nonot been invented yet. we can use this using conventionalal plplant breedidid common sense..
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