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tv   Earth Focus  LINKTV  August 29, 2016 4:30pm-5:01pm PDT

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mamaday on "eartrth focus, qu e new 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 no orordinary route first posted barrier that keeps the roots out of your brain itit helps thehe water to drdra then you have a blanket and erosion blanket that keeps us all fromom washing away y and then you have some special special lightweight soil that gigives t 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 # thehe inspiraration for the
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project was bornrn of necessity. i moved d to new yorork city, wd to h have a place to groww somef mymy own food,d, but did not hae any place e to do it. i took a gooood long l look at e ck of my a all dodge e pickup truckk and realized it was about the same size as a backyard garden beded. borrowing some technology from rooftop gardens, i me a truckk farm happed.d. .ost of us grow up in cicities the e majority o of the worlrlds population is an urbanan populatition. in the united states, we have long been for several generations s are predominantly urban peopople. what that means is that we grow up withohout an understanding of certain fundamental things that are -- that our grandparents or great grandparents have ten for grgranted -- where food d 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 remindnder t that food d comes m somewherere. it needs resources to survive, and needs healthy soil, rainwater, access to sunlight. itit has a back story. i think the more reminders we haveve that the stuff we c conse every day a actually has a back story, the more careful we will be about what we choose to buy. the decisionons will ripple back ththrough the economy to make evevery aspectct of our supply n and rfid systems more sustainable -- our supply chain and our food systems more sustainable. i think that truckckarms teachch ushahat to make the foodd itstsf sustainablee, maybe we need to inject somome 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, their own mobilele gardens, to educate young people about how fun and easy it is to grow their food. ththey have e been popping up everywherere. the fifirst summer of truck k fm fleeeets -- at the summemer we d 25 truck fararms and cities all acss the country. ththey are continuining to pop . the latest one that t over --
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emerged is oversrseas in paleststine. who o knows? 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 descrcription. >> it isis very casual. i kind of let things do what they do. but it h has some interestingg food. it has, for example, blueberries. there is your truck farm. i once talked to her produce manager for one of the big food chains i icalifornia about howow lolong it took to get cacalifora toduce from a vegetable farm one e of the grorocery storerese neneighbororhood.
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he e explained that e whol thing was s out two o weeks. it in pick this and put your r refrigerator and keep itn your refrigerator,r, you can stl eat i it. it will be fine. from cannot keep produce california f for a week. it w wl be musushy. it is s much older and the nutritional quality wi h have dedeteriorated. the taste e is gone. broccoli from california does not taste anything like that or durable creature is going to taste. thank you. this is wonderful. it looks delicicious. you dodon't think ththat i can - oh, it i is good. >> the truck farm not the solution to our urban fofood prproblemsr globobal food problelems. it is our garden in a pickup truck. it was never meantnt to be a suggestion that everybybody shod abandon their farms and plant
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food and pickup p trucks or that evererybody in the city had a pickup truck filled with foods and everything would be ok. bubut i think t that truck farms teach us a f few things.s. food is fufundamental. we all have to he. -- wewe all hahave to eat. but it i is a window onto largrr issueses -- a window onto envivironmental l and social and politicacal issueses. by u understanding how we e eatd how we grow our food, we can understand a lot about what makes our world take, and through that, understand bebettr how w to promotete a more sustainablble future. the way wewe eat has a trememens ,mpact on the natural world and thereforore on the ability f future generationsns to survivi. if we can figure out a way to eat, we can not onlnly make our own liveves better andnd health, but we can figure out how to make the planet more sustainable in the long run. pre-k's #that's a lot of food you
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might t say how w much foodd do we r reallyd and how w much food d can we gr , mys geget 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 second the largest dinosaur with 200 tons only 75 on mars not every man drove a mustache ut people e like the smell off w cars my't's geget back to the facts friendnd this i is someththing we wouldll likeke to knowow the answs if we ed a lotf food we should grow at every place we go #
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. >> the p pject is l about king it possible r r new yoyorkerand d urbadwelle to ow food their artment year-round. themember looking at interior couourtyard o of my budiding, a six-x-story multifamily building that was just the central area where you leave all of your garbage. the whole area isis just cocoved with windowsws going all the way out of itt i remember taking a picture of it a and thinking, what if we were just growing food inside this unused space acko -- in thisis unused space? it is possible e for people too ararn much more about how plplas work and how to grow their own
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fofood and j just buildingng upr own confidence, babasically, abt our ability to survive on our own. -- - ndnd that >> i thinknk it was very surprising and instructive to think critically about urban agriculture and question whether truck farming or rooftopop gardening or vacant lot farming or window farmg, grgring foodd on boatsts, whetheher this is sd ididea or not. few off these farmerers were suggesting g that thesese were the solutionsns t r glglobal food d problems. but itit was still hpfpful to sy
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, becausere we doing this it sheds a lot of light onon wht we need to in cities. a lot of people are growing food in cities because they miss working with their hands, and they also miss the taste of freshly grown n food.. on a larger scale i think a lot of people are growing g food in cities because we like t the ida of being able to live in n a vibrant social e environment but not be totalally 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 family of u unusual farms truck farms as a family now my lonelinesess is gone e and my
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vegetables are here and soon we will be planting #gain >> truck and window farms provide heaealthy produce, but the needs of growing urban areas will also require large- scale sustainable solutions. tagonnweden, thehe ceo of planan is plantining a new seed for agagriculture. will construct a cuttining-edge genhouseo oduce morore od usisi less space, to deliviver fresh p proe a lower cocost by markrketing didirectly to o consumerss, ando embody a new business model, one that makes money whihile doing good..
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plantagon and her nationall is new concept. what i is it wacacko - what is it? >> we are trying to figure out how to feed the megacities of the world. we have many reasons , lalarge-scale, inside o our cities, and we want to be part off thehe development 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 will livee inside cities. alreadady today, we e are reducg 80% of the e arable lanand thate
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have for the wholele town. ifif you put these developining curves together and you easily realize that what w will happpps that we have to grow f food, lae-e-scale.. the cityty is a densnse environ. the land i is really expensive.. if you w want to grow things i n the cicity, y you have to goo vertrtical, and to go vevertical yoyou ha t to develop p tactical solutions.s. crack vertitical farmining, how doeot workrk? how much global area you can get out of the building. growing things vertical ali make sense if you donon't t have enoh land wherere you want to grow yr food. the way that we e solve itit is frfrom building, constructing a bubuilng where you don't t work withthorizontal stories. steaead we have an open cotrucucti usingng a h helical
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shapape, , but much - -- which s much more sunlight into the core of the building. then we have a logistics system fofor how to move our crops at e same timime as thehey grow insne vertrtical building. >> when n will the plantntagon begin producining and what willt produce? 2013.the end of depends on the local authoritiess. we are ready to starart building at this s stage. we will have a p production of 3000 to 50500 tons every year. onhahat building, , thfootprintt on t the ground is 400 sququare meteters. thatat is s thwhole poinint of g things v vercal. on the footprint o on the ground of 400 square meters, that is like a normal garden that you have y your house. we produce 500 tons of food every year. inwill be goioing back k troy -
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the dirty city environmentnt you need to grow this s in a closesd system, or a at least a a semi- closed s system. that means t that you have to have peoeoe gogoin intnto the syemem as he possibly could to protect this from beingg - -- havingng to use pesticidedes and otother thingsgs. what w we and everyone elelse is developing is consistent -- like eveverything goes around. you plant at the same place as you harvest. that means that t the whwhole is muchch morene efficient ththan if you would do this on freelance, because y you move things around. here you are actually moving the field that you are growing on. instead of m moving people and mamachines, you move the thingss that arere growing. that meaeans it gets much less
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labor-intensive. thisis is bothth good and bad, becacause you take work opportunities awaway in one sen. on thehe other hanand, if you 't competee, you donon't didisturbe markrkets and their jobs.. .nd you create new jobobs also o opening upp foror a sortf new peoplele becoming g foreigis ---- bececoming farmers. if you wou ask my chilildren if it be coolol to become a fararmi think theyey would say no. if you asked them if they w woud be i interested to work inin ths kikind of highgh-tech, futurisic buildingngs that are produducin, they might verery well say yes. and one of our main work, this is the main reason for that, to get young people interested in becoming farmers. normal l green a specialist, it is much less
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exexpensive to build a normal greenhouse. on the other hand, to run a normal genenhouse isis much more expense ththan to rurun one of hours. ,he lifecyclcle of one of hourss real eststate where you can grgw foodod at the e same time. the greenhouse -- you build them, you take them away a after 20 a and at thee most 30 y yeart then youou build a a new o one. we a are rationalizing an n old industry a and making g like a .econd-g-generation rain housuse -- greenhouse. when you do things like this, when you industrialize an old system, you have higher investment and lower cososts at the end. is about fivetime yeyears on the whole building. 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 thehe store selling the tomato. we have takenn all the way. -- all that away.. it has m much less c costs at te end fofor our saleles. >> meeting tomorrow's food needs beyond cities. rainfall patterns are lessss predtatable tree providing fofod to growing numbers of f people becomes increasingly challenging. scientists at penn state university, working with the national science foundation, may have thehe answer. they are finding ways to adapt plans to stressful conditions like lack of water. we are in your greenhouse.. it is part of your research laboratory system. what is going on here? we're doing here is
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growing g plants undnder stresss conditioions. looks like theit third world, developing countries.s. people c cannot afford to irrige and fertilize their crops. is moren hungrgry people hungry people than we have ever had in the history of our species.s. the afaffected challenge ourur speciess and it will be unprecedented,d, which is how do you sustainably feed aa populatition of 9 9 billion or 0 millllion? most people cannnnot affordd fertilizerss and irrigatation, o the crorops have toto deal withh fertilitity and drouought. drouought is problem in countries like the u.s. we are trying g to understand hw to get plas s to adapt t to thee conditions and grow together despite the stresses. >> howow can you grow cropss without t nutrients s and water? willif you wantnt a plant that do well under drought
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conditions or soilils, you needo go to a systemem. scientists have known this for many years.. it is importrtt for gettining water. but what exaxactly is it about roots that is most important? what is the difference betweweea goodod root system and patatent systst? -- and bad root syststem? one of thehe main components of the system is havivi good architecture, meaning the shapee ofof the system, where it is in the soil. ththe main backbone routes of te root system of the main structural, architectural scaffofolding of the roosysystem fromom which the lateral roots and d all the finer rtsts emerg. they can be shallow going out of the topsoil oror they can n be . surprisinglyly, this is the kind of thing that, in r retrospect,s
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onon had -- is odd that it had t been done before. --ds that had shallow roots planants that had shallow w roos wewere much big -- betttter at pipicking up the roots in the topsoil. pets with deep roots are much bett a at picking g up water tre there is a trade-off here. at the st of reduduced water acquisition, renewewed drought tolerance. we had a student show w that in the field d in honduras. significant growth advantage under low phosphorus. deep-rooted plants, you have increased drougught tolencnce. in hononras and other countries, ththeyave wiwi drought and low lt ferility. >> other sectedombine both ststems ar to thsurface? >>e think we haveiscovedd
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trtrait th would helus get shallow and deep. we are working onon a couple mo. ththe ways we can combinine topl foragingng. this is exactly why thehe reseah is needed. nobody knows the answer to your question. nobody knows if we can do apapplied if we can -- anand plt that can d do both welell. theyey have to b be verifieded h actual plalants in the field. we t think we hahave some -- - k we have some solutions. by t trying to develop plans to put roroots where the goodies ae , that is how we are goioing to improve crop production in these environments. but in these poor countrtries, people may not be literate, may not have access to government services, may not have much moy or capability to do some sort of new farming system or
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machinery. 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 significantly food. that is an imporortant improvemt there. in the u.s., if we had corn plants that neneed less fertilizerer, we can reduce thee cost for amemerican farmers and reduce thehe environmentntal im. >> how far off is the en relt? >> there a varieti being grown daday in rica, as america, , that have e better r, betterer yields. that is happenening today. double and tririple the yields without fertililizer, justst by selelecting for r the better nutrients. whenen wlook at ththe lines with ththe g good root traits for nitrogen and water acquisition, we are talalking a three to four fold increase in yield under droughght.
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in a s study published last yey, we hadadn eightfolold increase. that was eight times more aled without water. instead of putting on more fertrtilizers and wawater, we ae just selecting foror a better seed. by h having a tter root sysyste, we can have muchch better crop. i think k the impactct is goingo contininue. the overall picture is that we are really coming up with -- against biological lits of what we can dodo. you cannot j just assume that we will be able to continue making on moretilizer, putting irrigation s systems. therere are plenty of reresourcs to go around. we can't make progress t this proboblem. ---- we can make progress on ths problem. is not gogoing to take some kikind of magic tecechnology tht hahas not beenen invented yet. we can use this usingng conventional plant brbreeding ad common sense.
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♪ music [loud raindrops] narrator: torrential rain in the dry season. flooding when there's normalally drought. desert where there used to be grass. ♪ music narrator: tens of thousands of deaths in cities across europe from freak heat waves. even more taken to hospital. is this a taste of our future? dr. patrick kinney: climate change is already profoundly affecting public health across the globe. narrator: evid i

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