Farm Hack

April 21, 2012 in Hieroglyph, Resources

Though in some respects, this represents the opposite of the Hieroglyph approach, I want to mention Farm Hack and the associated young farmers movements as something exciting which is happening now. I am going to <a href="http://www.youngfarmers.org/practical/farm-hack/intervale/">Farm Hack Intervale/Essex</a> next weekend. I went to a related Greenhorns young farmer event last year and it was full of energetic, intelligent, inventive people. One guy I talked to there, Steve Blood, who has a company for making <a href="http://www.pedal-power.com/">human powered devices</a> also has significant venture capital for his <a href="http://techcrunch.com/2011/04/18/kohort-3-million-seed/">social media software project</a>.

Finding the veins of inventive energy is as important as thinking big.

UPDATE: My link formatting didn't work right. Here's another try:

* Farm Hack: http://www.youngfarmers.org/practical/farm-hack/

* Farm Hack Intervale/Essex: http://www.youngfarmers.org/practical/farm-hack/intervale/

* Pedal Power Engineering: http://www.pedal-power.com/

* Article about Kohort's VC: http://techcrunch.com/2011/04/18/kohort-3-million-seed/

* Kohort.com: http://www.kohort.com/

Author
Kathryn Cramer is a writer, critic, and anthologist, and coeditor of the Year’s Best Fantasy and Year’s Best Science Fiction series with David G. Hartwell. She is a winner of the World Fantasy Award and has received numerous nominations and awards for her work as editor. Her fiction has been published by Tor.com, Asimov’s, and Nature. She lives in Westport, New York.

4 responses to Farm Hack

  1. I’ve always thought vertical farms are a solution in search of a problem. Is there any place where physical distance between food and consumer is a serious problem? Any city big enough for that to be an issue pretty much HAS to have transport infrastructure to the hinterlands in place, otherwise why would there be a city at all?

    Answering my own question: it does occur to me that in a fragmented, failed state it might be very useful for a city to have some self-sufficiency in food that a rural warlord can’t cut off. However, a big vertical farm would make a tempting and hard-to-harden target in any armed conflict. I suspect that lots of small “”neighborhood gardens”” would be better (and cheaper to implement) than a vertical farm.

    They do look cool, though.

  2. Vertical farms should be very effective in arctic regions, actually they would get much better sunlight.

    Probably the best concept would be to put the “vertical” farms on buildings that are sloped at an angle equal to the latitude.

    You could also predict that this technique would be useful to stretch the growing season for temperate zone farming slope the face of the building into the sun angle for late autumn, or early spring.

  3. The recent craze for vertical farms certainly seems to be within the scope of hieroglyph. I’m not sure if they’re actually as good an idea as they seem, but looking at images makes me think I’m flipping through old science fiction magazine covers: https://www.google.com/search?q=vertical+farms&prmd=imvns&source=lnms&tbm=isch

  4. I think that for dense urban areas the roof-top and vertical farms can be of moderate benefit. For more sprawled cities public fruit groves and wild edible patches can provide seasonal food sources.

    Another engaging ‘hack’ project: https://opensourceecology.org/