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Gardening

Farmers Show off Mammoth Produce at County Fair Headlined by 1,300 lbs. Pumpkin

in Food 387 views

At last weekend’s Malvern Autumn Festival in the UK, growers from across the Isles showed off the truly frightening proportions that vegetables can grow to, headlined by massive pumpkins brought in on a forklift.

4th place winner Tim Saint transported his whopping 667 lbs. pumpkin in a trailer to display at the event held over the weekend in England’s Worcestershire.

Even though he needed a pallet, trailer, and industrial strapping to move the thing, his was a small fry compared to Curtis Leach’s 1st prize-winning pumpkin that arrived at weights usually reserved for cars.

At 638 kilograms, or 1,373 lbs, the gargantuan gourd was 40 kilograms more than the second-place entry, but half as heavy as the current Guinness World Record for heaviest pumpkin, which was 2,700 pounds.

“I grew a 667 lbs. pumpkin this year which I’m delighted at,” said Mr. Saint. “I’ve been growing pumpkins for 20 years and that’s the biggest I’ve ever done It’s got to be over 3ft tall at least, I’m 6ft tall myself and it’s big.”

“The secret is just plenty of water and manure, plenty of cow manure especially,” added Mr. Saint, who did take 1st prize for largest beetroot. “It takes a lot of water, I normally give it five watering cans of water a day.”

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Skyscraper Bursting with 80,000 Plants Opens in Singapore

in Enviroment 254 views

In case you’re planning a trip to the other side of the world’s richest city-state, the “biophilic” CapitaSpring tower in Singapore is now fully bursting with a publically accessible urban forest.

In Singapore’s business district, you have to go 17 to 20 stories above street level to find wide open greenery. On CapitaSpring’s “Green Oasis” floor, accessible to the public, a spiral path winds through gardens and small replicants of tropical forests, like the kind that stood there before Singapore came to be.

On the roof, three rooftop market gardens supply fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers to three on-site restaurants, and trees grow in nooks in the building’s facade as often as windows.

Ground broke in 2018, under the supervision of two of Europe’s greatest architecture firms—Carlo Ratti Associati and the Bjarke-Ingels Group.

“Due to the unique character of Singapore’s urbanism—both extremely dense and green—we decided to make the design a vertical exploration of tropical urbanism,” founder, Bjarke Ingels said in a statement, adding that the tower is “like a vision of a future in which city and countryside, culture and nature can coexist.”

In total, the 51-story building houses over 80,000 trees and plants across 90,000 square feet of landscaped area.

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New Rooftop CO2 Ventilators Funnel Fumes into Fertilizer that Makes Spinach Grow 4x Bigger in Roof Gardens

in Enviroment 247 views

New carbon dioxide ventilators could turn fumes into fertilizer to bring vegetable patches to high rise rooftops, suggests a new study.

It wasn’t just suggested, the study included an experiment that found spinach by the new air vents grew four-times larger than the other plants.

The breakthrough is a promising development for healthier city life, say scientists.

Scientists at Boston University created new technology that turned carbon dioxide (CO2) pumped from building air vents into fertilizer to improve the challenging plant-growing conditions for rooftop plant-life.

Rooftop vegetable gardens—big ones even—can be found in cities around the world, but they’re mostly hydroponic systems, receiving nutrients and water via a special mist channeled through tubes.

Rooftop farms and gardens are often suggested as ways to improve air quality, but conditions are difficult. Plants are often smaller and less healthy because the sites catch more solar radiation, wind exposure, and the soil is less moist.

The researchers decided to intercede by repurposing the CO2 emitted from building exhaust into a fertilizer.

Dr. Sarabeth Buckley, now at the University of Cambridge, began growing corn and spinach on a Boston University campus roof in an experiment named BIG GRO.

“We wanted to test whether there is an untapped resource inside buildings that could be used to make plants grow larger in rooftop farms,” she said. “Creating more favorable conditions that increase growth could help make rooftop farms more successful and therefore more viable options for installation on buildings.”

Dr. Buckley and her team chose corn and spinach because they are common edible plants that are more sensitive to high CO2 levels when they photosynthesize, versus other plants. They then placed the plants near the exhaust vents, and another control group near simple fans.

CO2 levels in the classrooms below were regularly measured to figure out how much extra CO2 the plants were receiving. High concentrations were found both inside classrooms and at rooftop exhaust vents when people were in the building.

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