Category sustenance

Drying Out

The map above comes from the USDA and NOAA’s Drought Monitor, where they publish a new version of the map every Thursday.  The site provides animated compilations of its compiled findings, showing the lead up to the current situation in which more than 1,000 counties in 26 U.S. states have been declared disaster areas by […]

Sand Dams

[a sand dam in an ephemeral stream, Kenya. source] Subtle.  Distributed.  Small.  Catalytic.  Empowering.  Made with minimal and local means, applied and tested since 9000 BCE. At this year’s World Water Forum multiple organizations questioned the efficacy and social justice of large dams (‘large’ defined as those taller than 15 meters or with a reservoir volume […]

Architectures of Hybrid Migrations

Although very likely not submitted to this year’s Animal Architecture Awards, the design for the “Selective Water Withdrawal Tower” on The Deschutes River could have been a candidate for the prize, or at minimum, a poignant contribution to forums discussing “the myriad issues arising from the complex interactions between animals and human society“, and how […]

The Longest Wood Structure West of the Mississippi

….is a storage depot for Potash The Port of Portland recently offered a public tour of their Potash terminal in North Portland, which we had the opportunity to attend.  Owned and operated by Canpotex (the largest global exporter of potash), the terminal’s storage facility is 2,085 feet long – which for reference, is approximately 2X […]

Outside In

[The soilless fecundity of hydroponic greenhouses near Grants, New Mexico] I’m walking through a colossal terrarium with row upon seemingly endless row of espaliered tomato plants.  Each meticulously tethered specimen towers over me, bearing perfect fruit beneath a green canopy.  The bio-bionic interior sports miles of conduits, wires, automated moisture sensors and hoses full of optimized […]

Terraforming and Superweeds

[Crop dusting, via Wikipedia] By governor proclamation, May 16-22 has been deemed weed awareness week in the state of Oregon.  The proclamation sets forth agendas and actions to increase public awareness of weed-related problems as framed in terms of economic implications.  A conservative estimate finds that the damage caused by noxious weeds in the state […]

Reclaiming the Florida Everglades

“The massive reservoir project in western Palm Beach County was a vital piece of a $7.8 billion Everglades restoration project put together by President Bill Clinton in 2000. But work on the reservoir has stopped as Governor Crist has looked to put his own mark on restoration of the Everglades with the United States Sugar […]

Mapping Food…Chicken or the Egg?

Recent gleanings on food: Urban Omnibus recently posted a great interview with Edible Geography’s Nicola Twilley and Inhabitat’s Sarah Rich discussing cities as shaped by food, the FoodPrintNYC event, the recently published FoodNYC: A Blueprint for a Sustainable Food System, and the challenges faced by the emergent design revolution to transform our food systems and […]