Plants – Planten En Bloemen Mon, 11 Oct 2021 06:39:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Plants – Planten En Bloemen 32 32 Kunming greenhouses preserve 2,500 rare plants Mon, 11 Oct 2021 04:45:20 +0000


More than 2,500 rare plants are on display in greenhouses in the city of Kunming, southwest China’s Yunnan province. Known as the “Plant Kingdom,” the greenhouses are a living showcase of how biodiversity has developed in China.

The Fuligong Greenhouses of the Chinese Institute of Botany in Kunming under the Chinese Academy of Sciences is one of the biodiversity demonstration areas for the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15), which begins Monday in Kunming.

“Fuligong” is the world’s first greenhouse with written traces. It was built in the Fuligong Palace during the reign of Wu Di in the Han Dynasty (202 BC).

In 1986, the famous botanist Wu Zhengyi named the newly constructed greenhouses of Kunming Institute of Botany the “Fuligong Greenhouses”.

To host COP15, the Fuligong greenhouses have been reconstructed to showcase biodiversity and unique ecological landscapes. The main body of the Fuligong Greenhouses occupies an area of ​​4,200 square meters, with tropical water areas, tropical fruits, tropical rain forests and tropical desert areas.

“We have opened an orchid room and a lichen room. There are over 100 types of lichens and mosses. [at lichen hall]. In the Orchid Hall, there are more than 300 types of orchids, mainly Dendrobium species, ”said Shan Zupeng, a staff member of the Kunming Botanical Garden of the Kunming Institute of Botany.

In the Insectivorous Plant Room, the most exotic of the Fuligong greenhouses, visitors have the chance to see 680 kinds of insectivorous plants capable of catching small insects, including pitcher plants and Roridula plants.

The Fern Hall in Fuligong Greenhouses features more than 800 types of ferns, including tree spinous ferns, an ancient species that was used to feed herbivorous dinosaurs.

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Fishes, plants and the circle of life Sun, 10 Oct 2021 00:21:10 +0000
The director of the Española YMCA teenage center, Ben Sandoval, shows how the closed-loop aquaponics system works. (Glen Rosales / For the Journal)

In less than a week, seeds of lettuce, basil and cilantro planted by a group of local students at the Española YMCA Teen Center in a fledgling aquaponics system had already grown to a height of two inches or more.

“I was actually really surprised, considering how much they’ve grown in such a short space of time,” said Janessa Sandoval, a seventh grade student at Mesa Vista Middle High School. “Normally you would expect, okay, we planted them, wait a few weeks and see if they even started to grow. When they started to grow in a few days, it was surprising. It’s crazy to think that all of this happened just because of certain fish.

According to the website, “Aquaponics puts fish to work. It turns out that the work of these fish (eating and producing waste) is the perfect fertilizer for growing plants.

The water circulates through the aquarium and then into the grow beds, where it is filtered through the growing plants. Then it returns clean to the aquarium.

“It’s magical in a way, what’s going on here,” said center director Ben Sandoval, who is the original idea for the project. “It’s a circle of life. A confined ecosystem.

The seed for the project was planted about five years ago when Sandoval visited a large-scale aquaponics facility while on vacation in Hawaii.

Española YMCA Youth Center members Janessa Sandoval, left, Eliseo Delgado, center, and Samuel Elijah Martinez discuss how quickly the plants grew in less than a week. (Glen Rosales / For the Journal)

“They were using tilapia to make the aquaponics work,” he said. “It was downright amazing and I was like, ‘How can I do this on a small scale and teach these kids?’ I have been working in my mind for five years. The delay made me a little afraid to do so. I didn’t think I had the skills to do it without the intervention of a specialist.

Over the next few years, Sandoval watched videos on the Internet, but still did not come back satisfied.

“Everyone does it differently,” he said. “You can’t get 10 people to tell you the same thing. “

But, after a recent visit to a friend in Abiquiú who had a small-scale aquaponics facility, Sandoval was excited.

“I just had to dive in and say, ‘Let’s do this,’” he said.

Using a spare aquarium that was stored at the YMCA, the project began with feeding goldfish.

“We wanted to grow good bacteria and establish the system with measurable bacteria to start with,” he said. “If you start too early without bacteria, it’s more difficult. When you track the data, if you don’t have anything to start with because it’s chlorinated water, we didn’t want it. We wanted to start with something that we could actually have that was measurable. “

He recruited several YMCA members interested in the project.

“Everything is fine,” said Samuel Elijah Martinez, a freshman at Española Valley High School. “We can broaden our thinking to learn new things. “

They formed a class and the students began to assemble the PVC piping that circulated the water and assemble the wooden frame. Then they prepared the clay pebbles which help in the filtering and growing process.

“We all did it as a group,” said Jordan Hoover, sixth grade student at James H. Rodriguez Elementary School. “We built the light, then we built the frame, and got a bucket and washed the clay pebbles. And we put them in our little container in the grow bed, and we planted our things. I love plants and I love fish, and I love projects. It was very fun.”

It took about $ 130 in materials to start the whole operation, Sandoval said, plus maybe 25 to 30 hours of sweat capital.

“But, now I don’t even feel like I spent those hours (on it) because we have plants growing,” he said. “It’s amazing, and it’s amazing them too.”

The students smiled as they looked at their manual work and healthy shoots.

Students at the Española YMCA teenage center grow cilantro, lettuce and basil using a closed aquaponics system. (Glen Rosales / For the Journal)

“I think it was pretty cool,” said Eliseo Delgado, an eighth-grader at McCurdy Charter School. “I’ve seen a lot of people on social media do it. When I first saw this course I thought it was just about growing plants with fish but when I started to think about it I thought it was something that I could possibly use with my children.

Seeing the plants actually grow made the process quite interesting, he said.

“Earlier, before I got here, my friends texted the photos to me and it was kinda cool because I was like, ‘How fast have these plants grown all week long? -end? “

Augustine Marquez, a sixth-grade student at James H. Rodriguez, said the idea for the project was interesting because he already had a few fish.

“The main reason I wanted to learn is that we have two fish at home, and I wanted to learn how to use fish water to grow plants and learn how the fish cycle works around plants. and fish water, ”he said.

The idea of ​​what they’re doing seemed a little strange at first, but Janessa Sandoval said that’s what makes it intriguing.

“I have always liked anything to do with science,” she said. “I had never heard of aquaponics, but when my father told me about it, I was immediately interested. It is this idea of ​​opportunities and experiences that drives me to participate in courses like this.

Scientists discover how to manipulate plants’ response to light for food growth Fri, 08 Oct 2021 18:00:00 +0000

What if you could turn a plant’s genes on and off based on changes in light and temperature? This is exactly what a group of UC Riverside scientists did in a recent study that could have significant implications for farmers in a time of rapid and unpredictable climate change (reported by UC Riverside News).

Plants need light to develop and grow, and the protein found in plants that detects light is called phytochrome B. This particular protein changes the expression of genomes and changes the growth of plants based on the light information received. In addition, phytochrome B can control the activity of a group of proteins called PIF. If the activity of the PIF proteins is reduced, it could lead to a slowdown in the growth of the plant stem.

According to the researchers, this finding may help increase food production and crop yields. When plants are too close to each other in a field, they compete for light. Shorter plants that are in the shade of other plants exert extra energy to make their stems grow taller than their neighbors. This extra energy is taken from the growth of the “food part” of the plant, such as seeds, leaves or fruit.

The scientists, led by UCR botany professor Meng Chen, reduced PIF protein activity and stem growth. In turn, they found that plants with shorter stems can release energy to make the most desirable edible parts grow faster and more vigorously. They also found that manipulating a plant’s response to light can allow plants to grow closer together and in shade.

As the human population rapidly approaches 8 billion and is expected to reach nearly 10 billion by 2050, it is prudent to find alternative solutions to increase crop yields. Indoor farming, as practiced by companies like CropOne, AeroFarms and BrightFarms, allows for a fully controlled environment and can result in consistent crop yields. A company called InnerPlant edits plant DNA to turn the plant into a living sensor to mitigate crop losses.

Climate change is expected to affect growing seasons and the ability to grow certain crops around the world. However, studies like this give hope that one day crops will adapt better to fluctuations in light and temperature, making them viable in a rapidly changing environment.

Hyundai Mobis invests $ 1.1 billion for 2 new hydrogen fuel cell system plants in Korea Thu, 07 Oct 2021 09:11:00 +0000

Posted: October 7, 2021 at 4:11 am CDT|Update: 28 minutes ago

  • Incheon, just west of Seoul and the Ulsan plants will start production in the second half of 2023 with an annual capacity of 100,000 hydrogen fuel cell systems
  • World’s Largest Fuel Cell Production Capacity Will Help Hyundai Mobis Diversify Its Business and Operate Construction Machinery and Logistics Equipment

INCHEON, South Korea, October 7, 2021 / PRNewswire / – Hyundai Mobis (KRX: 012330) will build two new fuel cell plants in Korea to accelerate the hydrogen economy and ensure wider global market dominance.

Hyundai Mobis invests $ 1.1 billion for 2 new hydrogen fuel cell system plants in Korea

At October 7, 2021, Hyundai Mobis held a groundbreaking ceremony for the new plant that will produce hydrogen fuel cells at the Cheongna International City industrial complex in Incheon. President Moon Jae-en and Deputy Prime Minister Hong-Nam-ki attended the ceremony.

Hyundai Mobis has announced that it is investing a total of $ 1.1 billion (KRW 1.3 trillion) in both plants. The new plants will begin mass production in the second half of 2023. When fully operational, the facilities are expected to produce 100,000 hydrogen fuel cells each year.

Hyundai Mobis, with the world’s largest fuel cell production capacity, is expected to pick up even more speed in the global hydrogen mobility race with the addition of new production sites.

Upon completion of this work, Hyundai Mobis will operate a total of three fuel cell plants. In 2018, the company became the first in the world to set up a complete production system from the fuel cell to the rest of the electronic components in Chungju. The Chungju plant is capable of producing around 23,000 hydrogen fuel cell systems per year.

“Despite the uncertainties including COVID-19, we have decided to make this large-scale investment to ensure the market leadership competitiveness of the global fuel cell industry. We will continue to invest more in facilities and strengthen our R&D capacity for the development of the hydrogen industry and expand the ecosystem., “ noted Sung Hwan Cho, President and CEO of Hyundai Mobis.

With the completion of the new factories, Hyundai Mobis plans to expand its production lines that apply fuel cell systems and to diversify the activities related to hydrogen. Most of the fuel cell systems produced by Hyundai Mobis are used in fuel cell electric vehicles, but the company is expected to expand into other sectors such as construction machinery and logistics equipment.

Last year, Hyundai Mobis developed fuel cell power packs for hydrogen forklifts, opening up the possibility of entering the construction machinery business. The hydrogen power packs used on forklifts are generators that generate electricity on their own by combining a fuel cell, a hydrogen tank, and a cooling device.

Today, the company is developing power packs for hydrogen excavators and plans to expand fuel cell systems for small air mobility.

About Hyundai Mobis

Hyundai Mobis is the world’s No. 7 global automotive supplier, with annual sales of nearly US $ 30 billion. The company was founded in 1977 and is headquartered in Seoul, Korea. Hyundai Mobis aims to become a lifetime technology partner for vehicles and people. The company has exceptional expertise in sensors, fusion of sensors in ECUs and the development of software for safety monitoring. The company’s products also include various components for electrification, brakes, chassis and suspension, steering, airbags, lighting and automotive electronics. Hyundai Mobis currently employs more than 30,000 people worldwide. With the R&D headquarters in Korea, Mobis operates 4 technological centers in Germany, China, India and United States.

For more information, please visit the website at

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Jihyun Han,

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Hormel takes another step forward in plant-based meat substitutes Wed, 06 Oct 2021 20:48:45 +0000

Hormel, a world leader in meat production, is taking its biggest step to date in the growing meat substitute market in partnership with a California company.

Austin’s Hormel Foods Co. and Sacramento-based Better Meat Co. announced the joint venture on Wednesday. The California food start-up has developed a meat alternative it calls Rhiza, an all-natural whole food mycoprotein produced by a potato-based fermentation process.

“It is essential that we give choices to our consumers. Plant-based products are one choice, traditional meat is another choice,” said Fred Halvin, vice president of corporate development at Hormel, in a statement. interview. He said the company “will continue to align our portfolio with consumer trends, and we believe plants are an important consumer trend.”

A June report from Allied Market Research, a global market research company based in Portland, Ore., Predicted the global meat substitutes market to grow to $ 8.82 billion in revenue by 2027, compared to $ 4.5 billion in 2019.

This growth is believed to be driven by multiple factors: growing consumer awareness of the health drawbacks of a high-meat diet, heightened concern about the implications of meat production on climate change and the advancement of the science of alternatives to meat.

At the same time, the demand for traditional meat products also continues to grow. “American consumers have never eaten more meat and poultry per person than they do today,” Wells Fargo agricultural economist Michael Swanson wrote in a recent blog post.

“The problem is that even though we need to reduce our dependence on animals for food, the demand for meat keeps increasing,” said Paul Shapiro, founder and CEO of Better Meat Co. He launched the ‘company in 2018 with a goal of creating a more sustainable food system by developing new alternatives that still offer carnivores what he called “the meat experience.”

Shapiro tried to describe the science in layman’s terms: “What we do is take microscopic mushrooms and feed them potatoes, he takes that potato and converts it into a mycoprotein that tastes like and a texture like meat. This process happens in a matter of hours. A cow, you have to feed her for a year before you can slaughter her for meat.

The company says the product contains more protein than eggs, more fiber than oats, and more iron than pork, chicken, turkey or beef.

Better Meat Co. previously partnered with Perdue Foods to create Perdue Chicken Plus, a nugget that is a blend of chicken and vegetable protein.

Hormel is investing in the partnership through its venture capital unit, called 199 Ventures, although it has not disclosed how much. The company created 199 Ventures two years ago as a financial incubator of forward-looking food products.

Bryan Kreske, chief executive of 199 Ventures, said it was too early to say what types of products could be made with Rhiza.

When asked if there could ever be a plant-based version of Spam, Hormel’s well-known canned meat product, Kreske said, “We have a lot of talented people in research and development. specific plans, but who knows? “

Hormel has already taken a step forward in the meat replacement business, with a line of plant-based pizza toppings for restaurants through Burke Corp., its restaurant subsidiary. And the company made a major foray into plant-based foods earlier this year with its $ 3.35 billion acquisition of the Planters nut brand.

Given the continued increase in demand for traditional meat, it’s unclear whether meat substitutes like Rhiza or more established brands like Impossible Burger will at any point reduce meat sales. Halvin from Hormel noted that alternative dairy products like oat milk, soy milk and almond milk now account for more than 10% of the total dairy market.

“Who knows if plant proteins can reach this level? Halvin said. “But the global segment, we see it as important.”

New production line needed to build PEAR at Lordstown plant | News, Sports, Jobs Wed, 06 Oct 2021 04:21:50 +0000

LORDSTOWN – Manufacturing Fisker Inc.’s second electric vehicle offering, PEAR, in Lordstown will require hundreds of millions of dollars to equip and equip the auto manufacturing plant there, said the chief executive of Fisker.

The PEAR (Personal Electric Automotive Revolution) would require its own production line at the plant, now owned by electric vehicle startup Lordstown Motors Corp., which has an agreement in principle to sell the 6.2 million foot facility. squares to a Taiwanese tech company, Foxconn.

Foxconn finalized a deal in May with California-based Fisker to assemble the vehicle.

Now Foxconn and Lordstown Motors are negotiating a definitive deal whereby Lordstown Motors would sell the plant for $ 230 million and Foxconn would become the contract manufacturer of Lordstown Motors’ flagship vehicle, Endurance.

“If Foxconn does eventually acquire Lordstown and the deal goes through, we intend to do PEAR with Foxconn in Lordstown”, Fisker CEO Henrik Fisker said.

Because the PEAR is smaller than the Endurance, is uniquely assembled, and would be assembled at a higher volume than the Endurance, it would require a separate production line, Fisker said. He was hesitant to say on Monday how much would be spent to retool the facility, but said Fisker’s deal with Foxconn, best known for making Apple iPhones, calls for the two companies to share the investment and the profits.

“We would need to build our own assembly line and probably our own assembly line etc., and also because the volume is much higher, I don’t know what theirs is, but I think it’s less than 100,000. If you build 250,000 to 300,000 PEAR vehicles, it will run at full speed ”, said Fisker.

The two companies could share some areas, like inbound logistics and the paint booth, for example, which would reduce costs, Fisker said.

The Foxconn / Lordstown Motors deal could be concluded within the next six months. Assuming this is the case, production of the PEAR could begin as early as 2024.

“It could be, if all goes well, we could increase that a bit. “ said Fisker. “I think it’s too early to say how many.”

Fisker said the plan, based on a fresh start with an entirely new plant, was initially to produce 150,000 to 250,000 vehicles and then expand the facility later. With an existing plant, like the one at Lordstown Motors – the former General Motors assembly plant – which is built to pump 400,000 vehicles a year, it becomes a matter of demand for PEAR, Fisker said.

If the demand is there for a vehicle priced under $ 30,000 with no incentives, “Sky is the limit.”

The plan would also include a second PEAR-based model that would be needed to reach the number of several hundred thousand production vehicles.

Lordstown Motors announced in August that it was seeking partners for the plant, which was acquired for $ 20 million from GM in November 2019 after GM closed it a few months earlier.

The company has invested millions in the plant to modernize it and produce battery-powered vehicles. But he only uses about 30 percent of the facility and has raised capital to increase production.

Lordstown Motors and Foxconn jointly announced the deal on Thursday. He also calls on Foxconn to invest $ 50 million in Lordstown Motors. In addition, the two companies have agreed to explore licensing agreements and additional truck programs, and Lordstown Motors has agreed to enter into a long-term lease for a portion of the existing facility for its Ohio-based employees, Foxconn offering employment to select operations and manufacturing. workers.

Lordstown Motors will continue limited production of Endurance for testing, validation and regulatory approvals for the remainder of 2021 and the first part of 2022.

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]]> Kinder Morgan Affiliate (KMI) Starts Construction of 3 RNG Plants – October 5, 2021 Tue, 05 Oct 2021 15:01:26 +0000

Kinder Morgan, Inc.‘s (KMI Free Report) subsidiary Kinetrex Energy recently began construction work on three renewable natural gas (RNG) facilities located in Indiana. Kinetrex has an electric cooperative, namely Wabash Valley Power Alliance, as a partner in the project.

Last August, Kinder Morgan completed the $ 310 million acquisition of Kinetrex from a subsidiary of private equity firm, Parallel49 Equity. This decision was aimed at strengthening its exposure to green energy. Under the deal, Kinder Morgan acquired a 50% stake in a massive renewable natural gas unit located in Indiana. Kinetrex supplies liquefied natural gas to the US Midwest.

The start of construction of three landfill units follows plans previously announced by the company. The total RNG production from the three facilities will likely be 3.5 billion cubic feet per year. Operations are scheduled to begin in fall 2022. Kinetrex plans to invest a total of $ 146 million and build facilities that will process gas purchased from the Wabash Valley Power Alliance. The new facilities are expected to be operated by Waste Management and located at the Prairie View landfill in Wyatt, the Twin Bridges landfill in Danville and the Liberty landfill in Monticello.

RNG is developed from renewable sources such as organic waste in landfills, wastes from agricultural operations and wastewater treatment. The process of decomposing this organic waste creates methane, which is captured by the company. The production process decreases greenhouse gas emissions. Kinder Morgan expects RNG facilities to produce enough to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 280,000 tonnes per year.

As investor pressure to reduce emissions in the energy spectrum increases, several companies are increasing investment in green energy. Last March, Kinder Morgan created the Energy Transition Ventures group within the company to seek out low-carbon energy opportunities. He intends to be part of the wider movement of energy transition, which has accelerated amid the coronavirus pandemic. Kinetrex’s latest development is expected to further strengthen Kinder Morgan’s focus on energy transition.

Price return

Shares of Kinder Morgan were up 3.7% in the past month compared to a 1.7% rise in the industry it belongs to.

Image source: Zacks Investment Research

Rank of Zacks and other key choices

The company currently has a Zacks Rank # 2 (Buy). Other top-ranked stocks in the energy sector include Oil and Gas Extraction, Inc. (XOG Free report), Cheniere Energy, Inc. (LNG Free report), and Schlumberger Limited (SLB Free Report), each carrying a Zacks Rank # 2. You can see The full list of Zacks # 1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks today here.

Zacks’ consensus estimate for oil and gas extraction for 2021 is set at $ 13.07 per share, indicating a huge improvement over last year’s loss of $ 2.54.

Cheniere Energy’s net income for the third quarter of 2021 is expected to grow 239.1% year-over-year.

Schlumberger’s net income for 2021 is expected to increase 83.8% year-over-year.

New plant promises 2,500 jobs for southwest Virginia Mon, 04 Oct 2021 23:55:40 +0000 A medical glove manufacturing plant promising to employ nearly 2,500 people is coming to southwestern Virginia, Gov. Ralph Northam said on Monday, calling the news the biggest job creation announcement in the region. struggling for a generation.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – A medical glove manufacturing plant promising to employ nearly 2,500 people is coming to southwestern Virginia, Gov. Ralph Northam said on Monday, calling the news the biggest announcement in job creation in the region in difficulty for a generation.

Supported by heavy federal spending, the project in County Wythe, 400 kilometers west of the state capital, is expected to create a number of jobs per capita equivalent to Amazon’s new headquarters in Arlington, according to the governor’s office.

In an interview with The Associated Press ahead of an official announcement Monday afternoon, Northam called the project a big win for Southwest Virginia and said the pandemic and associated supply chain issues had shown the need for increased production of personal protective equipment on land.

Two companies, Blue Star Manufacturing and American Glove Innovations, have agreed to form a joint venture and invest $ 714 million to create both a nitrile butadiene rubber manufacturing plant and a nitrile glove production operation, according to a report. Press release. The facility is expected to occupy more than 200 acres in an industrial park near the junction of highways 77 and 81.

The project will increase the production of raw materials and the manufacture of gloves now mainly made in Asia, the Northam office said. The company aims to sell the gloves to distributors and large end users, such as healthcare companies.

The announcement comes after one of the LLCs being part of the company was awarded a $ 123.1 million Department of Defense contract to increase nitrile butadiene rubber production capacity in May, according to records of federal spending.

Virginia was competing with Tennessee and Texas for the project, which state officials say is expected to create 2,464 new jobs over the next three to five years.

In order to secure the project, the Commonwealth agreed to pay $ 8.5 million for the modernization of the hydraulic infrastructure at the industrial site, called Progress Park.

An Associated Press review in 2019 found that despite significant spending, many industrial parks in the state were empty. Local officials said in the press release that Monday’s announcement showed that their previous investments in Progress Park had paid off.

The Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission, the entity created to spend and invest Virginia’s share of the national tobacco regulations, also approved $ 1.02 million from the Tobacco Region Opportunity Fund to “support additional public infrastructure,” said said Northam’s office.

A legislative commission created to strengthen oversight of economic development initiatives approved the $ 8.5 million investment in water infrastructure, according to the press release. The project is also eligible to apply for state benefits under a rail access program and a workforce services initiative.

GOP Representative Morgan Griffith, who represents Southwest Virginia’s 9th Congressional District, called the announcement “tremendous news for the region.”

“This will provide an opportunity for our citizens, economic growth for local communities and tax revenues to support public services,” he said in a statement.

Northam said the project would create “well-paying jobs”. The press release did not specify the average salary.

County Wythe is located about an hour’s drive southwest of Roanoke. For more than a decade, its unemployment rate has tended to be higher than that of the state as a whole, according to state data, although in 2020 its rate was lower than the national average. .

Southwest Virginia is experiencing a long economic decline as coal mining jobs have dried up and many manufacturing jobs have been moved overseas. The region has also lost population. An initiative examining how the state can support economic transition to coalfields is currently underway, with a report expected later this year.

The Northam administration has also sought to improve broadband access and transportation in the region, including rail access.

Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

California startup uses robots in greenhouses to grow crops Sun, 03 Oct 2021 22:02:25 +0000

A California company uses robots to grow plants in greenhouses that it says use 90% less water than traditional farms.

The Iron Ox company operates several greenhouses and plans to expand. He recently announced a new investment of $ 50 million. Funding was led by Breakthrough Energy Companies, a company created by Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

At a 930 square meter facility in Gilroy, Calif., Iron Ox uses an autonomous robot named Grover to transport containers of plants. The large greenhouse uses hydroponics, a system designed to grow plants in materials other than soil, such as water.

Genoese basil plants sit in a module of the Iron Ox greenhouse in Gilroy, California, USA on September 15, 2021. Photo taken on September 15, 2021. REUTERS / Nathan Frandino

The company claims that each container, called a module, carries 30 liters of water and about 70 plants as it moves. Another machine uses robotic arms to lift the tops of the plants out of the water. This allows the roots to be inspected. Sensors also examine the water, measuring nitrogen levels and acidity.

Iron Ox says the system uses 90 percent less water than traditional farms, as well as 90 percent less electricity than indoor farms using LED lights. LED stands for Light Emitting Diode, which produces light up to 90% more efficiently than ordinary lights.

Sarah Osentoski is the company’s senior vice president of engineering. She told Reuters news agency she believed robots like these could help prepare for a durable future. “I think it’s a really exciting way to move forward in farming right now,” Osentoski said.

Sarah Osentoski, Senior Vice President of Engineering at Iron Ox, kneels next to the Autonomous Robot Grover in the Silicon Valley Company Greenhouse in Gilroy, California, United States, September 15, 2021. REUTERS / Nathan Frandino

Sarah Osentoski, Senior Vice President of Engineering at Iron Ox, kneels next to the Autonomous Robot Grover in the Silicon Valley Company’s greenhouse in Gilroy, California, United States, September 15, 2021. REUTERS / Nathan Frandino

“I truly believe that we have to grow in a way that can feed the future of the world without harming the Earth,” she added. “So a big part of our mission is to grow more with less. “

The company notes that in its greenhouses, any unused water can be pumped into the system for reuse later.

Agriculture is an important part of California’s economy. But the use of water is a growing concern. The last big Drought in 2012-2017, they cut water for farmers, imposed limits on household use and fueled deadly forest fires.

Modules of Genoese basil and other plants are seen in the Iron Ox greenhouse in Gilroy, California, United States on September 15, 2021. Photo taken on September 15, 2021. REUTERS / Nathan Frandino

Modules of Genoese basil and other plants are seen in the Iron Ox greenhouse in Gilroy, California, United States on September 15, 2021. Photo taken on September 15, 2021. REUTERS / Nathan Frandino

Iron Ox currently grows Thai basil and strawberries and works on cilantro, parsley, and tomatoes. The company plans to build a new 50,000 square meter greenhouse in Lockhart, Texas. There, the robots will move around 5,400 modules.

Iron Ox CEO Brandon Alexander told Reuters that the founding of the company was “a revelation” for him and others. “I think we are now at a to organise where most people understand that conditions are only getting worse, ”he said.

The system includes another inspection station which uses aerial cameras to capture three-dimensional (3D) images of the plant. Scientists use this data to study agricultural production levels.

Iron Ox CEO Brandon Alexander poses for a portrait in the company's greenhouse in Gilroy, California, United States on September 15, 2021. Photo taken on September 15, 2021. REUTERS / Nathan Frandino

Iron Ox CEO Brandon Alexander poses for a portrait in the company’s greenhouse in Gilroy, California, United States on September 15, 2021. Photo taken on September 15, 2021. REUTERS / Nathan Frandino

“We want to give each plant exactly what it needs and nothing else,” Alexander said. Once the sensors have examined the plants, the system provides suggestions for what is missing. “What does this plant need that we don’t give it.”

Sarah Osentoski sees the inner robotic system expand in the years to come to become a scalable model. “I think it’s a really interesting way to bring modern technology in a controlled setting to agriculture. And it allows us to do things that really grow unique and different, ”she said.

I am Bryan Lynn.

Reuters reported this story. Bryan Lynn adapted the report for VOA Learning English. Susan Shand was the editor.

Quiz – California startup uses robots in greenhouses to grow crops

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Words in this story

business nm a new business activity that may or may not be successful

acidity nm the amount of acid in substance

durable – adj. involving methods that do not deplete or completely destroy natural resources

Drought nm a long period of time when there is very little or no rain

to organise – adj. a period of development

three-dimensional (3D) – adj. having or appearing to have length, depth and height

scalable – adj. able to grow or be enlarged

unique adj. different from most other things

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Master Gardeners: Boost Your Favorite Plants With A Stone Table | House and garden Sun, 03 Oct 2021 10:00:00 +0000

West Valley stone artist and gardener Ron Sell has managed to merge his two interests by creating stone tables and sculptures within his 4 acres of spectacular landscape.

He and his late wife, Linda Knutson, had been collecting rock for fun for many years. They called it “rock rescue,” finding usable stones in landfills and along road banks where slides threw small boulders into traffic lanes.

These stones now make up the many paths, patios and works of art that add so much to their garden.

Stone tables

Four stone tables are featured in Ron’s garden, two near the entrances to his house and two in more remote sections where visitors can discover them unexpectedly. A common hosta, which can blend together when planted among more showy flowers in flower beds, can be the star attraction at any of its tables. And a delicate moss or orchid can be seen up close for the first time.

With a little help from a strong friend, you can build one for your own landscape. (Or you can use lighter lumber or even an old wheelbarrow as a table, although they don’t have the permanence of stone.)

Ron recommends using limestone or sandstone for the legs, which he sets in concrete to make his plant tables strong. The tops of the legs are adjusted so that they are level with each other. Table tops are 2 inch thick white Wilkinson stoneware or red toned Arizona Rose Flagstone. Their lighter weight and regular thicknesses make it easier to work. It ensures that all edges of the table and legs look natural with no visible saw marks, and they are held in place by their own weight.

Unlike the majority of the rocks in his garden and in his artwork, the stones for his tables are purchased from commercial stone suppliers.

For readers who want to create their own plant tables, Ron lists the following tips:

Use a carpenter’s level to make sure the legs are the same height and are level with each other.

If you want to irrigate your creation with drip irrigation (recommended), drill a hole in the table top large enough to insert a microtube. Pierce it where a leg will obscure it if possible.

With the top in place, arrange the weathered branches or roots and interesting stones in a nice pattern.

Fill around the stones and wood branches with purchased high quality potting soil. Do not use soil in your garden as it will likely not have enough organic matter to retain moisture and will surely contain weed seeds.

The next step is to weave a micro drip pipe through the ground and connect it to the micro tube coming from the hole in the table. Be careful not to bend your line.

Now the real fun begins. Ron selects his plant species with care, using unusual dwarf plants that are difficult to appreciate if not planted closer to eye level. Some specimens can be found in the best nurseries in the valley, while the internet may be needed to find the perfect rare plant that inspires you. And if you spot a new plant specimen that you want to show off, it’s a cinch; no need to stoop or crawl.

Some examples Ron used include dwarf hostas, saxifrage, confreres, hens and chicks, ice plants, ferns, and tiny perennials. Ron does not use annuals in his tables. Perennials give them a permanently aged appearance and rarely need to be replaced.

If you have chosen to use drip irrigation, the watering will be done automatically. Otherwise, make sure your sprinkler irrigation adequately covers the table and forms a fine mist that does not dislodge your soil.

Once you’ve completed the rewarding steps above, you’re pretty much done forever. If a weed seed has blown, you just pull it out as you walk past. If a flower is wilted, remove it.

Your new art tables will become a central element of your garden, guaranteed.