Test the soil's Ph to find out what what it lacks. Great soil has a healthy blend of Carbon, Nitrogen and Phosphorous -- all of which are generated from compostable materials.
Identify what species should be growing in this soil, depending on climate. It does not need to be native.
Acquire a locally-abundant biomass to feed the soil whatever nourishment it needs (may be an agricultural or industrial byproduct — like chicken manure or press mud, a byproduct of sugar production) — but it can be almost anything. The less distance you have to haul the biomass the better.
Amended the soil to a depth of ~one meter, plant saplings that are up to 80 centimeters high, packing them in very densely — three to five saplings per square meter.
The forest itself be planted to cover at least 100 square-meters, minimum. This space grows into a forest so dense that after eight months, sunlight can’t reach the ground. "At this point, every drop of rain that falls is conserved, and every leaf that falls is converted into humus. The more the forest grows, the more it generates nutrients for itself, accelerating further growth. This density also means that individual trees begin competing for sunlight — another reason these forests grow so fast."
Keep the forest watered and weeded for the first two or three years, after which it should become its own ecosystem and sustaining.
Leave it alone -- allow that ecosystem to work. Not all will, but those that do do for a reason.
Harvesting Water from Air
Researchers in Bangalore, India have come up with a machine that can harvest the moisture from the air -- it works best in environments with 65 - 75 percent humidity.
The fastest way to grow a forest; directions modified for an ecosteader audience / adapted from the source below:
It's like the DeLorean and the Tesla had a baby!
Salt water-powered automobiles are a step closer to reality -- recently approved* in Europe.
"The QUANT e-Sportlimousine features the revolutionary nanoFLOWCELL® energy storage technology – a further development of tried and tested redox flow-cell systems. The nanoFLOWCELL® sets itself apart from other systems in its ability to store and release electrical energy at very high energy densities. The very compact and powerful nanoFLOWCELL® battery system in the QUANT e-Sportlimousine prototype can power it for a driving range of up to 600 kilometres."
"But when mayors and developers focus on technology rather than people, smart quickly becomes stupid, threatening to exacerbate inequality and undermine the social cooperation essential to successful cities."
"After researching leading cities around the world, we’ve concluded that truly smart cities will be those that deploy modern technology in building a new urban commons to support communal sharing.
What can we do as community citizens to promote ecologically sensible urban planning projects in our communities?
What role should crowdfunding play in our cities?
"By allowing citizens to donate small amounts of money to projects of their choosing, urban planning can become a more participatory and inclusive process. These platforms also open up a new source of capital for projects that may not otherwise be funded.
However, civic crowdfunding also presents risks. While it can make planning more participatory, it may exclude citizens who lack the ability to make significant donations. Further, it is unclear whether governments will turn to civic crowdfunding instead of funding projects that should be paid for with public funds. Finally, most civic crowdfunding projects remain small, and it is unclear whether the model will effectively scale up.
Still crowdfunding is gaining momentum around the world. While is it most common in wealthier countries, it also has strong potential for opening up new capital in middle and lower income countries. It is already growing quickly in India, where a variety of crowdfunding platforms are emerging to fund arts and business ventures.
Crowdfunding is growing as a tool being used to fund a variety of projects, including investments in start-up companies, real estate ventures, and alternative energies. Still, these innovative funding models are early in their growth. In time, civic crowdfunding may help reshape our cities to be more sustainable and responsive to citizens’ needs and desires."
"Meet the Neurotoxins"
June 2014 is now on record as the hottest month EVER since we started tracking this stuff in the 1880's. May was the hottest "May" ever recorded, too. All the more reason to start getting serious about ecosteading.
(Graphic from: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/)
Interesting infographic about the (slowly) shrinking size of the typical American home. Homes < 800 square feet aren't even an option? Let's change this.