A third of our carbon footprints is derived from agriculture and food miles. Here we explain the zero fossil energy farming concept which can be implemented in our rural areas...
The concept for a zero energy farm (ZEF) using Pyrolysis, Fuel Cells and Absorption chilling for district cooling in hot countries.
The ZEF, zero fossil energy farm, shows how food can be grown and distributed using renewable energy, at the same time as recycling valued nutrients and creating a zero carbon / zero waste community
We design in growing space into all ZEDfactory developments. This can be anything from indoor horticulture in sunspaces through gardens and self-irrigating raised beds to winter gardens allotments and edible landscaping. Growing your own food is a healthy educational activity for all the family.
Partnering up with a local farm
In order to reduce the carbon footprint of the buildings' food consumption, it is advised to create a partnership with a local organic farm or group of farms producing organic food.
Residents can be provided with a host of informations on local farms, organic supermarkets and farmers markets. Free allotment spaces and the green roofs can be arranged to be community gardens with food growing and composting facilities. Residents can easily be enabled to get organised and get involved in any of the following:
Bulk discounts for residents arranged with local farms
Organic supermarket internet delivery
Coordinate mainstream supermarket internet delivery
Information pack and free seeds for cultivating sky gardens
Communal food growing and communal composting land, tools, seeds and equipment provided, residents' group set up
Farmer's market on site
Fresh, local, seasonal & organic
The alternative options for agriculture are: use of natural fertilizers, organic systems, soil fertility, crop rotation and natural pest control, inter-cropping, companion planting and the possibilities of multiple yields, genetic diversity and the benefits of robust and region specific varieties. Food miles are another issue, as the further the food must be transported to the plate, the higher the energy consumed. This is due to the transportation fuel burnt and the requirement to keep many foods refrigerated (which uses large amounts of energy). So the closer the farm is to where the food is being eaten, the better.Eating seasonally also reduces one's carbon footprint, and the food will tend to taste better too, as it has not been picked before ripening, and be vacuum packed for long distance travel.
Diagram showing how the catering facilities (cafes, restaurants etc) in the development could have their food supplied direct from a local organic farm. The organic waste produced could then be fed into an anaerobic digester for use on the site or by the farm.