Marisa Morby marisa morby

Design & Nature Reimagined: The Future of Growing Food

Foraging for Wild Crops

We have gotten used to our domesticated yellow corn and our russett or Idaho potatoes. But what about wild crops? The crops that haven't been grown in huge quantities on domestic farms? [There's a lot of potential that these wild crops can provide us with alternative and varied food sources](https://grist.org/food/wild-crops-could-save-our-food-system-if-we-dont-destroy-them-first/? utm_campaign=sprout&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_content=1609298238). And best of all, we (as in you and I) have a chance to save them by becoming citizen scientists and helping with identification. By expanding their reach, scientists will have a better chance to identify and save these wild crops!

Gardening for the Environment

If we're going to be citizen scientists, how about being citizen environmentalists, too? Rethinking our own relationship with nature, one where we don't just extract, but actually connect with and give back, is a wonderful new way of interacting with the world around us. This is called regenerative agriculture, where we quite literally tend to the soil to improve it. And by improving it we improve its ability to hold carbon. So, in our own way, helping ourselves and the planet. And just a tip, don't buy soil with peat moss; peat moss is a wonderful carbon sink (meaning it traps and holds carbon, keeping it out of the atmosphere), but many companies still harvest peat moss from the wild and are destroying these important ecological organisms.

Planting Up

And speaking of gardening, how about growing up instead of growing out? Vertical gardening has been growing in popularity, and now we're now at a place where our technology is good enough that we can plant up and indoors to grow food. While we need to be aware of energy costs, recycled water helps in conservation as well. Ultimately this means two things: first that we're making better use of our land by not cutting down forests to get more space to grow, and secondly that we're reducing the distance food has to travel. If food can be grown in a warehouse down the street from your home instead of in another state, the transportation, storage, and shipping needs go way down, which in turn means the climate impact is reduced. It's a win, win... win!

Thanks so much for being here, and here are some lovely carrots to brighten your day. The fact that you can plant one seed in the ground and then watch that seed transform into something totally different is just magical. Don't let anyone tell you there isn't magic in this world. It's right there beneath our feet.

7 beautiful carrots in orange, white, and purple, with their bright green stems on a dark background

Photo by Dana DeVolk on Unsplash

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