the DROP 5/19/2020: Preparedness experts speak, Online seed vendors, Permaculture guilds, Hand-powered light

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As we continue through more months of uncertainty, many people are changing their lifestyles to adapt, making sacrifices, and planning ahead.

Self-sufficiency is now a broadly-searched term, and rightfully so. While many of us would admit that the old paradigm wasn't perfect, it wasn't until we witnessed empty shelves with our own eyes that we started considering other means of acquiring food.

While there are many who've already long established themselves on homesteads and in rural living spaces, there are even more who have lots of catching up to do.

This issue of the Drop will provide information on basic food growing, preparedness, and a few devices you'd find useful when off the grid.




Self-Sufficiency






World Water Reserve / May 5, 2020
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Credit: Seeds / Pxfuel
"This list contains online vendors which are still selling to the public a the time of this writing. While some high-demand seeds may either be out of stock or in the process of restocking, purchases can still be made on items that are currently in stock."


With pandemic concerns disrupting the supply chain of many goods, the seed industry has seen a particularly significant demand as of late. Many smaller seed vendors are unable to keep up with the demand and have been forced to cease new orders. Other, larger vendors are able to continue selling seeds, albeit with a delay in shipment.

These seed vendors are currently selling to the public at the time of this publication.

Read full article here.





West Coast Seeds / March 05, 2020
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Credit: West Coast Seeds
"Sunlight is another matter to think about before you get started. All plants need at least some direct sunlight in order to thrive, but fruiting plants like peppers and tomatoes require a minimum of 6-8 hours of direct sunshine every day. At least with containers, you can move plants around to make the most of the sunshine."


With the popularity of homegrown food supply on the rise, many are diving into the practice without proper knowledge of vegetable cultivation, even on a small scale.

This article details proper steps one needs to take when growing vegetables in portable containers.

Read full article here.






Water Crisis






Smart Water Magazine / May 14, 2020
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Credit: Aqualia Operarios / Pablo Gonzalez
"this pandemic could act as a catalyst to realizing needed step-changes in municipal infrastructure investment and utility operations going forward."


The pandemic has certainly forced change in many industries around the world and the water sector is no exception. While the impact on some groups is much more negative than positive, this pandemic has also forced certain parties to readjust their entire model for the better.

From businesses to local utilities to governing bodies, the water industry is undergoing drastic changes in order to respond to the demands of the pandemic, each according to their own situation.

Read full article here.





Permaculture






World Water Reserve / May 8, 2020
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Credit: Michal Hlaváč / Unsplash
"They take turns blooming, share space, distribute different nutrients and succeed each other over generations. In our home gardens, we can create diverse, low-maintenance food forests by mimicking these patterns. In its most basic form, this is called companion planting, and gardeners have been doing it for millennia."


Permaculture, the idea of growing food within a harmonious, self-sustaining system, is not only a viable gardening option but also a philosophical outlook. Because the main idea is to work with nature rather than against it, some familiarity with plant life is essential.

In this article, permaculture proponent Heather Jo Flores, shares her experiences with permaculture guilds, combinations of plants and vegetables which thrive together in a symbiotic relationship. These guilds have been tested and proven and grow abundantly in many food forests.

Read full article here.






Sustainability






Fast Company / May 15, 2020
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Credit: Flash Forest
"Flash Forest’s tech can currently plant 10,000 to 20,000 seed pods a day; as the technology advances, a pair of pilots will be able to plant 100,000 trees in a day (by hand, someone might typically be able to plant around 1,500 trees in a day, Ahlstrom says.) The company aims to bring the cost down to 50 cents per tree, or around a fourth of the cost of some other tree restoration efforts."


Canadian startup, Flash Forest, motivated by recent brushfires in the area, are using drones to plant trees by dropping seed pods in areas affected by the fires.

With such an effective innovation, the company plans to plant more trees, expanding to other regions in need of forestation. By 2028, the aim to plant 1 billion trees.

Read full article here.





Phys.org / May 12, 2020
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Credit: Chris Abney / Unsplash
"One important and harmful particulate in air pollution is known as PM 2.5—a particulate matter composed of inhalable particles with diameters that are less than 2.5 micrometers. This pollutant is considered particularly dangerous as it can lodge deep into the lungs and pass into other organs and the bloodstream, causing serious health risks. Several reports have suggested that the high level of this and other pollutants in Northern Italy may be one factor contributing to the high level of lethality recorded in that area. I."


With reports linking pandemic deaths to high levels of air pollution, attempts to implement policies to improve air quality in metropolitan areas are increasingly being made.

While air quality might not quite remain at its level of cleanliness once lockdown orders ease, studies performed by NASA prove that plants may improve air quality within buildings and homes.

Read full article here.





The Conversation / May 12, 2020
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Credit: Josh Sorenson / Unsplash
"Using machine learning algorithms to work out the best pattern of usage, the smart cells intermittently enter a sleep mode to save harvested energy into a small energy buffer. They tend to sleep longer when there is less light available, and execute more of their essential tasks when there is more light available."


Solar panels are an already widespread means of renewable energy, but the problem of weather dependence continues to pose some limitations.

Researchers at Newcastle University have created solar panels which require very little light, able to function indoors.

Read full article here.






Preparedness






New Atlas / May 12, 2020
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Credit: GoSun Flow / GoSun
"If there's little sunshine about, the pump can be powered from alternative means via USB. This could be the pre-charged power bank that can purify 380 L (100 gal) of water on each charge, or it could be a mobile phone equipped with USB OTG technology."


The GoSun Flow is a small, versatile, solar-powered water filter designed to provide clean water from any natural or unclean source. The solar-powered pump allows for the delivery of large amounts of water used for handwashing, showering, or drinking.

The filter itself is versatile enough to be configured to any situation whether it be for single-person consumption or hand-washing capabilities for several people. It's compact enough to fit among the contents of a backpack.

Read full article here.





New Atlas / May 11, 2020
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Credit: NowLight / Deciwatt
"The NowLight was designed to fully charge its battery in under half an hour of working the cord, and Deciwatt says that just two minutes' work creates enough power for more than an hour and a half of light at 20 lumens."


This manually-powered device provides enough light to illuminate a small room without the need for a power source. By simply working the cord through the pulley system, the battery will provide enough power to turn on the light, creating a simple, off-grid light source.

The NowLight also charges electronic devices and has been useful in developing regions with little to no power.

Read full article here.





Off Grid Web / May 14 , 2020
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Credit: Daiga Ellaby / Unsplash
"Not surprisingly for a former special operator, Pannone has adopted the grayman mindset. He tries to blend in wherever he goes but is prepared to respond aggressively if forced to defend himself or others."


The Protector Symposium is an event where experts in security and law enforcement give valuable information on how to protect yourself and loved ones in crisis situations.

Whether it be theft, robbery, riots, or general social unrest, concerns for unpredictable human behavior certainly increase during times of crisis. Highlighting the facts discussed at the conference, this article provides expert advice on how to be more situationally aware and prepared.

Read full article here.






Contagion Awareness






Tree Hugger / May 14, 2020
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Credit: Timothy Dykes / Unsplash
"All bacteria and viruses tested to date (many hundreds over the years, including other coronaviruses) respond to UV disinfection. Some organisms are more susceptible to UVC disinfection than others, but all tested so far do respond at the appropriate doses...UV light, specifically between 200-280nm (UVC or the germicidal range), inactivates (aka, ‘kills’) at least two other coronaviruses that are near-relatives of the COVID-19 virus: 1) SARS-CoV-1 and 2) MERS-CoV."


Ultraviolet light has long been an efficient method for pathogen elimination across many industries. But as a method for use within public spaces, scientists are still trying to balance the effectiveness of UV light vs its potential damage to humans.

Far-UVC, a type of UV wavelength, may prove to be effective at eliminating airborne viruses while remaining safe for human contact.

Read full article here.





Civil Eats / May 14, 2020
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Credit: Timothy Eberly / Unsplash
"One of the biggest hurdles in preventing on-farm food waste is logistics. Especially with perishable produce like lettuce, food rescue is urgent. But the costs for coordination, packaging, and transportation are all major obstacles that farming economies cannot readily absorb, and organizations stepping in with funding is proving to be essential."


Ultraviolet light has long been an efficient method for pathogen elimination across many industries. But as a method for use within public spaces, scientists are still trying to balance the effectiveness of UV light vs its potential damage to humans.

Far-UVC, a type of UV wavelength, may prove to be effective at eliminating airborne viruses while remaining safe for human contact.

Read full article here.




I'm Jeremiah Castelo, the owner of World Water Reserve. I'm a writer and researcher with a particular interest in sustainability and rural living, water scarcity, and innovative water purification methods. I utilize my multimedia and communication experience in the NGO and humanitarian fields to bring light to important topics. My passion is to educate others on the reality of the global water crisis and on ways to sustain themselves and their families in the midst of it.

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