MIT’s ‘cyber-agriculture’ optimizes basil flavors

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The days when you could simply grow a basil plant from a seed by placing it on your windowsill and watering it regularly are gone — there’s no point now that machine learning-optimized hydroponic “cyber-agriculture” has produced a superior plant with more robust flavors. The future of pesto is here.

This research didn’t come out of a desire to improve sauces, however. It’s a study from MIT’s Media Lab and the University of Texas at Austin aimed at understanding how to both improve and automate farming.

In the study, published today in PLOS ONE, the question being asked was whether a growing environment could find and execute a growing strategy that resulted in a given goal — in this case, basil with stronger flavors.

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Vertical farms have nailed leafy greens. Next up: tasty peaches

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San Francisco-based Plenty already supplies produce for Google’s kitchens. Now it’s on a mission to expand what hydroponic farms can grow.

Of the many crops that Matt Barnard has developed, he has a particular fondness for his kale. “If you think about what most people imagine when then they think of kale, think again,” he says. “It’s nothing like the tough, bitter leaf we’re used to. It’s sweet and velvety. People say we should find another name for it.”

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Urban Cultivator compact garden

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Fresh herbs taste better than their dried counterparts, and there is no denying that garden-fresh veggies are preferable to ones that have spent the past several days in a truck or on a supermarket shelf. People who are lucky enough to live in warmer climates can keep the fresh greens coming year-round, if they plant a garden. For those of us in colder regions, however, things get a bit more challenging come winter. We can rig up indoor herb gardens on windowsills or using full-spectrum fluorescent lights, but that can sometimes get a little complicated. If you can justify its price, however, there is an alternative – the Urban Cultivator. (Pics)

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BrightFarm – First Rooftop Greenhouse On Affordable Housing Project

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BrightFarm Rooftop Greenhouse

Solar is not the only green feature appearing on affordable housing projects these days. In fact, a project in the South Bronx is hoping to combat food miles and food deserts at the same time, growing fresh, nutritious vegetables in a 10,000 sq ft rooftop greenhouse on top of a six story affordable housing project. But does the project make sense?

Future Shoppers Will Be Able To ‘Pick’ Produce From Supermarket Shelves

Future Shoppers Will Be Able To ‘Pick’ Produce From Supermarket Shelves

 Shoppers in the future will be able to ‘harvest’ fruits and vegetables from supermarket shelves

Supermarket shoppers in the next decade will be able to pick fruit and vegetables from plants still growing on the shelves, according to a report into the future of retailing.

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