farm

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Robot Farm to Churn Out 30K Heads of Lettuce a Day

Our automated overlords will be up and running by next year

(Newser) - "Robot-obsessed Japan" is how Phys.org describes a country bent on automation, and its latest agricultural efforts seem to back that claim up. The world's first robot-run farm will be up and running by mid-2017, Kyoto-based Spread has announced, and it plans to churn out 30,000 heads... More »

100 Feet Under London, a Farm Sprouts

Carbon-neutral operation housed in WWII air-raid shelter

(Newser) - A pair of Londoners have taken up farming in the city—about 100 feet underground. Their business, supported by TV chef Michel Roux Jr., uses a former air raid shelter from World War II as a place to grow vegetables and herbs. The project, called Growing Underground , spreads across about... More »

Djokovic Buys All the World's Donkey Cheese

Tennis star snaps it up for restaurant chain

(Newser) - Hope you don't have a thing for donkey-milk cheese: Tennis star Novak Djokovic has bought what is possibly the world's entire supply for 2013, reports the Daily Mail . The Wimbledon champion made the deal with a donkey farm in Serbia for his new chain of Serbian restaurants. Financial... More »

Video Alleges Abuse at Pig Farm

Humane Society footage prompts investigation in Wyoming

(Newser) - Wyoming officials are investigating alleged animal abuse at a pig farm after a secret video of conditions there was released. In the footage, workers are seen punching, kicking, and jumping on pigs and tossing piglets, reports CBS in Denver . Other pigs have untreated abscesses, notes the Huffington Post . The footage... More »

UK Offers FarmVille ... on Actual Farm

Please, try not to kill the cows

(Newser) - Addicted to FarmVille? Now you can play the game on an actual farm—without leaving home. Britain’s National Trust is offering up an estate to be run by gamers, using a program called MyFarm . Users—there’s room for 10,000—make choices on which crops to plant, what... More »

For Sale: Field of Dreams

$5.4M pricetag for Iowa landmark includes place in film history

(Newser) - For sale: 193 acres of Iowa farmland, worth about $1 million but priced at $5.4 million. For the extra money, you get a world-famous baseball diamond that attracts some 65,000 annual visitors, and maybe a bunch of ghosts. That's right—it's the property from Field of Dreams. "... More »

Farmer Makes Manure Valentine

Half-mile-wide heart charms wife—no, really

(Newser) - Some might say it's gross, but you have to give Bruce Andersland an "A" for effort. As a Valentine for his wife, the Minnesota farmer created a half-mile-wide heart made out of manure. His wife of 37 years says it's the biggest and most creative Valentine she's ever seen.... More »

Brits Move to Grab Girl's Pony for Child Support

'It makes me angry,' says feisty teen horse-lover

(Newser) - A 13-year-old girl has taken court action to protect her pony, Pringle, from being seized by British authorities to help cover child support payments the teen's dad owes to her mom. "They said that my dad had a debt and they were going to take my pony. It made... More »

You Not Only Can Eat New Veal, You Should

Pasture-raised version of other, other white meat draws new fans

(Newser) - Some conscientious objectors to eating veal are not only reconsidering their stance, they are doing an about-face. The new hot product at top restaurants is “humanely raised” veal—calves no longer wrenched from their mothers and raised in cages, but brought to slaughter after an idyllic, if short, life... More »

'Hobby Farms' Cropping Up

USDA says small farms are becoming more popular even as large farms grow

(Newser) - Most evenings, Gary Mithoefer can be found at the end of a long gravel driveway off a busy highway, tending two garden plots filled with white sweet potatoes, squash, cabbages, and a dozen other vegetables still thriving in early fall. The 62-year-old, who gardens after his workday ends at his... More »

Modern Farming Has Lost Its Soul

Family farms have a magic all their own—and can compete

(Newser) - We know today’s food industry cranks out “unhealthy food, mishandles waste, and overuses antibiotics,” writes Nicholas Kristof in the New York Times, but the heart of the matter is that today’s industrial farms have “no soul.” In a visit back to his old stomping... More »

Illegal Drug Farm Started Calif. Wildfire: Officials

(Newser) - An illegal marijuana farm is responsible for a blaze that has charred more than 75,000 acres in Santa Barbara County, Calif., the Los Angeles Times reports. Authorities say a Mexican drug organization started the fire in the cooking area of a pot farm, and those behind it are likely... More »

The Naked Truth on Nude Farming

(Newser) - The motto of Rising Sun Farm in Wisconsin is “Unconventional Farming”—the naked pleasures of which Judd Spicer experiences firsthand and recounts for the Heavy Table. Spicer describes the moment of disrobing as “scary, liberating, strange, natural, different, fun,” but once he’s free and clear... More »

Greedy Farmers Battle Climate Bill That Benefits Them

Demand government cash to take action

(Newser) - Farmers are among those facing the highest risk from global warming—storms, droughts and swarms of insect pests are coming their way—yet “true to form,” they’re not interested in backing a bill to fight it without reaping even more government cash, sputters Steven Pearlstein in the... More »

Dairy Teams Seek Greener Cow Burps

Methane production drops after farms adopt new feed

(Newser) - Cow belches have been called a bigger environmental threat than cars and trucks—and now dairy groups are taking steps to keep dangerous burps to a minimum, the New York Times reports. One Vermont farmer has seen his cows’ methane emissions drop 18% after boosting the alfalfa and flaxseed in... More »

Mini-Cows Help Ranchers Buck Rising Costs

Smaller cattle cheaper to raise but still deliver good meat

(Newser) - Facing higher feed costs, ranchers aren’t having a cow—they’re merely downsizing them, the Los Angeles Times reports. Mini-cows have become the latest trend on farms around the country, because many eat less and are easier to handle, but produce 50% to 75% the rib-eyes and fillets of... More »

'Better' Pork Carries Big Health Risks

Free-range pork may relieve your guilt, but bother your tummy

(Newser) - Free-range pork sounds better for everyone involved, especially the pig. But exposure to the outdoors means exposure to dangerous pathogens, from salmonella to toxoplasmosis to the deadly parasite trichinosis, writes James McWilliams for the New York Times. "Free range is like piggy day care, a thoughtfully arranged system designed... More »

Hoe-town: 10K-Acre Farm Eyed for Detroit

Michigan investors seek to turn deserted streets into cropland

(Newser) - Motor City could turn into Maize City if a Michigan investment group has its way and turns 10,000 acres of largely deserted streets into farm plots, reports BusinessGreen. Hanz Group hopes eventually to acquire almost 10% of Detroit's 143 square miles for development into cropland, Christmas tree and lumber... More »

Obamas Urged to Turn the White House Green

Advocates push for new first family to take up organic farming

(Newser) - Advocates for all kinds of green causes are hoping to find newly fertile ground for their ideas at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the Wall Street Journal reports. Several groups are pushing for the president-elect to lead by example and plant an organic garden on the White House's ample grounds. Others urge... More »

Pigs Savaged in PETA Farm Video

Undercover film shows workers beating sows, slamming piglets to ground

(Newser) - Undercover investigators for the anti-cruelty organization PETA have filmed shocking cruelty to pigs at an Iowa farm, AP reports. Pigs are seen being beaten with metal rods while a supervisor brags of jamming rods in sows' anuses. Unhealthy piglets are slammed against the floor and left to die writhing in... More »

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