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Harvesting the food of the future, spirulina, on a Bangkok rooftop

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spirkPhoto by Claire Knox.

Are Bangkok’s fledgling urban rooftop farms a hidden goldmine for hotels and hospitality businesses? Meet the hoteliers and entrepreneurs proving that environment-focused partnerships are the best marketing tool a business can have.

By Claire Knox
Sea Globe
October 28, 2016

Excerpt:

At 8am, Bangkok’s Siam Square is heaving. Traffic slows to a crawl, commuters squeeze into the skytrain and the sweet, smoky smell of grilled street food wafts from the downtown district’s labyrinthine sois. But on the Novotel Bangkok’s sun-bleached rooftop, 20 floors up from the heady streets below, the still, almost serene atmosphere could not be any different. Most mornings here, a passionate group of hoteliers, microbiologists and engineers arrive to harvest one of the planet’s oldest life forms, an algae called spirulina that some are hailing the ‘kale or spinach of the future’. According to the hotel’s general manager Manuel Reymondin, the Novotel’s rooftop spirulina farm – conceptualised, set up and run by a small Thai startup called EnerGaia – is also showing that when it comes to marketing, partnering with sustainably minded entrepreneurs can be the best publicity manoeuvre of them all.

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November 5, 2016   Comments Off on Harvesting the food of the future, spirulina, on a Bangkok rooftop

Evangelizing in the Garden: Conservative Christian efforts to Convert Non-Believers via Urban Agriculture in US Cities

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The creation of urban green space and community gardening plots, in particular, are often seen as an unequivocal good—by troubling this narrative and interrogating the different ways garden sites are employed by different actors, we gain a better understanding of how urban agriculture is actually functioning in today’s US cities.

By Chhaya Kolavalli
Savage Minds
Oct 27, 2016
(Savage Minds is a group blog that has been writing about sociocultural anthropology since 2005.)

Excerpt:

A dominant trend among these “new” Christians has been to utilize urban agriculture and community gardening as a means of feeding and creating community with the poor (Carnes 2011; Clayborn 2006; Roberts 2009). The garden, however, is also emblematic of new methods of domestic evangelism (Elisha 2008)—as outlined by Carly, above. For the evangelical urban gardeners involved in this study, the garden served as a site to recruit new church members and to ‘model’ several aspects of their conservative religious ideology—most notably, as I’ll argue, a heteronormative patriarchal family structure and gendered division of labor.

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November 5, 2016   Comments Off on Evangelizing in the Garden: Conservative Christian efforts to Convert Non-Believers via Urban Agriculture in US Cities