15 April 2008

The kitchen river grows greens and fish for the table

One radical group in the USA decided to reduce the radius of origin of their own food by 100 miles. But their French follower went further, deciding that a person can grow all kinds of proteins with vitamins and calories right at the kitchen table.

If you think that the "Local River" is a "designer aquarium", then you will be only partially right. After all, the creators of this device launched fish into it not for beauty, but for lunch. Accordingly, in front of us is not only an interior decoration, but a portable kitchen fish farm-a vegetable garden!

This unusual thing was invented by French designers Mathieu Lehanneur and Anthony van den Bosse. Not to say that the quality of products available in stores does not suit them. But the production of food for themselves, Mathieu and Anthony believe, can bring some benefit to the planet.

Designers have built several copies of Local River, differing in size: 163 x 74 x 99 and 74 x 46 x 91 cm (photo from the website dezeen.com ).

According to their plan, a person will breed freshwater fish in the Local River. And right there, above the water, there are "nests" for vegetables and greens, which should "drink" water from the aquarium, at the same time cleaning it.

Let the water flow nowhere here, but there is at least one similarity of the device with the river – a natural ecosystem is reproduced here, in which plants receive nutrients from fish waste.

In general, the principle of "You to me – I to you" works here. How not to remember about a completely sealed miracle ball with a closed and self-sufficient ecosystem that needs only sunlight?

So in the Local River, everything should balance in such a way that both fish and vegetables feel good. And the owner of the Local River, too: he will be able to produce food for himself right on the kitchen table. In what quantity is another question. The main thing is the idea.

It is necessary to say more about the idea. The French built their aquarium-tank under the impression of the activities of the Locavores movement, which arose in 2005 in San Francisco.

The authors note that the very principle of combining the cultivation of plants and fish is not new. There are already industrial farms where hydroponics and fish breeding are combined in single installations. This technology is called aquaponics. Immediately, the system was simply reduced to desktop size (photo from the website dezeen.com ).

This word can be translated as "locally-eating" or "locally-feeding". Four American women who care about environmental protection thought that transportation spends an unacceptably huge amount of fuel on the delivery of products from other states (or even from other countries). And these are harmful emissions.

Therefore, the friends decided at least in August not to eat anything that was produced (grown, caught) outside of a circle with a diameter of 100 miles (160 kilometers) from their hometown.

The experience was successful, so in 2007 it was repeated, expanding it also for September.

And now Locavores try to eat as little imported products as possible all year round and as much as possible – local.

More and more people are joining the movement. They conduct experiments on preserving the gifts of nature and vigilantly monitor the history of products displayed in San Francisco stores.

Such a restriction does not at all lead to a noticeable impoverishment of the table among "local residents". Oysters and mussels, salmon and cod, crabs and halibut, sturgeon, beef, cheese and milk, chicken, lamb, fruits and vegetables, mushrooms and wine are caught, grown and produced in a 100-mile circle.

The climate of California is really wonderful. Whatever grows there. Here in Los Angeles, even a half-joking project "Fallen Fruit" (Fallen Fruit) arose, the participants of which were "fed" by the gifts of private gardens.

Mathieu and Anthony believe that the influence of the Locavores movement will grow and its supporters will really like the aquarium-a vegetable garden that allows you to produce a certain amount of food right in a city apartment.

By the way, the French do not exaggerate about the popularity of Locavores. According to the "New Oxford American Dictionary" (New Oxford American Dictionary), "locavore" became the word of 2007 (see the press release of the University of Oxford).

Interestingly, last year Leanner already combined design and "decoration" with ecology and environmental cleaning in one work. And, to put it simply, I built home air filters that work at the expense of plants.

This invention was called Bel-Air (which, we think, is not necessary to translate). In addition to the cleansing function, these capsules were supposed to give the interior a slightly fantastic and futuristic look.

The question is, don't just potted flowers affect the air in the room?

Sure. But the French innovator from this simple principle "grew" a whole device-a cleaner with a fan that drives air through the housing, and with a backlight.

In addition, the Parisian designer suggested planting in such filter pots only those plants that are the most effective air purifiers from carbon monoxide, formaldehydes and benzene, which are supplied to us in abundance not only by the street, but also by the apartment.

Such a "top list" of NASA green filters (its motives are clear - long–term flights) was compiled a long time ago: lily, bamboo palm, English ivy and gerberas.

This simple device has been demonstrated at a number of exhibitions on both sides of the Atlantic.

Well, the novelty — Local River – French designers will present to the public on April 25 at the Artists Space gallery in New York.

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