This week on Earth Beat... due to climate change, exotic crops are finding their way to colder countries, consumers are digging for cheaper fresh food at a Dutch farm, and we look at laser techniques that enable us to digitally record historic sites for later generations.
MAPPING AS PRESERVATION
Peering into the past
We head to the north east of Scotland and explore the stone age village of Skara Brae. Over 5000 years old, the site reveals an amazing preserved slice of Neolithic life. We meet Ann Marwick who’s charged with the task of keeping it intact, an increasingly difficult job as it battles rising tides and erosion.
Listen to the interview from the Scottish coast
Watch a short video about Skara Brae
In response to the growing threats of weather, pollution and even terrorism on historic sites, a group of Scottish scientists have come up with a solution. Using hi-tech 3D lasers they’ve mastered the art of digitally recording them for the future. And they plan to take their work all over the world, including Mount Rushmore in the United States.
Counting carbon from on high
Greg Asner is a tropical forest ecologist who has worked out how to map the rainforest. His new technique, over a decade of work, allows countries to measure the biomass of their forests, which allows them to measure their green spaces quantifiably. This can catch illegal logging but also may allow countries to earn cash for keeping their carbon assets.
Public parks in Toronto have seen a surge of wood-fired bake ovens in recent years. They’re communal, open to anyone who wants to use them, and have changed the lives of the people in the surrounding neighbourhoods. Earth Beat’s correspondent Naheed Mustafa goes to one to talk to its users. Read more about the Dufferin park ovens here.
Local wine is hard to come by for Londoners, but now there’s Chateau Tooting, made by the Urban Wine Company using grapes found in backyards across the city.
Listen to the report by Johnny Hogg
Exotic walnuts hot in temperate climate
Walnuts used to grow exclusively in warm climates. But as winters in Western Europe grow milder, even the most exotic strains do really well there. Earth Beat speaks with Ton Friesen, who runs a walnut nursery in The Netherlands, about the ever-increasing size of his crops.
Listen to the report from Nunspeet, the Netherlands
UK ‘Climate Change Farm’ generates special fruits
Marc Diacono grows Mediterranean foods like olives, apricots, persimmons, almonds and even hot peppers. He’s not growing these crops on the Mediterranean – but rather on his Climate Change farm in Devon, in the South of England.
Listen to the report from Devon, England
Watch a video of Marc talking about his farm
Consumers digging for cheap fresh food
Peter Beije, a farmer in Lelystad in The Netherlands decided to bring his customers directly to his field to dig for food–thereby avoiding the stores. Cutting out the middle man makes him more money while the customer pays less, and their food is as fresh as can be.
Listen to the report from a farm near Lelystad, the Netherlands
NEXT WEEK ON EARTH BEAT
What if there wasn’t enough rain in your part of the world, but you had the technology to change that? Fixing the sky – the possibilities and perils of geo-engineering.