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Farm Therapy
June 2015

Veterans Heal Through Agriculture

farmOf the 19.6 million veterans in the United States alone, approximately 3.6 million have a service-related disability, 7.6 percent are unemployed and they collectively make up 13 percent of the adult homeless population, according to the Independent Voter Network.

Organizations worldwide are helping veterans heal their wounds through farming and agriculture. The goal is to create a sustainable food system by educating them to be sustainable vegetable producers, providing training and helping families rebuild war-torn lives.

Eat the Yard, in Dallas, Texas, was founded by Iraq War veterans James Jeffers and Steve Smith to cultivate fresh produce in community gardens. The two began organic farming in their own backyards for both therapeutic and financial reasons, and then slowly began to build more gardens in their community. They now sell their produce to local restaurants and businesses.

The Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC) is working with veterans across the U.S. to transition them into agriculture. The coalition partners veterans with mentors experienced in farming and business, matches them with agriculture-related job opportunities and organizes equipment donations in Iowa and California. FVC is helping former members of the armed forces in 48 states.


Source: FoodTank.com/news/2014/11/veterans-day

 
Antioxidant-Rich Berries Thwart Alzheimer’s
June 2015

Berry Good for the Mind

berriesAn international team of scientists has confirmed that consuming berries such as strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, blackcurrants, mulberries and raspberries can significantly reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Blueberries, in particular, were found to be associated with increased memory and learning.

Researchers from Washington State University, the U.S. National  Institutes of Health, India’s Annamalai University and Oman’s Sultan Qaboos University’s College of Medicine and Health Sciences reviewed two decades worth of research relating to consuming berries and dementia. They found that the many biochemicals contained in berries provide antioxidant protection to neurons and prevent the formation of beta-amyloid fibrils found in the brains of Alzheimer’s disease patients.

 
Hatha Yoga Boosts Brainpower
June 2015

Improve Cognitive Health

hatha-yogaResearch from Wayne State University, in Detroit, has found that hatha yoga can significantly improve cognitive health in as little as two months. Researchers tested 118 adults with an average age of 62 years. One group engaged in three, hour-long hatha yoga classes per week for eight weeks, while the other group did stretching and strengthening exercises for the same duration. The participants underwent cognitive testing before and after the eight-week  period.

At the end of the trial, the hatha yoga group showed significant improvements in cognition compared to the other group. The yoga group also recorded shorter reaction times, greater accuracy in high-level mental functions and better results in working memory tests.


Source: Journal of Gerontology

 
Solar Harvest
June 2015

New Technology Makes Windows Power Producers

SolarWindow Technologies, Inc.SolarWindow Technologies’ new window coatings are a “first of its kind” technology that could turn the buildings we live and work in into self-sufficient, mini power stations. They can generate electricity on see-through glass and flexible plastics with colored tints popular in skyscraper glass.

The coating can be applied to all four sides of tall buildings, generating electricity using natural and artificial light conditions and even shaded areas. Its organic materials are so ideal for low-cost, high-output manufacturing that the technology is already part of 42 product patent applications.

When applied to windows on towers, it’s expected to generate up to 50 times the power of conventional rooftop solar systems while delivering 15 times the environmental benefits. For example, a single SolarWindow installation can avoid the amount of carbon emissions produced by vehicles driving about 2.75 million miles per year, compared to 180,000 miles for conventional rooftop systems.

 
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