Listening activity – “This Farm of the Future Uses No Soil and 95% Less Water”

The following activity is based on a short documentary published on the YouTube channel Stories, and its theme is VERTICAL FARMING as a way to reduce water usage and contamination.

Before watching the video I suggest that you read the vocabulary list, you can also download it (PDF file).

VOCABULARY 

  • LEAFY: having a lot of leaves.
    Plants Flora Foliage Greens Greenery Leafy Leaves
  • HUGE: very large in size, amount o degree.
    Endangered Elephant Trunk Skin Care African Big
  • MASSIVE: very large and heavy.
    Ex. Falkirk Wheelis a massive boat lift in Scotland.
    FalkirkWheelSide_2004_SeanMcClean.jpg
     
  • INDOOR: used, located, done or happening inside a building.
    An indoor field 1024px-Starfire_Sports_Complex_-_indoor_soccer_01
  • NUTRITIOUS: having substances that a person or animal needs to stay healthy and grow properly.
    fruits-and-vegetables-displayed
  • CROP: a plant that is grown by farmers and used as food.
    MaxPixel.freegreatpicture.com-Wheat-Spike-Cereals-Spike-Wheat-Field-Grain-Wheat-8762.jpg
  • TO STACK: to make things into a neat pile.
    Insulated food storage containers are stacked for loading onto Red Cross ERVs and Salvation Army canteens.
    FEMA_-_39207_-_Food_storage_containers_stacked_on_shipping_pallets_in_Texas.jpg
  • ROOT: the part of a plant that grows underground.
    root-276636_1920.jpg
  • TO MIST: to cover something with very small drops of liquid in order to keep it wet.
    Ex. These plants have to be misted regularly.

    Rooting_of_softwood_cuttings_of_elm_under_the_mist_propagation_system.jpg
  • ROW: a line of things or people next to each other.
    seagulls-591437_1280.jpg
  • TREND: a general direction in which a situation is changing or developing.
    Ex. Investments showed a positive trend over the period considered.
     
  • TO FEED (FED/FED): to give food to a person or an animal.
    Bottle_Feeding_Iberian_Lynx_cub_02
  • OVERPOPULATED: with too many people leaving in it.
    514px-TNagar_Ranganathan_Street.JPG
  • TO SPROUT: to appear suddenly and in large numbers.
    Ex. New houses are sprouting everywhere these days. 
  • STEEL: strong metal that can be shaped easily.
    1186px-Steel-Dowel-Pins.jpg 
  • MILL: a factory that produces a particular type of material; a building fitted with machinery for grinding grain into flour.
  • TOUGH: very difficult to deal with; physically and emotionally strong.
    Ex. Karen’s last pregnancy was tough.
  • STRIVE: to try very hard to achieve something.
    Ex. I enjoy watching people strive for their dreams.
  • LANDFILL: a place where waste is buried under the ground.
    120821-F-BP133-050.JPG

PDF version: This Farm of the Future Uses No Soil and 95% Less Water – Vocabulary – Free English Materials For You

Fill in the gaps in the following sentences while listening:

NARRATOR: You can’t see it on the outside, but this old industrial neighborhood is an agricultural oasis. Inside this former laser tag arena, about 250 kinds of ______________ greens are growing in _______________ quantities, to be sold to local supermarkets and restaurants. This is AeroFarms, a massive ______________ vertical farm in Newark, New Jersey. 

DAVID ROSENBERG: Our mission is to build farms in cities all over the world so people have access to ______________, great tasting, highly __________________food.

NARRATOR: ______________ are stacked more than 30 feet high inside this 30,000 square foot space. They’re grown using aeroponic technology.

DAVID ROSENBERG: Typically in indoor growing, the ______________sit in water and one tries to oxygenate the water. Our key inventor realized that if we mist nutrition to the root structure, then the roots have a better oxygenation.

NARRATOR: AeroFarms says the root misting system allows them to use 95% less water than a regular field farm. They also use no pesticides or herbicides. Instead of soil, plants are grown in reusable cloth, made from recycled plastic. And ___________________the sun, there are ______________________of specialized LED lighting.

DAVID ROSENBERG: A lot of people say, sunless? Wait, plants need sun. In fact, the plants don’t need yellow spectrum, so we’re able to reduce our energy footprint by doing things like reducing certain types of spectrum.

NARRATOR: This sophisticated climate controlled system ______________ the growing cycle in half, so crops can be grown all year round, but with a much smaller ______________on the environment.

DAVID ROSENBERG: There are all these stresses on our planet. 70% of our fresh water contamination comes from agriculture. 70% of our fresh water usage goes to agriculture. One third of our arable land has been degraded in the last 40 years. All these macro trends point to the fact that we need a new way to feed our planet.

NARRATOR: One of the early champions of vertical farming is Columbia University ecologist Dickson Despommier. In 1999, Despommier and his students proposed that vertical farms could ___________ ___________________ cities while using less land and less water. They would also cut greenhouse gases by eliminating the need to transport food over long distances. And the idea is finally taking root. Over the past few years, vertical farms have sprouted all over the world, including in Vancouver, Singapore, Panama, the UK, and around the US. Here in Newark, AeroFarms is building out another new farm in a former steel mill, one that’s bigger than a football field. Once it’s fully operational, it’s expected to produce two million pounds of greens a year– all grown vertically.

DAVID ROSENBERG: We listen to the plants very carefully to try and understand what they’re telling us and try and optimize all these different qualities of the plant. It’s a ______________ business, but it’s one that’s going to stay and it’s going to have a bigger and bigger impact.

NARRATOR: Do you think vertical farms will help solve our food production problems?Let us know in the comments below. And check out this next episode to see how this major US city is _________________ to become zero waste.

ROBERT REED: When I started at Recology 23 years ago, the recycling rate was around 38%. Today, we’ve more than __________________that.

NARRATOR: So far, San Francisco has diverted 80% of its waste away from landfills, and its success has been getting global attention.

PDF version (without key): This Farm of the Future Uses No Soil and 95% Less Water – Fill in the gaps
PDF version (KEY): This Farm of the Future Uses No Soil and 95% Less Water – KEY

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Listening activity – Irish (Advanced) – C1

INTERMISSION (2003)

Fill in the gaps in the following sentences

  1. I want you to stay out of ____________________.
  2. I mean, he _________________ me, ma, breaks my heart …
  3. I saw her kissing some _________________
  4. So we hold the _________________ hostage, _________________ our identity.
  5. But _________________, man, it’s not about the money.
  6. And I wouldn’t recommend you get _________________, either.
  7. You and me. _____________ to ____________.
  8. Get ___________ of that old Ronnie you’re cultivating.
  9. Have I got a _________________ like?
  10. Step on the _________________ so I can climb back.

FIVE MINUTES OF HEAVEN (2009)

Fill in the gaps in the following sentences

  1.  I was 15 when I _________________ the UVF, the Ulster Volunteer Force.
  2. At that time there were _________ on the street, every week _________ bombs every day.
  3. And it was like we were under _________.
  4. You have to understand the ____________________.
  5. This is about men who have ___________________ the men they have ___________________ that you have become or something I don’t know.
  6. We want you to meet the man who ____________ your brother, face to face.
  7. He’s always there in my ___________ and I don’t know where to go.
  8. This is the question we all _____________________ the answer to. Truth and reconciliation.
  9. What’s at ___________? Is it possible?
  10. “Time will ___________, they say.” But the years just get heavier.
  11. The man shot my brother ___________ times in the head. The man is having the life of Riley.
  12. Do I _______________ his hand or do I kill him?

THE MIGHTY CELT (2005)

Fill in the gaps in the following sentences

  1. Do you wanna a ___________?
  2. What about this one Joe? He will be a champion. And he’s got ___________
  3. If I ___________ him to win, can I keep him?
  4. It’s like a __________________, get on.
  5. Don’t tell me … You asked her to get ______________________?

PDF version: Listening activity – Trailers – Irish – Advanced – femfy

Answers: Listening activity – Trailers – Answers – femfy

To concede – Vocabulary (advanced)

to-concede-meaning-vocabulary-ielts-advanced-c2-c1-fce-femfy-free-english-materials-for-you

Example sentences:

  • Steve had to concede the rival another victory.
  • The company was forced to concede that items of private data had been illegally stored.
  • I don’t concede that I’m being unreasonable for merely trying to be rational about our living arrangement.

Visual thesaurus (source: http://www.visualthesaurus.com)

to-concede-visual-thesaurus-synonyms

In the news:

17-01-2017-03-09-38

Source:  Adam Withnall Gambia election: President Yahya Jammeh in shock defeat to former Argos security guard Adama Barrow, Independent

17-01-2017-03-13-12

Source: Hardik Vyas, Independent

17-01-2017-03-15-25.png

Source:  in Chicago and in Washington, The Guardian

Listening comprehension – Overpopulation – The Human Explosion Explained Video by Kurzgesagt

As always, I suggest that you read the vocabulary list before watching the video. You can find a pdf version of this listening comprehension below.

VOCABULARY

  • To skyrocket: to rise extremely quickly or make extremely quick progress towards success.
    Ex. Lipstick sales in South Korea have skyrocketed this year.
  • Fourfold: four times as big or as much.
    Ex. According to recent figures, 34000 people are infected, and the most aggressive form of the virus, HIV 1, which was unknown in the country until the 1990s, has increased fourfold in the past 13 years. 
  • Slums: a poor and crowded area of a city where the buildings are in bad condition.kibera_slum_railway_tracks_nairobi_kenya_july_2012
  • Pollution: the process of making air, water, soil etc dangerously dirty and not suitable for people to use, or the state of being dangerously dirty.
    pollution_in_maracaibo_lake                       alfedpalmersmokestacks
  • To sustain: to provide what is needed for (something or someone) in order to live, to exist, to continue, etc.
    Ex. She wasn’t capable of sustaining close relationships with men. 
  • Ungrounded: not based on facts.
    Ex. The socioeconomic exclusion of women, based on ungrounded discriminatory social definitions of female and male roles, affects not only women and their human rights but also the development of sustainable economies and the protection of the natural environment. 
  • Unprecedented: never having happened before, or never having happened so much.
    We are confronted by an unprecedented situation. 
  • To overrun: to enter quickly and be present in (a place) in large numbers and unwanted.
    Ex. The enemies overran the city last night.overran.jpg

 

  • Worse off: having less money or being in a more difficult situation.
    Ex. The rent increases will leave us worse off. 
  • Sanitation: the systems for taking dirty water and other waste products away from buildings in order to protect people’s health.
    Ex. A lack of clean water and sanitation were the main problems. 
  • Goods: things that are produced to be sold. 
  • Widely: to a large degree; a lot; by a large number of people; in or to many places.
    Ex. Taking notes while listening to a lecture is an important strategy that students use widely for increasing attention and retaining content. 
  • Flourished: to grow or develop well.
    Ex. The Etruscans had flourished from the seventh to the first century B.C. 
  • Emancipation: the process of giving people social or political freedom and rights.
    Ex. Religious fundamentalisms have had a tremendous negative influence on the processes of women’s emancipation. 
  • Supply: the amount of something that is available to be used.
    We have a good and lasting supply of fresh water. 
  • To lead: to show someone where to go, usually by taking them to a place; to be in control of a group, country, or situation.
    Ex. Simplicity can lead to greatness and the concentration of one’s powers. 
  • To drop: if a level or amount drops, it becomes less.
    Ex. Temperatures will drop tomorrow after another scorching day. 
  • Spike: a sudden, rapid increase in something.
    Ex. Public Health officials in the region warned schools about a spike in flu viruses. 
  • To overlook: to see something wrong or bad but decide to ignore it.
    Ex. I don’t want to overlook any opportunity. 
  • To catch up: to do something that should have been done before.
    Ex. New Member States will have a unique possibility to catch up really fast and sometimes to avoid some of our previous mistakes. 
  • From scratch: from a point at which nothing has been done yet.
    Ex. Actually, maybe we should start again from scratch.

Answer the following questions:

  • How many people were living on Earth in 1940?
  • When was the legend of overpopulation born? 
  • What is the demographic transition? 
  • When did the first stage of the demographic transition occur? What happened in this century? 
  • What were the main features of the industrial revolution?
  • What were the main features of the second stage of the demographic transitions? 
  • What about the third stage? 
  • What is the average of children per family today?
  • How many years did it take developed countries to reduce fertility from more than 6 children to less than 3? What about Bangladesh?

PDF version with answers: overpopulation-the-human-explosion-explained-free-english-materials-for-you