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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Kill two birds with one stone – Idiom

kill two birds with one stone - idiom - femfy - Free English Materials For You.png

More example sentences from the web:

  • President Obama is hoping to kill two birds with one stone by using green energy to create jobs and cut pollution. 
  • Getting rid of the bugs, you can do two – kill two birds with one stone. You’ve got a lantern and some bug zappers.
  • I knew I needed to visit him, and figured I could kill two birds with one stone since I received the notice for the reunion around the same time.

A labour of love – IDIOM

a-labour-of-love-meaning-idiom-femfy-free-english-materials-for-you

Example sentences from the web:

  • He loved his garden and maintained it with great care. It was a real labour of love and it was a pleasure watching him work in the garden.
  • To establish a field site and balance research with family life was a labor of love: my wife, Claudia Valeggia, a biological anthropologist as well, was beginning her field research on the reproductive ecology of the Toba-Qom indigenous communities of northern Argentina. Source

Made in Colorado

a-labor-of-love-meaning-idiom-english-femfy-free-english-materials-for-you

By Laura Keeney, The Denver Post, 12 April 2015

THE KINKS LYRICS

“Labour Of Love”

Marriage is a two-headed transplant,
Sometimes that’s how it seems.
When the sex wears off it’s all give and take,
And it’s good-bye to all your dreams.
One head wants to go to a movie
While the other wants to stay at home,
And just like a two-headed transplant
You get the feeling that you’re never alone.

Mr. and Mrs. Horrible are an example of what I say.
They used to be so in love, now they fight so much
That they’ve frightened all their friends away.
They never get visits from neighbors,
They’ve alienated everyone.
And what started off as all cuddles and kisses
Has finally become

A labour of love, labour of love.
The torment, the worry and woe,
Love’s full of fears, bruises and tears,
That’s the way that a true love grows.
It’s a labour of love, labour of love.
It’s a struggle, without a doubt,
But if they keep on trying, screaming and crying,
Somehow they’re gonna work it all out.

It turned into a two-headed transplant,
But it started off as “Here Comes the Bride.”
But cut off one of the heads and you’ll soon find out
That the other just couldn’t survive.
Because they couldn’t stand to be separated
They’re still each other’s to have and hold.
And anyone who thinks the transplant is easy
Really ought to be told

It’s a labour of love, labour of love.
The torments, the worries and whoas,
The battles, the fights, the bruises and bites,
That’s the way that a true love grows.

They took the vows, for better or worse,
And they had it blessed by heaven above,
But what started so brightly as a tender romance
Turned into a labour of love.
Turned into a labour of love.

To prick up one’s ears – IDIOM

to-prick-up-ones-ears-meaning-idiom-femfy-free-english-materials-for-you

More example sentences from the web:

  • Keep your ears pricked, and let me know what people say about the deal.
  • When I said earlier that our present systems of export refunds cannot be made proof against fraud, you on the Commission ought really to have pricked up your ears, if you are really serious about protecting the tax revenues that we raise in the Member States.
  • Prick up your ears! I have an announcement to make!

Reading comprehension : “Ladakh’s tourism boom is slowly changing the age-old way of life in a corner of the Indian Himalayas” — Quartz

I suggest that you check the vocabulary list before reading the article ;-). If the article is too difficult for you, you can also use Rewordify to read a simpler version of it. 

VOCABULARY

NESTLED: to be located in a position that is protected, sheltered or partly hidden.
Ex. And while the compound, nestled on the remote shores of Lake Nipissing, was his entire world.

DISPOSABLE: made to be used once or only a few times.

INCOME: money that is earned from doing work or received for investments. 

INCREASINGLY: more and more all the time.
Ex. Global warming is an increasingly serious threat.

TO FLOCK: to gather or move together somewhere in large numbers.
Ex. The people that flocked to that motorcycle to help him get a chance of doing the Grand Prix, they saw that he was something special.

PROLIFERATION: to increase a lot and suddenly in number.
Ex. Gun proliferation is a global problem.

PACKAGE TOUR: a group of services related to travel or vacations that are sold together for one price.

FIGURE: a number representing a particular amount, especially one given in official information.

TO FATHOM: to come to understand.
Ex. I thought I had a lifetime to fathom the secrets in your eyes.

WINDSWEPT: not protected from strong winds.

windswept.jpg

TO PERMEATE: to spread to every part of an object or a place.
Ex. The water permeated the sand. 

GREEDY: having or wanting a lot more money, food, etc. than you need.

greedy.jpg

HERDER: a person who take care of a large group of animals of the same type.

herder

SUBSIDY: money that is paid usually by a government to keep the price of a product or service low or to help a business or organization to continue to function.
Ex. The federal government gives us a subsidy for each person that completes the training.

Nestled high up in the Indian Himalayas, Ladakh was first opened up to tourists only in 1974. That year, just 527 visitors made the trip; of these, only 27 were from India. But in recent years, with rising disposable incomes and a growing interest in travel, Indians are increasingly flocking to the region’s high-altitude villages,…

via Ladakh’s tourism boom is slowly changing the age-old way of life in a corner of the Indian Himalayas — Quartz

Read the article, then answer the following questions (write your answers below):

  1. How many Indian tourists visited Ladakh in 1974?
  2. More and more Indian tourists are visiting the Indian Himalayas villages recently. What are the reasons?
  3. What are the consequences of the tourism rapid growth?
  4. What kind of crop is Tashi Pgrowing on her farm?
  5. What’s Tashi’s opinion about the tourism boom?
  6. What’s Phunchok Angmo’s profession? How has this boom affected the population according to her?
  7. What are the benefits of this economic growth?
  8. What’s your opinion?

Listening Activity based on the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC’s video –“EXPLORING THE OCEAN FOR SIXTY YEARS – BEST JOB EVER” by Sylvia Earle


Complete the following sentences with the correct words:

  1. Even if you_______________________ (to see- never) the ocean or touch the ocean touches you.
  2. Every breath you take, every ______________ of water you drink it’s the ocean.
  3. For me ___________________ (to be) a biologist just ____________________ (to follow) my heart ____________________ (to lead) me to some fascinating places.
  4. As a scientist I love nothing more than being an explorer ____________________ (to discover) the nature of life itself, that sense of eureka.
  5. It’s a wonderful passport _______________ the ocean.
  6. We are just beginning to assess the magnitude of out ignorance and at the same time that we’re learning more, we’re also discovering how much we_________________________ (to lose).
  7. How do you save the ocean? You find others who __________________ (to have) a similar goal.
  8. All of us depend on these _______________________ and they’re incredibly …. In some ways they’re incredibly ______________________ if we do the right thing but they’re also …
  9. It’s a magical sight that endless horizon that just _____________________ (to stretch) out to blue infinity.
  10. You jump in the ocean and there you find ___________________________.

PDF version:listening-activity-exploring-the-ocean-for-sixty-years-freeenglishmaterialsforyou

Answers: listening-activity-exploring-the-ocean-for-sixty-years-answers-freeenglishmaterialsforyou