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地热温泉与植物种植:未来农业的发展方向

更新时间:2018-9-27 19:48:35 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Are hot springs the future of farming?
地热温泉与植物种植:未来农业的发展方向

The tomatoes aren’t cooperating. Instead of growing up the trellis, the plants are weaving all over the garden bed and arching, menacingly, toward a young grapevine. On a hot August afternoon, Pauline Benetti and Diane Kelsey are trying to coach the fruit upward by tying its stems to the wood-and-metal trellis.

番茄植株在种植过程中不太好处理。因为不肯沿着支架向上生长,而是杂乱地交织在园圃里,有的还会气势汹汹拱向葡萄藤幼苗,影响葡萄的生长。一个八月酷暑的下午,贝内蒂(Pauline Benetti)和凯尔西(Diane Kelsey)正竭力把番茄植株的茎杆绑在木制和金属制的棚架上,好让植株向上生长。

It’s high season for the juicy red spheres, but these two volunteers – both shorter than the vines they’re trying to wrangle – aren’t just struggling with these plants for the final farmers’ markets of the summer. They want to train the tomatoes to grow in the right direction inside this greenhouse all year long.

八月是红润多汁的番茄的生长旺季,这两位个头都还没有他们想打理的番茄藤来得高的志愿者,不仅要搞定这些番茄,期望收获能赶得上最后的夏季农夫市场。他们还想找到一种培育方法,让番茄植株一年到头都能在温室里规规矩矩往上长。

Their work is part of a five-year effort by the Geothermal Greenhouse Partnership (GGP) in Pagosa Springs, Colorado. The volunteer-run nonprofit, in coordination with the south-west Colorado town, is transforming the world's deepest geothermal hot spring into something much more than just a travel destination: it’s using the renewable energy source to grow food year-round for the community.

他们二人的工作是科罗拉多州帕戈萨斯普林斯(Pagosa Springs)市的地热温室合作组织(GGP)长达五年的培育种植计划之一部分。GGP是一个非盈利志愿者组织,和科罗拉多州西南部的城镇合作,利用此地的世界上最大最深地热温泉这一可再生能源,全年种植作物,开发利用这个旅游胜地的更多价值。

Pagosa Springs is well-known in the western United States for its unique approach to geothermal energy, which is energy harnessed from the Earth’s heat. Geothermal food growing, though, is a new enterprise.

地热能源是一种从地球内部的热能中汲取的能量,帕戈萨斯普林斯依靠其独特的地热能源开采方式闻名于美国西部。话虽如此,如今利用地热种植作物依然是一个新兴产业。

In the centre of the small downtown, on the banks of the San Juan River, sit three conspicuous, geodesic greenhouses, each 42ft (13m) in diameter. They stand in stark contrast to the old-timey buildings on the road above. All will house gardens, but each has a different mission.

在圣胡安河畔,小镇的市中心坐落着三个显眼的测量温室,每个直径达42英尺(13米),和附近的旧式建筑形成鲜明对比。这三个温室都是作苗圃,但职能各异。

The first, the Education dome, was built in 2016. It is the only one of the trio that’s currently operational. Volunteers stop by to prune and plant every day; more than 300 students have visited the site to learn about the plants and to practice their maths or science skills; and the public is welcome from 11:00 to 14:00 on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

第一个圆顶温室作教育之用,称之为“教育圆顶”,建于2016年。它是三个温室中目前唯一投入使用的。志愿者每天都会顺路去修剪、种植植株。目前已经有300多名学生专门来了解有关植物的知识,并对所学的数学或科学技能进行实践。每周二、周六,教育圆顶从11:00至14:00向大众开放。

“Everything we do is [focused on] teaching sustainable agriculture to the next generation and growing food year-round – which is pretty special” at an altitude of 7,150 feet (2,180m), says Sally High, a former environmental educator and GGP board treasurer.

地热温室合作组织财务主管海伊(Sally High)之前是一名环境生态教育者。她说,在这个海拔7,150英尺(2,180米)的地方, “我们(的目标是)向下一代传授可持续农业,还有全年种植作物——这一切都非常的特别。”

The geothermal water comes from town wells via a lease agreement with Pagosa Springs. A heat exchanger inside each greenhouse uses the geothermal liquid to heat domestic water, which is piped through the floor of the greenhouse in cold-weather months. The geothermal fluid then resumes its natural path.

和帕戈萨斯普林斯签了租约后,地热水用的就是城镇的井水。冬天,各个温室内都有换热器——地热温泉水通过温室地板下的管道,加热日常用水,然后再流回到其天然水道。

The closed-loop system is as close to non-consumptive as possible – meaning almost no water is consumed during the process, with most of it returning to the ground – and allows the greenhouse to maintain a consistent temperature that ranges from 58F (around 14C) on the coldest winter nights to 90F (32C) on a sweltering summer day. (A pond, fans, misting system, and windows also help regulate the temperature.) That means the squash, kale and beets can grow in any month – a major benefit in a high-elevation mountain town where the average frost-free growing season spans less than 80 days.

教育圆顶是个封闭的环形温室系统,尽可能做到零消耗——这意味着整个过程几乎不消耗水资源,大部分的水都会流回地下,而且温室内能保持稳定的温度,寒冬晚上58F(约14C),酷热夏天90F(32C)。当然,池塘、风扇、喷雾系统和窗户也有助于调节温度。这意味温室在任何季节都能种植南瓜、羽衣甘蓝和甜菜,对于无霜生长季节不足80天的高海拔山区城镇来说,是很大的福利。

The method will be similar in the Community Gardens greenhouse, which is expected to open before the end of 2018. Local civic organisations and community groups, such as food banks and veteran-focused associations, will have their own garden beds in which they’ll grow food to help feed their communities.

预计于2018年底之前开放的社区菜园温室也将采用类似方法。当地的民间组织和社团,像食物银行和退伍军人协会,到时候能分得一些苗圃,种些瓜果来支援社团。

The Innovation greenhouse, slated to open in 2019, has a different purpose. It will house an aquaponic growing environment, raising fish and plants together in a symbiotic system in which  the fish waste acts as a food source for the plants while the plants filter the fish’s water, one that uses about one-tenth of the water required for conventional soil growing. It’s a controlled environment, so the dome will be closed to the public except during special demonstrations or tours.

创新温室计划于2019年开业,其建立目的与另外两个温室不同。 这个温室将创造一个复合养殖环境,在共生系统中同时饲养鱼类和植物,其中鱼类的排泄物作为植物的食物来源,而植物能过滤鱼类赖以生存的淡水,这整个体系大约只需要传统土壤种植用水量的十分之一。 由于这个温室的环境受到严格控制,所以除了特殊的示范或观光需求之外,圆顶将不对公众开放。

“Farmers’ markets are seasonal. This takes Colorado’s agriculture [towards being] very local and year-round,” says High, who sees Pagosa’s greenhouse endeavour as both an economic and tourism driver for the town. “Our geothermal resource is underused and undervalued.”

海伊觉得镇上的温室同时推动了帕戈萨镇的经济增长和旅游业发展。她说,“农业市场是随季节变化的。 多亏了这种种植方式,现在科罗拉多州的农业不仅能自给自足,还突破了季节限制。”她还说,“我们不仅没能充分利用的地热资源,还远远低估了它的效益。”

The Ute Indians first discovered the area’s therapeutic waters in the 1800s. More than a century later, in 1982, the town, with help from the US Department of Energy (DOE), launched a geothermal heating system that uses the geothermal water to provide heat to about 60 local businesses and residences and melt snow on the sidewalks in the small downtown. (There are around 20 such systems in the country, including in Boise, Idaho, and San Bernardino, California.)

犹特印第安人在19世纪首次发现了当地的水具有治疗作用。 一个多世纪后,在1982年,该镇在美国能源部的帮助下,推出了一个地热供暖系统,利用地热水为大约60个当地企业和住宅供暖,以及融化小镇市中心人行道上的积雪。 (美国有大约20个地区有这样的系统,其中包括爱达荷州的博伊西,及加利福尼亚州的圣贝纳迪诺。)

“It’s a 24/7/365 power source; it’s not intermittent, like solar or wind,” High says. “This direct-use project… it’s absolutely replicable.” 

海伊说,“不像太阳能或风能那样有间歇性,地热能全年源源不绝。这种能源可以直接使用,而且完全可以复制。”

Pagosa Springs isn’t alone in growing food geothermally. But the process is still rare in the US. In its most recent look at geothermal direct-use installations in the country, which dated to February 2017, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) counted just 29 greenhouses.

帕戈萨斯普林斯并不是唯一利用地热种植作物的地区。 但如今这种种植模式在美国仍然很罕见。 截止到2017年2月,美国国家能源部可再生能源实验室(NREL)对国内可以直接利用地热的装置使用进行了调查,结果只统计到29个温室。

“One thing that’s unique about geothermal is, in addition to the ability to provide power, it can provide these other services to a community that allow them to be more self-sustaining,” says Katherine Young, NREL’s programme manager for geothermal energy.

实验室的地热能源项目经理杨(Katherine Young)说:“地热的一个独特之处就在于,它不仅可以提供电力,还能为社区提供其他功能,让人们能自给自足。”

Most conversations about geothermal energy focus on Iceland, where the natural resource accounts for about 25% of the country’s total electricity production and where 90% of homes are heated geothermally. Other European countries have access to mostly intermediate- to low-temperature geothermal resources, which restricts them somewhat, as higher heats are better suited to electricity production. Even so, at least 13 countries tap into them for greenhouses, among other uses.

大多关于地热能源的讨论都聚焦于冰岛。冰岛全国总发电量的25%是依靠其地热自然资源,90%的家庭都利用地热供暖。其他欧洲国家的温泉,大多是中到低温度的地热,用地热发电受到限制,因为只有高温热泉适合发电。但起码还有13个国家,在地热能源的众多用途中,选择将其用于温室事业。

But the US hasn’t fully realised its geothermal potential. According to the DOE, “the US leads the world for installed geothermal capacity, with more than 3.7 gigawatts” – most of which is concentrated in the West. But a 2006 Massachusetts Institute of Technology study found that technology investment could open up access to more than 100 gigawatts in the next five decades, providing more than 10% of the country’s electricity demand. (The DOE announced a $4 million [£3.1m] investment in six deep direct-use feasibility studies last year.)

然而美国尚未完全意识到本国的地热资源潜力。根据美国能源部的说法,“就地热能装机容量来说,美国已经达到37亿瓦,处于世界领先水平”,但大部分集中在美国西部。2006年麻省理工学院的一项技术研究表明,如果加大技术投资,那么未来五十年里,就能增产1000多亿瓦的电力,相当于全国电力需求的10%还多。(去年,美国能源部宣布投入400万美元,来支持6项关于能源直接利用可行性的深入研究。)

“There’s a ton of heat everywhere beneath the US, and it can be harnessed everywhere,” Young says. “It can play a significant role in the US energy economy.”

杨说,“美国地下储有大量的热能,各地都可以加以利用。这些热能可以极大促进美国能源经济的发展。”

Thus far, the GGP project has been primarily grant-funded – including a recent $174,500 (£135,000) infusion from the Colorado Water Plan and Colorado Water Conservation Board – and volunteer-driven. But as the final domes inch closer to completion, the team wants to hire a site manager, its first employee. Funds will come from private donations as well as by selling produce from the Innovation dome to local restaurants and at farmers’ markets. (Visitors can also buy tomatoes and lettuce from the Education dome on the two days a week it’s open; some of that produce winds up at the farmers’ markets, too.)

到目前为止, GGP的项目开展主要靠赠款支持,其中包括最近“科罗拉多水利计划”、“科罗拉多州水资源保护会”和志愿者筹款的174,500美元。目前最后一座温室就要竣工,GGP希望雇用一名场地管理员,作为该温室的首位员工。资金将来自私人捐赠和创新温室向当地餐馆、农夫市场销售农产品的收入。(游客还可以在每周二、周六从教育圆顶购买西红柿和生菜,其中一些果蔬也会拿去农夫市场上出售。)

This past summer, vegetables grown in the Education greenhouse’s salad garden were part of the meals in the free summer food programme for kids in need. Community events at Centennial Park, where the greenhouses sit, have ranged from cooking classes to breakfasts to educational speakers.

今年夏天,教育温室沙拉菜圃里种的蔬菜,也作为免费夏季食物计划中的一部分,提供给有需要的孩子们。温室坐落在百年纪念公园,公园的社区活动从早餐烹饪课到教育演讲,不一而足。

For local youth like Tucker Haines, the Education greenhouse affords more than just an opportunity to learn about eating – and growing – fresh foods. Every Monday last school year, the 13-year-old would walk from Pagosa Springs Middle School to the GGP park. His maths teacher thought hands-on learning might help the formulas and fractions finally click with the students. Tucker and his classmates measured the garden beds and plants and kept calendars which outlined when the seeds were going to germinate; they also planted and harvested kale, red cabbage and cauliflower. “My regular math class I couldn’t quite understand,” Tucker says. Suddenly, though, the numbers started to make sense. “It made math enjoyable,” says his mother Nancy Haines.

对于像塔克·海恩斯(Tucker Haines)这样的本地青少年来说,教育温室不仅能帮助他们了解新鲜的食物,更让他们有机会学习如何种植。上个学年,13岁的塔克每周一从帕戈萨斯普林斯中学放学后,都要去GGP园区帮忙。他的数学老师认为亲自动手实践或许对学生们学习数学公式和分数有帮助。塔克和同学们对园圃和植物进行测量,并留意植物的生长周期,包括种子何时会发芽,他们还栽种和收获了羽衣甘蓝、红甘蓝和花椰菜。塔克说,“起初我听不太懂数学课,”但经过实践,突然间那些数字就讲得通了。他母亲南希·海恩斯(Nancy Haines)说,“通过亲身实践,孩子觉得学数学有趣多了”。

Tucker’s experience is the kind of broader community benefit High and the rest of the GGP were hoping for when they set out on this mission a decade ago. “It’s this living laboratory that we have right smack in the middle of town,” says Cindy Schultz, Pagosa’s associate planner. “It gives people a sense of what’s possible.”

塔克的经历可谓社区生活的一大进步,这也恰恰就是海伊和GGP其他成员十年前创立这个项目时的初心。帕戈萨的副规划师舒尔茨(Cindy Schultz)说:“小镇中心这个生物实验室让我们的生活有滋有味,也让我们感受到了无限的可能性。”

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