Tree of 40 Fruit

The Gift Of Graft: New York Artist’s Tree To Grow 40 Kinds Of Fruit
August 03, 2014

It sounds like something out of Dr. Seuss, but artist Sam Van Aken is developing a tree that blooms in pink, fuchsia, purple and red in the spring — and that is capable of bearing 40 different kinds of fruit.

No, it’s not genetic engineering. Van Aken, an associate professor in Syracuse University’s art department, used an age-old technique called grafting to attach branches from 40 different kinds of stone fruit onto a single tree. It’s called the “Tree of 40 Fruit.”

“I’m an artist. So the whole project really began with this idea of creating a tree that would blossom in these different colors and would bear this multitude of fruit,” he says.

But he soon discovered that it was actually pretty hard to find so many distinct varieties of stone fruit in New York, he explains in his presentation at TEDx Manhattan. “I realized the extent to which we’ve created these massive monoculture.” Most grocery stores and markets only stock a few varieties — and most of them are grown in California.

But then Van Aken came across the New York State Agricultural Experimentation Station. “It was the largest orchard of its kind in the Northeast, perhaps even east of the Rockies,” he says.

New York Underground: Exploring City Caves And Catacombs

New York Underground: Exploring City Caves And Catacombs   
September 14, 2013

Urban explorer Steve Duncan goes underground, examinin g the hidden infrastructure of major cities all over the world: their tunnels, subways and sewers.
Late in 2010, NPR’s Jacki Lyden joined Duncan and a group of subterranean adventurers in New York. (This story originally aired on All Things Considered on Jan. 2, 2011.)

Composting On The Way Up In New York City High-Rises

Composting On The Way Up In New York City High-Rises
June 27, 2013

New York is not the first city to turn its food waste into fertilizer.
It’s already required in a number of cities, including San Francisco and Seattle.
In fact, when it comes to recycling in general, New York lags far behind other big cities, with a recycling rate of just 15 percent.