Tree Windmill (1901)

windmill treeLast year, William Kamkwamba made headlines around the world with his crude windmills built out of tree trunks and scavenged materials.

He could have saved himself some work if he had seen the illustration on the right, which I copied from a 1901 Dutch newspaper. The accompanying text says:

“Windmills are ugly contraptions and many attempts have been made to make them look better. This illustration shows how nature and mechanics can coexist.”

“It is a windmill constructed in combination with two trees. The trees only serve as a support for the upper part and for the ladder to reach the top. The mill was built in Illinois (US) and worked so well that several have been constructed.”

I could not find any more information about it.

Fertilizer Trees

fertilizer trees

“Presenting the antithesis to the high-tech, high-cost and genetically-modified industrial vision sometimes pushed on Africa, Science Daily reports on the potential of evergreen agriculture and the use of fertilizer trees to increase food production, in a low-cost and environmentally more sustainable way”, writes Matthew McDermott at Treehugger.

Water Batteries for Trees

water batteries for trees

“Using groundwater to grow crops and trees doesn’t make sense to Pieter Hoff, a Dutch inventor. Not only are traditional irrigation techniques inefficient because most of the water is lost to evaporation, Mr. Hoff says, but water can be easily captured from the atmosphere to grow just about anything.

To prove his point, Mr. Hoff retired from the lily and tulip export business in 2003, established his company, AquaPro, and devoted himself to the development of the Groasis Waterboxx (manuals), which he says will grow food crops and trees even in the driest places on earth.” Read more.