Enter the “easy list.” There are some aspects of every job that just aren’t that difficult. You know, housekeeping, organizing, repetitive tasks, and general correspondence. Save all of that stuff for the afternoon when you can switch on autopilot and power through all of it listening to your favorite tunes. For me, this means responding to emails, finding stories to pitch, doing research for other stories, editing photos, and organizing files as need be. Unless one of those things is urgent that day, I don’t bother with it until after lunch. It’s just me, my headphones, some upbeat music, a sparkling water, and a zoned-out sprint through the tedious stuff I’ve gotta’ do. You’d be surprised how much this change alone will do for your day.
In addition, other elements conspire to take away from the harvest for which we worked so hard to produce. Despite the best application of modern agricultural practices, an unavoidable portion of what is grown rots in the fields prior to harvest time, or in the world’s storage bins afterwards. Every year, depending upon geographic location and intensity of El Niño events, crops suffer from too little water and wither on the spot, or are lost to severe flooding, hailstorms, tornados, earthquakes, hurricanes, cyclones, fires, and other destructive events of nature. Many of these phenomena are at best difficult to predict, and at worst are impossible to react to in time to prevent the losses associated with them. In sub-Saharan Africa, locusts remain an ever-present threat (42), and can devastate vast areas of farmland in a matter of days. Even after a bumper crop is realized, problems associated with processing and storage lessen the actual tonnage that is available to the consumer. A large portion of the harvest, regardless of the kind of plant or grain, is despoiled or a portion consumed by a variety of opportunistic life forms (., fungi, bacteria, insects, rodents) after being stored. While it is conceded that at present the abundance of cash crops is more than sufficient to meet the nutritional needs of the world’s human population, delivering them to world markets is driven largely by economics, not biological need. Thus, the poorest people – some billion – are forced to live in a constant state of starvation (43), with many thousands of deaths per year attributable to this wholly preventable predicament (44). Locating vertical farms near these human “hot spots” would greatly alleviate this problem.